And so this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year older
A new one just begun
It always feels right to start a holiday column with the words of John Lennon.
They seem to capture the fulcrum that is this time of year.
A chance to stop and take a breath; allow the world to turn for a day or two without us, to look back at what was and forward to what lies ahead.
And so this is Christmas-We continue to show our split personality at this time of year; customers saying that they are scrimping and looking for inexpensive gifts while retailers enjoy a fairly robust spending season that started with the best Black Friday weekend of all time.
And at the same time we have high unemployment there are reports of some five thousand jobs out there that local employers can't fill. Some are even willing to do the training if they can find people willing to show up on time, work hard and pass a drug test. It is such an enigma that a massive survey is being undertaken in an attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery.
And what have you done? What a small group of us has done over the past year is shoot at each other. The reports of gunfire on our streets have become a daily part of the newscasts, coming to a head in late October with 10 shootings in 6 days. The worst was when police found a bullet riddled Jeep on the side of Interstate 79 with a man inside shot in the head. The gun used was a military rifle from eastern Europe and the initial argument was in a bar over a cell phone.
What the people of Millcreek have done is begin a process that could change how they are governed.
What the leaders at Hamot have done is affiliate with UPMC. Supporters insist that means more medical resources are becoming available but critics wonder about the full price of losing full local control.
Another year older- But are we any wiser? Fewer of us are smoking but more are dealing with obesity related issues like heart disease and diabetes. Our children may be the first generation with a life expectancy shorter than their parents and for the first time since they've kept track of these things fewer than 50 percent of adult Americans are married.
A new one's just begun-What lies ahead for the New Year? That sounds like a good place to start next week.
Oh, and one more Thought From Under the Hat—HAPPY HOLIDAYS!