2019: A year that could...

By Daniel Dunkle | Jan 03, 2019

My favorite Bill Murray movie is probably "Groundhog Day." In the movie he plays a newscaster doomed to repeat the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Of course, the not-so-subtle message is that many of us feel like that. We have our routine, our job, our same three or four meals that we tend to make, over and over. But will we ever get it right?

At the Courier, we have had a "Groundhog Year." After 20 years of doing this, I've noticed a pattern, so based on that, I have some predictions for 2019.

First, on the plus side, politically speaking, 2019 is an off year. We will not see a major election this year, meaning fewer campaign ads and all of that nonsense. Of course, elections are becoming like Christmas. They start earlier and earlier every time, so before the year is out, you can expect some Presidential election predictions and they will all be dead wrong. (Try saying that three times fast: "Presidential election predictions").

In January and February, towns around here with March town meetings will have busy budget committees and select boards. Town meetings will be held as usual in March, and while townspeople will barely discuss them before passing massive public works budgets, they will argue at length over $50 for some local nonprofit agency.

In the winter we will complain about the cold, the ice, the dark, while sitting cozy in our houses enjoying good books, newspapers, games with friends and family, and so on. Some in our communities will not be so lucky, of course, and that might be a good reason to go ahead and raise your hand to support that $50 here and $100 there for nonprofits and charities.

The Legislature will be somewhat more functional with the new governor, but they'll still find something to fight about. Not as much will get done as we hoped, but sometimes doing things is overrated anyway.

In the spring we will complain about the roads, though we can pretty much do that year round.

Summer will launch with Memorial Day ceremonies and parades. We'll be busy putting our gardens in, getting those radishes and peas in early. I'll be cursing those beastly red ants.

Thomaston's Fourth of July parade and fireworks will usher in high summer. The potholed roads will clog with construction and tourists. Mosquitoes will be out in force.

Tanned and cheerful, we will make three trips each Saturday and another two or three on Sunday to the hardware and home improvement stores as we work on those repairs around the house. We'll complain about the weeding, but we'll be happiest out there soaking up the Vitamin D, smelling the fresh cut grass and charcoal smoke.

Throngs of thousands will crisp up in Harbor Park while listening to the blues.

Then others will be back for the Maine Lobster Festival. The festival will have changed something to make up for last year and locals will complain about the changes anyway.

There will be more car crashes in summer than there were in winter because overconfidence is more dangerous than ice. Those will be bad this year too, because we still haven't learned not to text and drive.

The Union Fair will be indistinguishable from the one the year before. Only the names of the blueberry princesses will have changed, but all those names are familiar to anyone paying attention to Groundhog Year.

If climate change hasn't progressed too much, there will be a chill in the air those last nights of Union Fair, and just like that fall will have begun.

We'll be eating those green beans and seeing if the neighbors want some of the excess zucchinis or tomatoes. I'll be taking selfies out with my sunflowers. Should be good for a few likes on Facebook anyway.

With no big election, it should be pretty quiet. We'll hang on to the sunlight as long as we can.

Then will come choosing pumpkins out in the hills, picking apples, drinking fresh cider, solving corn mazes.

Kids will go back to school and mornings will become hectic. Hopefully Oceanside will finally put the construction behind it.

Hopefully Halloween will find me dressed in some idiotic getup, enjoying that cool haunted house over on Summer Street.

The next morning they will stock the shelves with the Christmas candy. Kids will make cookies and watch the train over at the Farnsworth.

The City Council will have found time in 2019 to argue about cruise ships, marijuana facilities (which will turn the area tacky in the coming year), AirBnBs, marina proposals, whether to waive this or that fee, whether to maintain this or that funding. Overall, it will mostly end up with the status quo.

I predict there will be no rabid otter attacks at Sandy Beach in 2019, but I wouldn't put it past a puffin or seal to go rogue.

And as this year draws to a close, I expect the editor of The Courier-Gazette will be writing Year End Review stories and predictions about 2020, but I won't say for sure because I was always taught growing up that when you predict anything, you say "Lord willing."

So in 2019, I predict this community will mostly get it right.

But I'll add, "Lord willing."

Happy New Year.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Eric Thurston | Jan 04, 2019 15:57

Save this article for next year. A few political updates and you're home free.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 03, 2019 13:34

Touché! and a Happy New Year to you and all!

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