We are happy to report that we have successfully survived both the Christmas and the New Year holidays. We were visited for Christmas by our granddaughters, Abby and Marin, as well as their parents, Christopher and Annie. And while it proved to be a rather hectic time, we think it is safe to say that the holiday was greatly enjoyed by all. 

And, in spite of the rainy weather, and the somewhat long wait, Abby was able to share her Christmas wish list with Santa here in Cooperstown. She had very carefully written out the list herself with spelling help from her mother. And we are delighted to report that Santa was able to read it without too much difficulty. All in all, we gather it was a successful visit with the jolly old elf. And he did manage to bring almost everything that was on the wish list.

And now that the holidays are over, we find ourselves heading full tilt into 2015. Every year when we pull out the new calendar we are always hopeful that the issues of the previous year will have been resolved and we will be able to move onto something else. Unfortunately, that has never been the case. And we must admit that we do not think 2015 will be the exception.

For example, there is still time, we believe, to participate in the CCS survey regarding the possibility of adopting a veteran’s tax exemption. The survey is available online at www.cooperstowncs.org. Under “Featured News” click on “learn more” to access the survey. Individuals wishing to submit input through a paper survey may obtain one by calling 547-8181 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Recommendations regarding the issue will be made to the board of education at its Jan. 21 meeting.

We were also somewhat surprised to discover that the Daily Star has an online poll which asks the question: “Do you support New York State’s proposed ban on hydrofracking?” Two weeks after being posted, the responses have been: Yes, 29.5 percent, No,  68.5 percent and Undecided/No opinion, 2 percent. And while it is in no way a scientific poll, we nonetheless were somewhat surprised by the results. It makes us think that the natural gas issue is not yet off the table and will no doubt continue to be an issue for a while longer.

Likewise, with the recent grant to continue with the updating of the Cooperstown Comprehensive Plan, the update is another issue of local interest that is destined to continue into the new year. And as it goes forward, we will be most interested to see what new trends have arisen for the village since the comprehensive plan that was done in the 1990s. Of course, that plan was done entirely by locals and was based on a very detailed 105 question survey that was conducted door-to-door. Such an undertaking has not been done this time and, in fact, there are those in the community who think visitors have been given equal, if not more, input into the plan than have the residents. It is another issue that will no doubt prove interesting to follow.

Of course, there are also undertakings which we are most glad to realize will continue into the new year. One such thing is the monthly meetings of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown. We were also most delighted to realize that we received as Christmas presents all but two of the books on this year’s reading list. So we are all set to plunge headlong into some serious reading this winter.

We note that the group’s first meeting of the year will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at our house, located at 105 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. We will be leading the discussion of Jon Meacham’s book “American Gospel,” which has the rather interesting subtitle of “God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation.” We anticipate a lively discussion and encourage anyone interested in attending to do so.

And finally, we must say we are somewhat stunned by the evident popularity of our last column of 2014. One of our readers e-mailed us saying: “Thank you so much for the fun column this morning! I laughed out loud. ... What a great way to end a rather “unfunny” year. Reach down into your email bag again soon please and keep us laughing all year, sure beats the alternative!”

Another reader sent an e-mail which ended with: “And I continue to find your column the high point of my Crier experience. My only advice is: Don’t sell that cow.” And still another reader asked us where on Earth we get all the jokes that she so enjoys. In fact, she lamented that people do not seem tell jokes anymore like they used to, something with which we agree and something for which we might all be the poorer.

In answer to her question, we pointed out that we are basically dependent upon family and friends sending us jokes which they think might be fodder for the column. Of course, we must admit that we cannot use all the jokes we get. Some are inappropriate for consumption in a family newspaper. Some are far too political in nature. And frankly, some aren’t all that funny. However, we do hope the we will continue to receive enough jokes to keep our readers happy in the weeks and months ahead.

Of course, if that does not prove to be the case, there is always the possibility of finding any number of jokes on any number of topics online. In fact, we end this column with what we found to be a most timely thought which we found at http://www.jokes4us.com/holidayjokes/newyearsjokes.html.

It reads: “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer St., Cooperstown, N.Y., 13326, by telephone at 547-8124 or by e-mail at cellsworth1@stny.rr.com.

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