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Where Did Decade Go?

Just a week ago, winter began. No one noticed as it has been unseasonably warm. My husband noted the start of winter with his usual bright attitude. He remarked that the days will now begin to get longer, even if only by a minute or two each day. Those minutes, however, add up and truly make a difference to the world around us.

No one enjoys the dark days of this season. Some of us would prefer to wait out winter in a warm, comfortable place, away from the after-Christmas maddening crowd. Wouldn’t it be nice, for a few months, to forget the holiday bills?

I noticed the birds chirping on Friday as if it were spring. Mother Nature can be cruel sometimes. We and the birds should know that frigid temperatures and snow are possible now through March.

Change is upon us once again. In less than a week, we must learn to write 2020 on our checks and letters. It seems to me that we just entered the year 2000. I’m not sure where 20 years have gone.

Looking around our fair valley, it’s easy to see how life has changed in a once-thriving industry-based area. Most of the smokestacks are cold now. Parking lots once overflowing with employees are mere waste lands.

Buildings formerly filled with patients, nurses, doctors and others are but shells. Their walls echo with the memory of footsteps of people running to care for those in need.

All of these places hold memories for scores of people who have been born in these cities and towns. Families filled with tradesmen and women have splintered to areas beyond the local boundaries in an effort to find jobs.

On a positive note, there has been a resurgence among the population. Some of those young people have returned to the Ohio Valley to work in back office, technical and white collar jobs. Even a few doctors have made their way back home, claiming it’s a good place to raise kids. And the variety of retirement facilities have found plenty of tenants that enjoy the amenities available to them.

Whatever this new year and new decade bring, my wish for all of you is that we find some common ground to allow this country to thrive and grow in the right direction.

Have a happy, healthy and safe new year.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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