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Lynn James: 21st decade of 21st Century is off to a blazing start, not wanting to be outdone by the last

Has anyone noticed when we started the new year, we started a new decade? Yes, a decade starts with the year ending in a “1” not a zero. And what a roaring start! This has indeed become “our winter of discontent” in more ways than one.
Between the pandemic of the virus, ignorance of our nation’s by-laws, and relentless snow in February, we certainly can’t compare the opening of this year to any other.
January started off with such a big bang in Washington, it took our attention away from the virus. Whether it was a good break or a bad break depends on your perspective, but repercussions of January 6th will last for years to come. Did we learn anything from it?  Maybe. Time will tell.

At least we are all more aware of the fact that words matter. What one may say figuratively, another may take literally. So know your audience and speak accordingly.

It reminded me of a day in my high school freshman English class, when our teacher told us to exchange the essays we had written the night before and then tear them up. Some took that literally and started ripping the pages to shreds until in a deep voice our teacher said, “I mean edit your classmate’s essay.” Then he passed out the red pens.
High school seniors would have understood his instructions, but we were dumbfounded. Not much harm was done that day which scotch tape couldn’t fix, but we can’t say the same for January 6th.

Both literal (meaning physical) and figurative (meaning patriotic) harm was done to our nation and our capital that day.

In January, as the coronavirus ravaged on and the hospitals continued to overflow with COVID patients (as well as the morgues and “make shift” morgues), we lost a king (Larry King, that is) and gained a diplomat or two (I leave those names up to you).
We also saw the installation of a new president which happens every four years whether with the re-inauguration of our current president or the start of a term for a new president. Party affiliation may not really matter in the end. That office is constantly going back and forth through the years between Republicans and Democrats for as long as I can remember.
Watching the Biden inauguration is pure evidence of it with 3 of the past 4 presidents in attendance: with Democrat Clinton, Republican W. Bush, Democrat Obama, the absence of Republican Trump. The 3 who attended were there to support the swearing in of Democrat Biden. See a pattern there?
We can go back further too: Republican Bush, Republican Reagan, Democrat Carter, Republican Nixon, Democrat Johnson and the pattern continues on and on. (Just a note of clarification: Republican Gerald Ford was never actually elected.)

Only 4 of the last 8 former presidents served for two terms evenly split between 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats. A nice balance. Just the way our fore founders wanted it. Just the way our U.S. Constitution demands it. The system works.
As January ended and February began, things seemed to settle down. We were entertained by the end of the football season with superb football match-ups before the final game.
We were reminded that even those whom we believe are beyond their prime in their profession may be more skilled than we realize. It turned out Brady had at least one more winning Super Bowl in him just as Biden had at least one more winning election in him. Not sure if either will win their coveted trophy again in 1or 4 years, but we’ll see (refer to the previous paragraph for the odds of another two-term president).
We all held our breathes after the Super Bowl waiting and fearing the covid numbers would rise again, but luckily things seem to settle down (at least for now). Except for the weather which surprised us (and surprised all of our weather professionals) with a “once in a decade” snowfall that lasted for 2 weeks before the great thaw. Some of us haven’t shoveled that much snow in a long time.
Hopefully that’s the end of snow for this season.

Now our attention will turn to the impending flooding as the snow melts, the closing of 2 bridges across the Ohio River for the year (one completely, the other with reduction in lanes), the race to get a covid vaccine when it’s our turn (age before beauty), and the hope the winter season is well on its way out.
Additional challenges are waiting for us in the seasons ahead but I’ll leave those for another day.

The 21st year of the 21st century has certainly made its mark as a memorable year right from the start. Guess it didn’t want to be outdone by 2020. Since we’re only 2 months along, may heaven help us with the next 10.

Lynn James is a lifelong resident of Northern Kentucky and has lived in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties. She enjoys living and observing real life with real people.

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