As I look into the murky mists of my crystal ball, I'm ready to make a few fearless forecasts about 2014. Knowing how history repeats itself, it's not hard to guess what the months ahead might have in store.
For instance the activities in Washington will, undoubtedly, follow a familiar path. Democrats will stand before the media and accuse the opposite party of "losing touch with the voters."
Republicans will respond by condemning their political counterparts for a "tax and spend mentality."
Outside the Beltway, where the real world lives, there will be the usual seasonal fascination with the weather.
Those living down south will smile as they watch coverage of blizzards in Buffalo, complete with pictures of folks bundled against the chill, struggling to push cars out of snow banks.
But avid skiing fans will see television images of folks playing golf down south and wonder why those club-carrying fools would want to miss a run down packed powder just to chase a little ball.
When spring rolls around, the siren song of the IRS will once again have men and women trying vainly to understand the newly "simplified" tax forms. And, as always, there will be countless people lined up to mail their tax returns as midnight draws near on April 15.
Back in Washington, powerful leaders will begin strategy meetings for the upcoming elections. Money-raising events will include $200 a plate meals featuring some nameless chicken dish along with lots of rhetoric.
Speeches will ring across the land. Depending on the party of the orator, these talks will focus on one of two themes: either "the country has never been better off" or "without a change in leadership, we're headed down a slippery slope."
Out in the grassroots of Chautauqua County, summertime will bring international visitors to Chautauqua Institution. Boating and fishing fans will descend on Chautauqua Lake. And the nation will once again be glued to the Weather Channel, watching hurricanes build and creep toward Florida's vulnerable coastline.
When the excitement of summer begins to wane, sweet corn and watermelon crops will highlight the end-of-season harvest. And the fields, once filled with tall corn stalks, will be reduced to stubble as farmers fill their barns for the coming of winter.
By this time, the Washington crowd will be scattering across the nation to shake hands and kiss babies. Candidates will stop for coffee in out-of-the-way diners in Iowa, drop in at senior centers in Nebraska or otherwise try to look like regular folks. But savvy voters can't be fooled. They know that any man or woman who enters the rarified air of the nation's capitol is never again quite like the rest of us.
As the year moseys along into November, folks will pause to count their blessings for living in a free country where they can even joke about the government.
And, in December, a vocal group devoted to Political Correctness, and encouraged by the ACLU, will once again chant, "Happy Holidays," desperately trying to convince businesses that using the word "Christmas" is somehow insulting to large numbers of our countrymen.
But those of us familiar with the age-old story and the true reason for the season, will stand our ground. We'll sing the carols and send the cards and let the world know it's Christmas time.
For now, my friends, as we close out this year of Moseyin' Along together, I want to add one more prayerful prediction. It's my hope that for each of you, the new year will bring health, happiness and the realization of your dreams.