Farewell to 2017, hello to 2018

The year 2017 is now officially over. Like many years it had its challenges and its moments that brought us a range of emotions, from happiness to sadness to frustration. I think most people would agree that it was a year that seemed to have more than its share of divisiveness.

This past year there seemed to be a lot of subjects that divided people into two groups or more. True, some matters, like politics, have been dividing people for years, but it seemed in 2017, that it was more divisive then usual. For some the thing that probably best represents what made the year divisive was President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. In a way it reminds me of a line from a movie about radio deejay Howard Stern, where his fans and his critics both tuned in to see what he would say next. Whether you support President Trump, are one of his critics or are just enjoying the show, I think most of us can agree he’s made his first year in office anything but boring. There’s been many other things that people have found themselves on opposite sides in 2017. There was the sexual harassment accusations made at public figures. The #metoo movement that grew out of that. The ongoing debates on immigration and illegal immigration, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and how to handle gun control and the mass shootings.

Me, all I can hope for is that the people who are making the decisions will actually talk about these issues. The discussions be open and not filled with hard stances of who is better. They remember the art of negotiation, where there’s give and take. And especially they remember at the end of the day that their decisions will affect people.

Weather On a lighter note, we can definitely agree the weather has made a drastic change in the last few weeks. For an example, the last two holiday weekends. On Saturday, Dec. 23, I was heading north to see my family. The temps were in the high teens and low 20s and I was able to step outside without a coat or gloves, although I was wearing a hat and layered with a light sweater, a turtle neck and a few more. I was comfortable and enjoying the sunny winter day. Skip to this past Saturday, Dec. 30, and it was a different ballgame. Temperatures were 6 to 12 degrees below zero fahrenheit and while there was sun, it was a bitingly cold day. I was out covering the 58th Annual Sno-Bowl and I was bundled up. I had snow boots on, heavy socks, a vest, a winter jacket and a heavy cap. With enough movement I was keeping warm. I wasn’t that comfortable, but I was warm, mostly.

One of the other times I’ve been in weather like that was during a day of family skiing at Buena Vista ski resort near Bemidji. We found out that with the wind chill it was 30 below zero. We skied a little, but not much. The bandanas we wore to cover our faces were so covered with frost that I swear they held their shapes for five minutes after we came inside.

We are into the first few days of 2018 and I hope that this will be a better year for all of us, in some way shape or form. Happy New Year and keep warm.

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