2013 is officially here. Like many others, I’m hoping for a better year this year. 2012 was not the year I had hoped for. It started off the same, full of hope for a great year. So what happened?
This time last year, we had an election to look forward to, and hopes for a conservative in the White House were high. But those hopes were tested by a considerably nasty election. Candidates made statements, the other side cried “LIES!” As was pointed out to me, who lied more depended on the lenses you viewed the election through, but my lense was rather clear. The left twisted more statements, made up more outrageous lies and sold the citizens of this country a bill of goods that we will be paying for much longer than the 4 more years Obama won.
Not only was politics volatile, so was the weather. It started out rather innocous. January was one of the warmest on record, and the 2012 winter was not much of a snowy mess. While there wasn’t much snow, February brought strong tornadoes from Nebraska to Tennessee. March was the warmest since 1895 and brought more tornadoes in the Ohio River Valley. Tornadoes continued into April on the Central Plains. May started an early hurricane season and tropical storms Alberto and Beryl. The upside was they brought much needed rain to the southeast.
June was especially damaging in the mid Atlantic to Illinois when a derecho, a line of fast moving severe storms, caused significant wind damage. Over 3.4 million households lost power. My own state was hit hard and because of downed trees and electric lines, many households who lost power were out for more than a week. Lack of rain generally caused an extreme drought over 56% of US, until Tropical Storm Debby brought some temporary drought relief. The drought continued through the summer.
October was the worst hit. Post-tropical cyclone Sandy, a convergence of three major storms devastated the Mid Atlantic, especially the New Jersey coast and New York. It also brought blizzard conditions across the Central and Southern Appalachians. Over a foot of snow was reported in 6 states from NC to PA. Sandy caused $25,000,000,000 in lost business activity, 8,100,000 homes who lost power in 17 states as far west as Michigan. People showed their good sides as 57,000 utility workers from 30 states and Canada who came to New York and New Jersey to help restore power. Many also donated food for Thanksgiving and money to help those hardest hit.
Then there were the shootings … Chardon High School Shooting on Monday, Feb. 27, leaving 3 dead and 2 wounded. Aurora, Colorado Shooting on Friday, July 20, leaving 12 people dead and 58 injured. It had been the deadliest shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School in April 20, 1999. Empire State Building Shooting on Friday, Aug. 24, leaving 2 dead including the shooter. The Sikh Temple Shooting on Sunday, Aug.5, leaving 6 dead and 4 wounded, including the shooter. Sandy Hook Shooting on December 14, 2012 26 people, including 20 children and six adult staff members were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Newtown, Connecticut. The Sandy Hook massacre is the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history, after the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007.
I refuse to name each of the shooters, they don’t deserve to be remembered. Each of these shootings brought out cries of a need for further gun control, especially the last, pitting more Americans against each other.
Another shooting also brought national attention, but for a different reason. The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman on the night of February 26, in Florida set off a national firestorm of allegations of racist motivation for both the shooting and police conduct. It also set off debates about the main stream media who released false and inflammatory information. This made the situation even more of a tinderbox. Whether racist or not remains to be seen as Zimmerman still awaits trial.
2012 was tumultuous at best, divisive at worst. There were a few glimmers of good. We each know the good that happened in our own lives in 2012. I made new friends and deepened old ones, passed the 20 year mark in my marriage, watched my oldest child graduate from high school and sent him off to college. Watched my youngest child find a new passion and start high school. Joyfully, a friend’s daughter who had gone missing the week before Christmas was found safely after two days.
Lastly, 2012 brought me the chance to write for this amazing website, and share my insights and opinions with all of you. Now I want to share my wish for a Happy and prosperous New Year to each of you.