Opinion: Ringing in the New Year


Commentary by Ward Degler

My wife and I stayed up on New Year’s Eve. A first for both of us for many years.

We hadn’t planned it. We both assumed that we would be headed for the barn when the clock struck 10, or at the latest, 11.

Instead, we watched a couple of shows on TV and then decided to check our email accounts before calling it a day. At some point, my wife said, “It’s midnight! It’s New Year’s!”

I turned on the television and tuned in to Times Square in New York City, where thousands of happy revelers were kissing, singing and generally having a good time.

We watched for at least the next half hour, transfixed by the undulating crowd in the city that never sleeps. At one time, we could have been a part of that crowd. Or been at a party.

I remember driving home in a snowstorm at 1 a.m. one year, so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open. All while my windshield wipers fought a losing battle to clear the windshield. I remember stopping twice to wipe away the snow.

Those were younger days. Now, I seldom go out after dark.

When we finally went to bed, I paused to reflect on the past year. Generally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I wondered how I had behaved in 2023.

After all, to the best of my ability, I had promised God to accept his love and pass it on to others.

Upon reflection, I could have done better. Maybe being awake to welcome the new year was to let me know that.

Let me start 2024 by wishing everyone who reads this column a

happy and prosperous New Year.


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