In 2011 in the Hood River Valley, our farmers have ebbed and flowed with the weather, but have been blessed with another bountiful harvest.
What's more, we've experienced a dry start to winter - after one of the wettest springs on record - yet of late realize that things can change quickly.
We've had troops come home and had others depart - though perhaps not with the same amount of fanfare.
We've had businesses close their doors, while, at the same time, other entrepreneurs are planning for their grand openings or expansions.
We've tightened our pocketbooks and learned once again how to do just fine with less.
We've survived a small occupation, and perhaps paused to learn more about what its movement means.
We celebrated the 25th anniversary of a scenic act, while planning for more expansion near our largest natural resource, the Columbia River - taking advantage of its allure, but doing our best to not spoil its beauty.
We've rebuilt councils and commissions, knowing that the process isn't personal - despite the fact that it's extremely difficult to always remove personalities from that process.
We've come to understand that going green means different things to different people - and that the answer isn't always blowing in the wind.
We continue to welcome new people to our playground, acknowledging the benefits they bring to our local culture and economy.
We continue to educate our children, in part by embracing new ways in doing so - including how to function within very tight budgets.
We've buried some of our friends, neighbors and family, and we've witnessed the birth of members of the next generation.
We're not quite sure what the year ahead will bring, but we can speculate it will include happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, serious moments and somber ones - and taxes.
We will plan and invest for the future, but hopefully we'll live in the moment.