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The only thing that remains constant is change

I’m sure you don’t need to be told that a New Year has started and now we have to get used to writing 2020 on our correspondence and checks. That is if we are still writing checks and not using some new electronic system that I have not figured how to operate. Or maybe it is that I just don’t trust all these new devices.

At any rate, greeting the New Year is quite different than it used to be for me. For more than 50 years, we spent New Year’s Eve with Kenny and Margaret Ann Brown from Mecca and Bob and Jean Stoltz from Concord and Westerville near Columbus. We would rotate years at each place for dinner and to watch the New Year come in.

During our early years, both the Browns and Stoltzes lived on farms and they had snowmobiles. If there was enough snow, our families would love to go out riding on those machines. The boys would rev them up pretty good and carefully give passengers a brisk ride.

Eventually, they would get cold and would be ready to come inside. Hot chocolate and cookies tasted good along about then as we got ready to watch TV and the ball drop on Times Square in New York to welcome in the New Year.

As the years went along, our families grew up, went off to college and had activities of their own on New Year ‘s Eve. For a number of years, it was just the six of us getting together to welcome in the New Year — if we could stay awake, that is.

So now what do we look for in 2020 and the decade or more after that? You are as much of an expert about that as I am.

One thing that seems sure is change. Change is all around us and will continue.

What will the weather be like? Many people, especially my farmer friends, say it has been the most difficult year they can remember. Spring weather didn’t allow for most corn and soybeans to be planted until two week to a month late. Very little good hay was made.

Golfers didn’t like last spring because the spring rains ruined a lot of golf games. They didn’t like getting wet and splashing around hunting for golf balls in the water puddles.

We did have a fairly good growing season and many crops looked good going in to harvest. Once again, the weather didn’t cooperate and a lot of corn and beans didn’t get harvested until late. In fact, there are still a few fields of corn still standing out there, but the nice weather of late December allowed many of them to get into grain bins or off to market.

One of my Christmas presents is a copy of “The Old Farmer’s Almanac.” With that in hand, maybe I can be considered a weather expert. At least I like to think so, but please don’t call me for a weather forecast. You can buy a copy of the almanac and be you own expert.

My dad used to say that “as the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen.” We might find some truth in that if we watch January weather carefully.

Some forecasters are saying that early January will be a little warmer than normal. Then late January will turn colder with more snow. February will be cold with considerable snow early.

We’ll have to watch and see if they are right.

What else might we see this year? We have the finish of the impeachment proceedings of our president, if the politicians can agree on how they want to proceed. We will also have a presidential election and it will be exciting to see how that turns out.

A lot of things are in the works with space flight. We might see the first passengers on a space flight orbit the earth or astronauts making trips on U.S. made space ships for a change, instead of Russian made.

Electric and self-driving cars will probably be more popular. When there are a lot of self-driving cars on the roads, I’m going to stay home.

Many more advances that will be hard to believe are in the works.

Parker is professor emeritus of The Ohio State University and an independent writer for the Tribune Chronicle.

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