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Another year, decade drawing to a close

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Wow. I look at the calendar, and I can’t believe that another year is about to end.

And another decade.

I remember when I was little, I would have been 7, and it was soon to be 1970. I was amazed. The passage of one year into a new year and decade seemed so spectacular. Until now, I was always excited when it was going to be a new decade. I think it was because it seemed to bring with it even more possibilities than just the same old 12 months.

But this year? It’s starting to seem routine. Maybe it’s because I’m older – the passage of time just seems to go faster and faster, and I’d rather not be reminded so much of that.

Or maybe, after a Millennium change, the decades just seem passe. Very possible.

But I think it’s more the former. In my family, my cousins and I now comprise the “older generation.” There are very few left of my parents’ generation, and that makes me sad. I miss the loved ones who were there when I was young; I wish that I’d spent more time with them, maybe listened a bit closer to my grandpa’s stories – even if I had heard them 100 times before.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to go back in time. I am not one of those people who wants to relive my youth. Sure, there were fun times, but I remember the not-so-fun times, and frankly, they are best kept in the past.

I like where I am today, and I can truly say I have very few regrets. My life took some strange turns, but that route brought me here, and I’m happy for that. I have a great family (including my terrific husband, of course), a very nice home, a great job and stability – something I never had at any other time during my adult life.

When I look ahead to the next decade, my main hope is that my family stays healthy. I hope that our happiness continues and that we get a chance to welcome the newest generation – grandchildren – to the world. I hope they live close enough to visit often, so we can retell our stories until they don’t listen anymore.

My wish is for the economy to improve, locally and globally, and that Bedford, Milton and Trimble County as a whole, grow yet stay rural enough to maintain our small-town character.

I hope that, one way or another, we get a bridge built between Milton and Madison, Ind., and if we are without a bridge for any length of time, that it goes smoothly and quickly. I hope the down-side predicted during that time, too, is not as bad as projections show it could be.

I hope that the school district continues to improve as our educators strive toward providing an excellent education to our children. Additionally, I hope the fixation on standardized testing will go the way of the dinosaur. I’ve never been a fan, and I think our kids deserve better.

So, what is it that you wish for the new year, 2010, and new decade? What are your hopes for the future? Where would you like to see our county in 2020? Feel free to send us a letter or an e-mail, and we’ll publish your thoughts here on the Opinion page. (Addresses are listed in the staff box in the bottom left-hand corner.)

And, on behalf of the staff of the Trimble Banner here in Bedford and in Carrollton, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

  Phyllis McLaughlin is editor of The Trimble Banner.