In our globalized world, the New Year shares the same definition. A year is defined as the time taken by planet Earth to make one revolution around the sun.
However, the end results vary. While Americans will celebrate the start of year A.D. 2014, people in Thailand will be celebrating the oncoming of year 2557 B.E.
Thailand counts years according to the Buddhist era, or B.E., which started 543 years earlier than the Christian era.
And if you thought our year was long, head over to Neptune. It takes 365.2 days for Earth to revolve around the sun, but it takes 164.81 Earth years for Neptune to make one revolution around the sun.
All numbers aside, the New Year represents a new beginning.
When folks from the area were asked what their hopes for 2014 are, the responses varied according to age and circumstances, yet they contained a common ingredient of hope for health and peace.
Bri Sohns, a fifth-grader at Delaware Academy in Delhi said, “I hope for continued health for all the people we know and that they have enough food.”
Bri also plays basketball at the Boys and Girls Club in Oneonta and added, “I hope we have a successful game year.” She also dances as well and will be choreographing a modern jazz dance to be performed during competitions this next year.
Three-year-old Celia Petrie expects 2014 to bring a birthday: “My birthday is Jan. 29,” Celia said. “I will ride a tricycle at Bugbee. My teacher is Andrea and we wear helmets.”
Celia and her mother and father, Daphne Sorensen and Mansir Petrie, also hope to go to Brazil for a summer vacation so Celia can play with her two cousins.
Sisters Rieley and Adriana Merino have a connection in Arizona that sparks hopes for the New Year. “Our cousin, Tyler MaNaught, lives in Arizona and I want to visit him or have him come here to New York,” said 10-year-old Adriana. The cousins write and send pictures throughout the year.
“We also sing in school and church choir,” said Rieley, 8. “We practice singing at home so we can sing at the First Presbyterian Church during the year like on Children’s Day.”
Molly Karlin, senior at Delaware Academy and volunteer at Heart of the Catskills Human Society will be looking forward to hearing back from the colleges she applied to. “I want to earn a veterinary degree in large animals,” Karlin said. “I applied to Cornell, Cobleskill, Morrisville, Delhi and RIT for undergraduate school. I’ll be searching for scholarships and work hard because I plan on continuing my graduate work at Cornell.”
Then we have Grace Penny, a Delhi resident, who said with a smile, “I look forward to celebrating my 70th wedding anniversary with Ken, December 8, 2014. We’ve done pretty good being married that long.”
Penny also follows the news in Washington, D.C., and added, “We lived through the Golden Age of America and I do have some concern today and hope that legislation can work together to make our nation better for the next generation and generation after that.”
Penny is not the only one who has hopes for improved politics next year.
Triggered a year ago to get involved with the politics of the area, Sidney resident Chelsea McLane said she is interested in seeing some changes. “Some of the county departments seem unethical and corrupt,” said McLane. “I personally need to be more involved in public affairs. People need to be accountable. But, not everything is all bad. My daughter, Emily Johnston, will graduate in 2014 and that is exciting.”
McLane said she hopes she and everyone can feel a fresh start in 2014. “I cross my fingers and hope for the best.”
As the economy battles to forge forward into more prosperity without the waste and extravagance of the throw-a-way generation, the New Year gives ponder for thought. “I hope people, and myself included, can have more confidence,” said Pete Hamilton, Delhi resident and owner of Delhi Motor Co. “We need confidence in policies, in the Affordable Healthcare program, and in life in general.”
Concurring with this needed confidence, Greg Lubinitsky, part-time resident in the town of Harpersfield, said, “I would like to see growth, particularly, economic growth. The most important thing is to keep moving forward. Stagnation and conservatism will cause the economy to revert back to a recession before you know it. We need to strive to increase productivity and the overall workforce in 2014.”
Members of the workforce were found to be expressing willingness, but circumstances pose cumbersome. “I’ve been working at Home Depot in Oneonta for 6½ years,” Dawn Warren said. “I want to find a home closer to work but finding an affordable apartment in Oneonta is tough. I think the rental rates are high due to the demand from college kids.”
She is living with a co-worker, Amanda Forman, in Morris, until she finds her own space.
Warren still holds optimism, saying, “But, I do look forward to visiting my older sister in Louisiana. There are five of us children in the family and we had good times together.”
Thanya Rider, co-owner with her husband, Patrick Rider, of Greenane Farms in Meredith, said, “We hope to be blessed with continued good health and a strong family. As for the family farm, we hope that we will be able to share the healthy, wholesome farm fresh food that we produce with more people and that they realize the true benefits of buying local and getting to know their farmer.”
Greenane Farms has implemented a new Community Supported Agriculture program that involves other local farms.
Bloomville resident Queny Villanueva said, “I hope that people keep trending toward healthier lifestyles, especially people with kids and pets.”
Villanueva made a recent lifestyle change and now produces and sells healthy Dog Star treats. “We hope the commercial kitchen of Savvybeast treats will continue to grow and develop in the New Year, to keep providing healthy treats for our four legged friends.”
Cindy Heaney paused for a minute to answer, “I hope that my family is healthy and happy in the New Year. I wish for peace on earth. And on a professional level, since I work with vulnerable and disenfranchised folk who struggle to survive day-to-day, I wish for everyone to have a warm roof over their head and a full belly of food. I wish for there to be an end to poverty and suffering in the world.”