Last night, we ended a year of challenges, a year of changes, a year of promises both met and unfulfilled, a year of uncertainties.

A fear of recession grips the land; good friends lost a home in a year that saw the housing market collapse. Land and homes continue to sell in Floyd County but the pace is slower and you see a lot of signs that say “price reduced.”

The county changed dramatically in 2007: Three incumbents lost in the GOP caucus; the county elected its first woman prosecutor.

The new face began to emerge in downtown Floyd. New facades on old buildings, a new hotel, an old food store became a business and retail center called the Village Green (which we now call home for Blue Ridge Muse), a new Mexican restaurant, a new parking lot, a public park under construction and a newly-remodeled Country Store.

Rob Neukirch sold Oddfellas Cantina to one of his waitresses, Shortt’s Fitness Center closed but will reopen in 2008 with new owners and a new name. Turman-Yeates, the last new car dealer in town, went on the block and has new owners.

Virginia Living, Southern Living and USA Today wrote glowing features about life in Floyd. Others tell me the dream has faded and they will seek their piece of heavan elsewhere. You can see some of the change in the attitudes and the language. Less talk of music and bucolic country life and more about business plans and networking for success.

Yet Floyd will endure as it always has. It will adapt to change because it must. It will remain home to some and a memory to others. It will become a prologue to new arrivals and an epilogue to those who depart.

For Amy and I, it will remain what it has become: home.

Happy New Year to our friends, our readers and those we will encounter as we head in 2008.