Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Happy New Year!

Well, here we are, a week into the New Year already. The last piece of fudge has been eaten; we’ve had all the egg nog we can handle; we have already broken at least one of the New Year’s resolutions by now. And we have nearly 45 minutes more light than we had at Solstice.

The holidays for us were chock full of activity, beginning at Thanksgiving when my sister from Palmer and her husband came down. We haven’t shared a holiday for a number of years, so it was a pleasant time, even if I DID have to cook. We did the bazaars the next day and played cards and board games until everyone had won a couple of times. They left on Saturday morning with leftovers in the back seat. It was a great beginning to a season that just kept growing.

Every organization we belong to, and there are many, had a Christmas party, so beginning early in December we had desserts, teas, potlucks, and meetings with food at every turn. Amazing how many ‘Mom’s recipe’ exists for salads, cakes, drinks, and pies. At least people my age are still cooking, and I hope passing along the skill to the next generation or two. When Christmas finally arrived, everyone was stretching their waistbands and wondering where the next 5,000 calories were going to go.

I know ’tis the season when I see the teddy bear in lights go up in Leif Hansen Park and the big lighted trees at the corner of Main Street Loop and Willow, across from the fire station. The days right before the Solstice seemed very dark because of the overcast, I guess, and the lack of snow. It was a pleasure to see the lights outlining the roofs downtown and on the otherwise bare trees. Those lights are one of the traditions of the winter that always buoy my mood as it gets darker and darker. You’d think it wouldn’t be such a surprise every year, but the darkness always hits me some morning when I plan to drive to Soldotna before 9 a.m. and it’s dark and slick and just plain yucky out. Makes me realize there is a reason we are supposed to have snow in December.

The year has passed very quickly. Everyone is saying the same thing. Last year about this time we were looking toward the inauguration and wondering what the next 100 days would bring. The political year has progressed as expected. The far left has such a dedicated agenda to thwart Mr. Trump no matter what that they have stumbled more than once in the process of trying to advance it .

But the right isn’t any better. Fighting among themselves until the last minute, then capitulating just to make the point that THEY are in charge. Both sides are being played by a master manipulator who, politician or not, has played the game for years much better than any of them. That is not to say his plans aren’t valid and beneficial but the achievements and news of them too often gets lost in the shuffle of one-upmanship.

I think the worst sin of this president is that he is the ‘man on the street’ and plays the game as such. I remember my Mom saying about Harry Truman, “They say anyone can grow up to be president, and Harry Truman just proved it.” I expect the feeling is the same about Donald Trump.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s brought us some cold weather and returned our winter wonderland. There were a few left over parties during that week and lots of left over goodies. New Year’s weekend approached in a flurry of snow and almost a sigh of relief. The kids still had another week out of school, so the vacation mood lingered even after the first, at least for the school agers, but by the time the Christmas decorations were taken down and put away and the football games were over, the countdown had begun for Valentine’s Day.

Next month when I return we’ll be enjoying 5 minutes more a day of daylight. It will be Superbowl Sunday and someone will be fishing for winter kings. We’ll also be thinking about the Winter Olympics. No Russians competing as a country; the possibility of trans-gender women competing, and the always present fear of North Korea being in such close proximity. It will definitely be an Olympics to go down in history.

But in the meantime, it’s time to get back to the ordinary routine, whatever that is. January is always the longest month. And the darkest. I find myself sleeping until it gets light then napping again by dark; doesn’t leave much time to accomplish much during the day. February can’t arrive too soon!

Virginia Walters lives in Kenai. Email her at vewalters@gci.net.

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