Another year has passed, and we who share space on this big spinning ball are embarking on another 12-month journey. It sometimes seems that they never end, and at the same time we always look forward to another trek.
Earth contains a number of continents, two hemispheres, weather that ranges from arctic cold to desert heat, and areas that permit human habitation in varying conditions. Many of us would agree that the United States of America, from coast to coast and top to bottom, contains a most pleasing range. We are quite lucky in that respect.
Could it be that constant fights and feuding in certain parts of the world are linked to the rotten climate in those places? If you were forced to live in 100 degree-plus temps with minimal rainfall and a "growing season" that permits very little growing, maybe you'd be in a constantly bad mood, too. Fights with your neighbors? Why not?
Make no mistake, the U.S. has some enemies in the less hospitable areas of the world. Just ask any veteran who spent time in Iraq or Afghanistan to critique the weather there. Chances are they will be glad to be home just to experience an improved climate, never mind an escape from the hostilities.
There's more to it than the weather, of course. We have our share of hurricanes, twisters, ice storms and blizzards, and they all can cause serious trouble. Cleaning up after them has, especially in recent years, been a challenge for many. They have also shown that Americans stick together when the going gets tough.
What's all this talk about the weather? Well, it is winter, which can be downright nasty in this part of the world. Cold, snow, wind, ice, sleet and certainly we don't have to paint a picture for you, unless you've just moved here from Florida. And many people just love winter, whether it's skiing, hunting, snowmobiling or snuggling up to a fireplace. Something for everyone. We're all in it together.
As another winter, and another year, begin, we pray that the future is bright for every one of you. We hope that you and your loved ones - wherever home is - have a happy, productive, love-filled 12 months. And whatever happens, keep the faith.