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From the Publisher

By Laurie Stuart
November 22, 2016

With Christmas in the stores, and a winter landscape all around, it’s tempting to skip over Thanksgiving and move straight into December and a different holiday crush. With the unfolding drama of the reorganization of the United States government and heartfelt differences between family members on both sides of the political spectrum, it almost feels like self care to ignore the annual celebration of that first shared meal between different peoples on these shores. (Ironic, too, that Thanksgiving is a story of how people from different cultures and races supported each other in the beginning of this nation.)

But skipping over this bountiful celebration also has us skipping over a ritual of finding “thanks-giving,” at a time when it seems imperative for us to take stock of our blessings. If nothing else, this ritual of giving thanks is a survival mechanism for dealing with the deep level of change that we feel brewing about us.

So with that contemplation in mind and in the spirit of sharing, here are a few thanks that could be on your list:

—thankful for the beauty and the pristine nature of the area’s water and land; the uncongested highways caught in between rolling hills,

—thankful for the welcoming feel of our hamlets, villages and towns/townships and for the resurgence of community activities and celebrations,

—thankful for our functioning network of public safety and emergency services, both paid and volunteer, and for their commitment to keep us all safe,

—thankful for the clusters of organizations that connect our citizens to important information and services—the libraries, the civic clubs, arts organizations, children and youth organizations, houses of worship, our healthcare system, the local business community, local and county governments, to name just a few,

—thankful for the myriad of ways that we have to respectively communicate with each other, especially for the presence of independent and locally owned newspapers (like this one) and radio stations that support and are supported by our community,

—thankful for all of these, and more, as it provides a network of ways in which we support and make positive differences in each other’s lives and provide the goods, services and information that we all need,

—thankful, at this time of turmoil, that we have established working partnerships that transcend ideological differences and that, together, we will continue to know and care for our neighbors and to enjoy and respect our environment,

—thankful for family, friends and community,

—thankful for good food, good times,