Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 23, 2012

Enjoy the beauty of winter

By WILSON BUTT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Today is the third day of winter. The winter solstice occurred at 6:12 a.m. on Dec. 21 — the earliest winter since 1896. The sun’s path has reached its southernmost point in the sky and has begun advancing northward.

The first day of winter is the shortest day of the year. On the few days that the sky has been clear on the first day of winter, I have enjoyed seeing bright winter sun as it seems to skim along the ridge on East River Mountain. I am hoping for a mild winter. New fallen snow is pretty, but loses its welcome if it remains around very long.

444

Christmas is two days away. There isn’t much time left to shop. Some folks will be in line at the stores right up until the last minute. However, this Christmas has been stolen from the people of Newtown, Conn.

The constant barrage of newscasts serving to remind the survivors of the devastation can do nothing to change things or make things better. We did not need a forensic psychiatrist to tell us that the young man behind the carnage was mentally ill. It is quite evident that the killer was mentally unbalanced. We do not need Nancy Grace dissecting and sensationalizing every moment and every detail. The people and more especially the families of the victims need time to mourn and time to begin healing.

444

The loss of 20 innocent small children, six teachers, and a mother drove a wound through the heart of America. This Christmas, we hope, will be joyous for our nation. But as Chaplin Phillip Parker once said, “We are all wounded.” We cannot help but grieve for the victims.

444

The book “Good Grief” is a good book to read. At times we all grieve and it is my opinion that understanding the grieving process is paramount to healing. The book identifies 10 stages of grief — shock, emotion, depression, physical distress, panic, guilt, anger, resistance, hope and acceptance.

The grieving process is complex and deeply personal. There are many ways to grieve. The small book provides valuable insight on the emotional and physical responses people may experience during the natural process of grieving. The healing process can be enhanced when you begin to understand what is happening to you.

444

The latest proposal to reduce Social Security cost of living increases is a slap in the face to the seniors in this nation, a group that, if the government has its way, will eventually find themselves included in the very poorest in our nation. Seniors were taxed when they worked. They paid for the privilege of having Social Security and the premise at the time of adequate COLAs. Placing the burden of solving the aftermath of Congress’ insatiable thirst for spending should not be placed on social security recipients.

How did a proposal to tax the rich end up punishing the poor? The problem is that there is no social security trust fund. We supposedly have one. However our government “borrowed” the funds and our fine politicians spent the money. .

444

Dear Santa: I do not have a loose tooth and no excuse for not being good all of the time. I do have a Christmas wish list. However, at my age there are not many toys that I need. I may want them, but I do not need them.

If you get my letter I do have a favor or two to ask. If you can find a way to help our fair city, that would be nice. If you can bring happiness to each and every child, that would be nice. My list is short. My expectations are high. I do believe that you might just be able to fill my request ... and just a few more things: Don’t forget the folks in Mercer, McDowell, Tazewell, Bland and the other surrounding towns and counties. They need a few things, too. PS: Santa, I’ll let you be the judge on our politicians. I think they may have done a few good things this past year.

444

There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. I do hope you have a wonderful white Christmas and blue skies.

Wilson Butt, a resident of Bluefield, is a retired Department of Highways official.