Change, it’s coming! Welcome 2019!


Not that 2018 was horrible, although it could have been better, but I am ready for it to end. There was a time when I may have felt a little sad to see the current year end and hear the tinkling of champagne glasses, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” (which translated means “Old Long Since” and is more easily thought of as “days gone by”).

It is often said that sometimes it just takes the turning of the pages on the calendar for life to get easier, memories to sweeten, and loved ones to be remembered for the joy they brought into our lives; that’s where I find myself these days . . . slowly turning the pages of the calendar. The Christmas tree has been taken down and the ornaments and porch lights have been put away; and thankfully the eggnog is gone! It is time for looking forward — after all, the Bills beat Miami!

As for New Year’s Resolutions, I rarely make them unless of course it is a promise to chew less bubble gum or eat more veggies. This year, however, I have decided to take the plunge . . . I resolve to finish the novel I started three years ago. And, most importantly, I will make an effort to look forward with the curiosity and faith of a child. I truly believe it is the children who are the wise ones among us. They have an innate capacity to love, trust and forgive without hesitation. (That one might be a little tough for me.) But I am also looking forward to being a part of the many good things that are happening right here in my own backyard.

There is much going on around me, and you, right here in our little corner of the world. Progress is happening that many thought never would — the Comedy Center in Jamestown, Athenex in the town of Dunkirk for which we will all benefit, new housing, the lakefront is starting to see change, and there is a sense of hope that this area of Western New York is no longer sitting idle waiting for the end — yep 2019 sounds a lot like hope to me, and I plan to hold onto it.

If we, as responsible adults, choose to sit idly and refuse to believe then will anything of worth get accomplished? Don’t we have the responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity to improve ourselves, those we love, and our community? We read in Romans 12:6-8, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” This requires a third resolution on my part.

So, now that 2018 is over, the confetti has been swept up, the hangovers are almost gone, and we have begun a new year how many of the resolutions will be kept? How many memories will be sweetened with time or erased completely? What will we do with the void left behind by those loved ones who are no longer with us? Will we move forward with the trust of a child eagerly awakening to each new day with wonderment and faith in what lies ahead?

What we make of this new year is up to each of us. Whether or not we learn from the past and move forward with commitment and determination to fulfill the lesson taught to us in the Bible passage above, or choose to bury our gifts, we should remember that choices have consequences.

As I write this, my first commentary for the new year, please indulge me as I leave you with an excerpt from my book “Ramblings” I believe it to be fitting for this passage from one year to the next.


Life isn’t meant to be simple, things change.

Miles are traveled between kindergarten and first grade.

People grow apart and others are left behind

with new adventures, new faces, and new places.

With the ticking of the clock,

the rotation of the earth,

days turn into nights, and we grow older.


like life


From our house to yours I wish you a blessed and healthful New Year, Sam says woof.

Have a great day.

Vicki Westling is a Dunkirk resident. Comments may be sent to