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What I have written in the past year has been mostly in a political vein. I wish to change that for this post.

Living in St. Mary’s County for some 38 years has been a boon to my family’s style of life. We have had solitude when needed and good, kind neighbors being helpful without asking. The children and grandchildren have learned the comforts of rural living without relinquishing the variety of modern life.

The weather and its vagaries have provided us with the delights of azure sky and frightening storms, but, I insist this part of the Tidewater lands is the least dangerous of this country’s regions.

One house-shaking tremor, an occasional brush by the fringes of a hurricane and a one very strong tornado, which, with some smaller and less destructive ones have occasioned by. Some minor floods, though not in my immediate area. A couple of 25-inch snows, which only lay for a few days before surrendering to the kindest weather this side of Hawaii.

The wonderful people of this region have proved to be kind and thoughtful. As we, Sue and I, have grown old and less physically capable, many instances of consideration and small but tremendous helpfulness have been afforded us.

I wish to thank you one and all for holding doors open, helping navigate stairs, reaching too high shelves, asking if help is needed and all the other kindnesses offered.

May this post dispel the dire thoughts engendered by my more political writings and in the spirit of the season allow a new beginning.

We are all blessed by this wonderful community.

Thank you, one and all for your neighborliness and kindnesses.

Happy New Year.

James M. Blass, Mechanicsville