Two more weeks.
Sure, flipping the calendar on Jan. 1 puts us only one day beyond Dec. 31. Same continuum, possibly with a hangover.
But somehow, the impending arrival of 2015 feels like a welcome new start — if only because we’ll finally be able to say that nothing else happened in 2014, the year it seemed like everything happened.
Each of us may have a different point of reference for 2014, but three days stand out: July 17, when the Carlton Complex Fire went apocalyptic and the power went out; Aug. 1, the day the Rising Eagle Road Fire broke out and torched the heart of the valley, followed by pulverizing winds the next day; and Aug. 21, the day of floods and mud.
To paraphrase The Beatles, it was a hard year’s month, and it felt like it went on and on. What’s more, the catalytic effects of the Carlton Complex Fire continue to complicate our lives, as if we’re in a reality show that’s going to have a cliffhanger ending with a hyperbolic promo: “Wait until you see next spring’s runoff!”
The summer’s events have had the effect of driving the first half of 2014 into the deep background. One of our reporters, in the process of updating a story for this week’s paper, wondered out loud: “Did that happen this year?”
That we have to think about it demonstrates how profoundly our lives will be defined by the last six months of 2014. Fingers crossed, we could do without any more definition before New Year’s Day.
I’m not sure it’s actually edible, but the annual gingerbread house project at the Mazama Store is amusing. Each year, the house is raffled off to raise money for a local cause — this year, The Cove in Twisp. The 2014 house, constructed by the store’s creative bakers, was on display Sunday (Dec. 14) at the store’s annual Christmas at the Very End of the Road party.
It’s not really a house so much as a tableau featuring recognizable elements of local notoriety. And it’s a bit retro. The three-dimensional scenario includes a replica of the so-called “hanging hut” on Flagg Mountain, the small cabin that’s been at the center of a big controversy and litigation for a couple of years. Last year, the “hut” was fairly recreated as a gingerbread house for the store’s seasonal party.
(This fall, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Chris Culp ruled that the cabin must be moved, but that judgment is likely to be appealed. Unlike the firmly anchored real-life cabin, the gingerbread hut doesn’t look all that sturdy.)
The centerpiece of the confectionary-heavy sculpture is an imagined version of another Flagg Mountain flash point: a proposed copper mine (see story, page A1). There’s also a dump truck full of — ore? In any event, it’s labeled “toxic.”
I’m in the raffle drawing, although I’m not sure what I’d do with the gingerbread creation if, rarity of rarities, I win. But you never know. I won one of the door prizes at Poppie Jo Galleria during last weekend’s night out with extended shopping hours in downtown Twisp: a lovely milk-glass bowl. You cannot win if you do not play.