With the strains of Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December" playing softly in the background, it is time for some warm thoughts, going into 2018. From Merle's point of view "it's the coldest time of winter, and I shiver when I see the falling snow. But Merle's not from Iowa, so he wasn't familiar with how brutal February can be. Never mind, the days are getting longer, as January begins soon. Then in 100 days or so, we'll be springing into the time for calving, planting and nature renewing itself again!
Out here in rural Iowa, I think it's good to reflect on the meaning of "country. Tom T. Hall put it this way: "Country is ... mindin' your business, helpin' a stranger if he comes your way; livin' in the city, knowin' your people; country is what you make it, is all in your mind; it's workin' for a living, thinkin' your own thoughts, lovin' your town; country is teachin' your children, finding out what's right, and standin' your ground. Pretty hard to argue with Tom's sentiments, plus the politically correct folks wouldn't have too many problems with it.
Godspell, from 1973, had it right with the classic "Day by Day "Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, Love thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day. ..." Jan. 1 allows us all a fresh start, not necessarily in the making of resolutions that we'll keep for a few weeks, then fall back into the old familiar patterns, but more so along the lines of what was suggested to me by my realtor friend, John, when he quoted Brad Paisley: "Tomorrow (Jan. 1) is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one." Are we up for the challenge?
Bill Kersting, Spencer