Looking ahead, we are mindful 2014 is an election year. Being that the issues and feelings that set the table for the last election have not abated a whit, we fully expect a rancorous year ahead as the divisions between us are highlighted and underscored all year long, as if Americans' fundamental right to disagree is the issue, more so than the things we actually disagree about.
It's no secret Congress was abysmally ineffective last year and, looking ahead to the fall elections, indications are congressional leaders plan to do as little as possible in the coming year. It seems actually getting something done is viewed merely as giving the opposition more to use in the campaign against you.
We keep bumping up against this because in a very real way, we see how America could work in a microcosm in Lincoln County.
Even if they were so inclined, our local elected leaders, selectmen and school board members, don't have the luxury of putting off major decisions for years on end. They are charged with making their towns work now and, being the last stop on the chain of government, it falls to them to make sure business gets done at the local level.
We see, too, the spirit of community moving people to man food pantries, turn out to support causes like the Pirates Rendezvous, and attend the many benefits supporting this or that cause.
We literally couldn't function locally if we didn't have members of the community volunteering en masse wherever they are needed.
Coaches' stipends not withstanding, our local schools would look dramatically different even if we didn't have parents and retirees lending a hand. Look no further than the new Great Salt Bay Community School playground for evidence of that.
We don't even want to think about what would happen if our volunteer firefighters, as a group, decided they couldn't continue taking time away from their homes and families and work responsibilities.
A lot is not working in this country right now, but a lot is working right here in Lincoln County.
The morning after every election we allow ourselves time to hope the new incumbents will comport themselves with the highest degree of civility, statesmanship and ability.
We try to treat each new year the same way. Each Baby New Year is a clean slate; a fresh set of downs as football announcers say.
Of course, what could be easier than flipping the calendar and starting each year anew.