"It's a New Year!"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ready or not – 2016 is here!!

I hope this column finds my readers, friends, family and neighbors all recovering from a joyous Christmas holiday. I’m sure many of you enjoyed the long weekend provided this year. Perhaps you spent time with family members you don’t often have an opportunity to celebrate with.

My wife, Pat, and I made attempts to increase AT&T’s bottom line with long calls around the country. They are never just short, happy holiday chats, but more the “tell me every gift you received” kind. There was also the quiz about “did you like it, was it the right size and color”?

With family located in states all around the country it’s great to hear from them and two or three times in one day, over the extended weekend, was an extra pleasure.

How unfortunate that disasters don’t take the holiday season off. The severe weather wouldn’t even let up during the celebrations of Christmas day. The views of destruction left in the wake of the tornado that tore through Birmingham, Alabama, Christmas Day was so severe even the reporter found it beyond belief. It certainly dampened the spirits of all those who tuned in and made us grateful we were not in the path of the storms which continued throughout the week.

As I see it, we are all eager to have the weather get back to normal this time of year — cold in the north, warm in the south. The entire East Coast, from Florida to Maine has been setting high temperature and high tide records. The Farmer’s Almanac has been way off the mark, but forecasters claimed winter weather for the eastern states was “just around the corner.”

And so it was as freezing temps hit, the white stuff flew around and sleet joined in to make traveling treacherous. Just as millions of people who traveled during the holiday were making trips home. Winter is making its appearance after all. South Florida weather forecasters are threatening temperatures will fall from the record highs of daily 85’s into the 70’s.

With another long weekend to celebrate the New Year, think about getting it off to a good start. Parties and football game viewing get-togethers will encourage a little drinking so be sure to choose a designated driver. Now that icy roads may prevail, with blowing snow, all the more reason for caution.

During the warm weather extension, did everyone take care of their vehicle’s needs? If not, the New Year could be off to a costly, bad start. Better check it out, especially anti-freeze levels and any other maintenance required.

Making resolutions? I’ve made mine — to watch fewer political updates. The daily “free” coverage provided to specific hopefuls, while little attention is given to others, has worn thin. It’s simply redundant — how often can we hear the very same statements? We do not expect, nor do we want, the media to choose our candidates. I seem to recall the dictate, “Of the people, for the people, by the people” used as a description of our democracy. The major networks, perhaps influenced by their debate involvements, are focusing too much on their opinions.

I for one was certain the holiday season would see a cutback on the political coverage, but no — not a day passed without an exchange of jabs and nasty comments made by candidates. So I say, let’s take a break and just avoid watching for a while, we sure have lots of time later to tune in to the same old commentary.

I wish to thank all those that sent Christmas cards for Pat’s collection — many still do. We especially enjoyed the ones with photos — the Smith, St. Cyr, Wiley and Zimm family ones were great! What a great idea, Christmas card exchanges as a way to announce family events.

I sincerely hope you all have a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

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