Here we are in 2019. I was hoping to be all excited and embrace the new year, but instead I am battling yet another cold. As friends, co-workers, family and most anyone else who knows me can attest, when I have a cold, I am a real whiner (sometimes I don’t even need to have a cold to be a whiner, but that’s a whole other story). I caught cold right around Thanksgiving and it wouldn’t go away. I didn’t shake hands. I used several bottles of hand sanitizer. I took oodles of over-the-counter medicines and tried every home remedy which was suggested to me. After nearly four weeks it finally passed and about Christmas Eve, I felt OK.
Then about three days after Christmas I caught another one and unlike the previous version, it didn’t sneak up on me, it hit me full stride, so I am back hacking, lethargic and ticked off. Happy New Year – bah humbug.
As I researched the year in review, I was amazed at what an interesting year it was. Picking a highlight story for some months was quite easy while others were very difficult. I was interested by how stories though the year seemed to cycle. Early in the year, there were many stories about awards and fund-raising events. As the weather warmed up, more stories focused on the outdoors and things like construction and farming came to the forefront. It was a very active summer season, led off by Peculiar’s sesquicentennial which led a series of city celebrations and fairs that carried on from June until the second week of July. Ironically, I covered July Fourth celebrations in at least five locations, and other than grabbing a few pics in Harrisonville, I didn’t see any fireworks at any of them.
The end of school in May seemed followed almost immediately by school preparations in August. Much of the end of the school year centered on the “retirement” of the school superintendent followed by the search and hiring of the new superintendent. Fall came and between football and fall festivals the calendar was full. Again ironically, I attended at least seven city festivals in the fall and I still didn’t see any fireworks.
The final few weeks of the year were a really odd mix with a seemingly higher than usual number of police issues, including several very serious automobile accidents.
The summer was difficult for many around the area as a bridge closure and road construction made many short trips much longer.
Through it all, however, there was one constant – you never knew what the city government in Harrisonville was going to do next, but you knew it would be bizarre. We had controversy about being the only city in the metro area open on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; there was the sudden closure of the city boat ramp followed by its sudden reopening; there was an out-of-left-field decision to allow the sale of bottle rockets for the first time in nearly three decades and the equally bizarre decision to extend shooting hours; there was controversy over political signs, there was controversy over the police volunteer program, there was controversy when the city suddenly decided to change policies over paved driveways and parking lots and finally there was controversy as to whether or not political candidates could take “potty breaks” while standing in line all night to file for office. (The answer was no, they cannot.) As I sat and read these stories it struck me: this has to be real, you can’t make this stuff up.
During the year I shared some of my deepest, darkest secrets in my weekly column. Yes, I admitted I love gooseberry pie, pumpkin pie, beer and baseball. I also shared my dating profile which produced no dates and various other pieces of wisdom, buffoonery, insight and observations, which also produced no dates. But I know you have been reading because you comment and share and for that I am grateful.
As I have proven numerous times, I am not great at prognostications. But I will go out on a limb and make a few mystic readings for 2019. Winter will give way to spring. School will end with graduations and there will be parties throughout the summer bringing citizens of various communities together. School will start back up, football will be played. There will be fall festivals, Halloween and Christmas events and in between there will be news. And the city of Harrisonville will keep us entertained.
And hopefully, by sometime in the early spring, I will have gotten rid of my doggone cold.