It's hard to believe that not only the end of the year will be here in a few days but also the end of a decade. Time certainly does fly.


This past year hasn't been an easy one for many Hesperians. Many have lost their homes or their jobs. Some have lost both.


But things are going to get better. It may be hard to believe that right now, but it's true. The real estate market will bounce back, and new jobs will come. It's part of a natural ebb and flow.


According to the Labor Department, the number of workers who were laid off are actually down. That's good news.


***


During this down economy I've found myself actually increasing the amount I tip restaurant servers, car wash attendants and the like. Sometimes I'll forgo a soda and tag the two bucks I saved onto my normal tip amount.


It seems that helping our local service people is the least I can do.


***


I chatted with Gil Zank recently. He sounded good despite his recent three-day stay at the hospital after contracting pneumonia. Doctors have ordered he stay at home for several more weeks until they give him a clean bill of health.


"I've had a ton of company," said Gil, who serves as a community liaison for First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. "The county people have been just wonderful."


Among the visitors have been Dennis Nowicki, a former Hesperia mayor, and Nowicki's wife Paula, who previously served as Mitzelfelt's chief of staff. The Nowickis brought Gil and wife Margaret food for several days.


The Zanks' two adult children, Danny and Peggy, and grandchildren also have been up to visit Gil. Gil and I go back 20 years when I reported on Hesperia happenings at a different publication.


Gil turned 88 in October.