Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections on 2008

Is it over? Can I come out from under the bed now? Am I the only one who sees 2008 as one of the most bizarre of a lifetime?

There are two distinctly different ways to view the final turning of the calendar page at the end of the year. One is deep regret to see the circumstances and events relegated to memory; the other is the posture of good riddance of bad rubbish. Depending on your personal situation, you will probably assign one or the other and enjoy this New Year’s Eve with feelings of loss or heightened anticipation of the future.

As a family, we have much to be thankful for this year. In a land of capricious weather, we were not subject to anything which we could not deal with. Few terrifying storms interrupted the sanctity of our little paradise in the Ozarks. Early on we had considerable rain which turned the property into a veritable Eden. The Spring golf season at Honey Creek was disturbed by several holes closed on the back nine for nearly two months. The upside was my return, on a part time basis, to work in the club house.

There are several features which shall probably fix 2008 firmly in our minds as reference points of memory. The first is it shall forever be remembered as “the year of the perpetual election.” The downside was the presence of constant strife. The upside was the heightened awareness by the electorate of the machinations of government. Who can possibly claim that he knows less about those who would lead than he did in January? Whether this exercise in citizenship bears any useful fruit remains to be seen.

The second was the revelation of how fragile our economy was, is, and may in the future prove to be. If the powers that be manage to understand the year’s events and then take corrective action, we shall prosper and come out stronger. If they continue with their selfish agenda driven hocus-pocus, we shall all suffer. Simple solutions to complex problems are not always readily available and I do believe that “trail and error” is an inappropriate path to success. The most important question raised in the entire mess is one which has plagued me for decades: what is it about October which brings the fulmination of financial crisis? The tipping point for fiscal disaster of nearly every magnitude seems to occur about that time of year in each circumstance.

The third, which affected every one of Zion Beckons readers, is the radical fluctuation in the price of some commodities. The most obvious was the seemingly unchecked rise in the cost of fuel followed by the free fall to low levels of historic proportions. Although I believe I do understand the factors involved in both the rise and the fall of these prices; observations of the free market can still leave you scratching your head. A lesser cited rise in prices without an accompanying fall was that of food stuffs; particularly beef. One sees no relief on that front until the subsidies for alternative fuel combinations is abandoned.

The fourth feature of 2008 which is worthy of note is that it shall be come known as the year that the corruption of politicians reached a new low. You have your own concept of which was the most audacious example of public figures betraying the trust placed in them. I have already noted most of them with emphasis on my favorite examples. Fittingly, one of them, Rod Blagojevich, chose this week to appoint Burris to fill the seat in the senate vacated by “The One” over the objections of nearly everybody but his pizza delivery guy. Thus the year 2008 ends on a consistent note.

All in all, I don’t believe that we can claim to have suffered excessively over this last year. So far, I see little evidence we are affected too much by anything that has happened over the preceding twelve months. I will admit that keeping 3 Explorers (one never leaves the property) fed, licensed, insured and maintained seemed an excess but, they are a joy in foul weather. The creation of the new deck has proven a joy as well. Our critters have kept us comforted and the dogs, especially, have made exponential progress in bringing joy to our lives. The cats continue to be cats.

This seems an appropriate time to acknowledge our faithful readers and thank you for your continued interest: without you—nothing. I shall close with a quote from the last Monday Morning Rant of 2007 which I believe is as appropriate for this day as it was then:

“While I don’t pretend to be an able prognosticator, there are a few things which I believe you can count on in the coming year. If we hold fast to the scriptures, we will have our plans for doing His will in our grasp. If we can offer our opinions in a spirit of love for the hearer, we will become more persuasive. If we can love our God with all our might and mind and will, all will be well.”

Happy New Year!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

No comments: