At the end of 2011, I had an easy time coming up with a list of the year's momentous events. I'm having a harder time for 2012. Here's what I have so far:
1. The bitterly divisive presidential election. It went far beyond the pale of civil discourse, even locally. There is absolutely no reason to call a candidate "an idiot," no matter how much you may dislike him or her. Yet otherwise nice people did, every single day. The vitriol was appalling. A funny and oh-so-true picture was going around online in December: "I've saved so much money on Christmas presents by discussing politics on Facebook."
Not that I'm always moderate in expressing my opinions. But a few weeks ago I lunched with a neighbor who holds many political positions that are polar opposites of my own. And guess what: we found plenty that we agreed on -- in politics and in life -- and we had a lovely time.
2. Snow was a no-show during the 2011-12 winter. Ironically, I replaced my sports car with an SUV because the former, although it was four-wheel-drive, had absolutely no ground clearance and was pretty much useless in anything over an inch of snow. I think we got more snow this Christmas Eve than we did the whole prior winter.
3. We lost some good people this year, way, WAY too early. I'm thinking of Sarah Thomas and Paul Rowland. I love seeing how Sarah's family and friends are remembering her with bonfires and kickball tourneys, not to mention how her spirit lives on through her organ donations. And we said goodbye to others who led lives fully lived, like Dr. Ramsay Buchanan, Bill Dreisbach, Bob Hennes, Jody Shoemaker, and Artie Yeatman. Miss them all.
4. Before a packed house, the West Marlborough supervisors joined almost every other local municipality in enacting a earned income tax. The township needs to raise more money because of decreased income from real-estate transfer taxes and increased legal fees due to various zoning spats, mostly in and around the village of Springdell.
5. It was great to see our world-class local horsemen and women competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer. And back in Unionville we enjoyed the usual round of equestrian/social events: the Cheshire Races, various competitions at the beautiful Plantation Field and an injury-free Pennsylvania Hunt Cup held on a windy, freezing day that challenged even the hardiest spectators (i.e., me).
6. In the wake of Occupy Blow Horn in October 2011, Anne and John Moss erected a replacement "Blow Horn" sign in their front yard at Routes 82 and 841, just across from the old and now-erased/eroded sign. Three for the mill!