Editor’s Column: There’s a lot to be grateful for

First of all, kudos to the Meeker Cowboys football team. Saturday’s semi-final game was a nail-biter! Congratulations on your achievements this season and best of luck this weekend!

Last Thursday I was leaving the office when the power went out. Power outages are, in my opinion, never fun, particularly when it’s snowing and the furnace needs electricity to operate. It’s even more interesting when the power goes out all over town. Thanks to our White River Electric Association linemen for getting out in icy temps to restore power in a jiffy. You all do a terrific job!

Being thankful has been marked as an indication of mental health and well-being. The more thankful you are, the healthier your mindset, or so they say.
Hopefully you’ll sit down with family and friends this Thursday for a feast of traditional, delicious dishes. Hopefully it will be a time of love and encouragement and joy all around.
I’m old enough (and cynical enough) to know that’s not going to be the case for everyone, and so I write this for those who are alone this holiday, who are estranged from friends and family, and those who have lost someone and are grieving. In the last year you may have had your dreams dashed or your soul crushed. Those kinds of experiences in life can make the holidays seem miserable. Between Norman Rockwell and modern advertising, we have a very specific mental image of what having a happy Thanksgiving means, and our reality doesn’t always line up with our expectations.
The first Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated during a time of ease and comfort.
In the 1600s a tiny (seriously—smaller than our two itty-bitty rural communities combined) group of people with a single purpose (to worship their God as they saw fit, which wasn’t in accordance with the government-sanctioned religion of their time) determined to take a life-or-death journey from Europe to the New World.
For us it’s the equivalent of moving to Mars in hopes of being able to go to your church of choice. They had no idea what to expect. More than 80 percent of them died during that first year. Nothing was easy, nothing was comfortable, and yet they chose to be thankful.
If our ancestors had much to be thankful for, we have much, much more.
We can be grateful for others, grateful for public services, grateful for belonging to a collective whole that works together for the good of all.
I think that’s where our ancestors started, and look what they accomplished from that place of gratitude! I believe we can go so much farther from here. Don’t give up on each other. We can be thankful because we have hope and we can have hope because we are thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!