Today is the day the nation gets its priorities in order. The other 364 days of the year we indulge in that traditional all-American pastime of whining, no matter how good we have it.
Today, however, we remember what's important even though our situation may be less than ideal. Not only do we remember, but we take the time to say thanks for our families, our friends, the abundance of food that crowds our tables and the other blessings we enjoy. We slow down and enjoy each other's company. We savor the delicious flavors of recipes that very likely have been in our families for generations. While we may indulge in too much turkey and pumpkin pie, at least our focus is on our abundance, not our lack.
Tomorrow we'll face the stack of dirty dishes, the pile of bills and the difficult situation at work. Today, we'll say thanks that we have dishes on which to pile all that mouth-watering, artery-clogging food; we'll appreciate that we have the money to pay the bills; and we'll be grateful that we have a job. And, we'll remember, at least for a moment or two, those who don't have it as good as we do.
At the Clarion, we have much for which we are grateful and it's become our tradition to share those blessings with you on this day.
Chief among the things for which we give thanks, of course, are the readers and advertisers who keep us in business. Without you, we wouldn't exist.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire community to produce a newspaper. There are countless people who help us in the task, and we are grateful for their many and varied contributions. Among our blessings:
Our Neighbors columnists, the writers in our scattered, diverse communities who tell us what's going on in their neck of the woods every Tuesday. Some of these writers have been helping us since the idea for our "Neighbors" pages was conceived almost a decade ago. Our sincere appreciation to Marlene Blough of Ninilchik, Joyce Cox of Soldotna, Joan Hansen of Kenai, Beth Jones of Nikiski, Mona Painter of Cooper Landing, Lois Pillifant of Sterling and Shawna Wolk of Kasilof.
A.E. Poynor, whose award-winning "Of Moose and Men" column appears every Sunday.
Les Palmer of Sterling, who writes "An Outdoor View," which appears every Friday.
Fans, coaches and players spread throughout the Kenai Peninsula and the rest of Alaska who help us keep track of all that's going on in the world of sports
The elected officials and employees at all levels of government who understand an informed community is in everyone's best interest.
The employees throughout the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District who keep us posted about everything going on in peninsula classrooms.
The people at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge who write "Refuge Note Book" which appears every Friday.
The folks at the Alaska Cooperative Extension office who provide us with a wealth of information.
Those in nonprofit groups who help us get the word out on what they are doing.
Those who call with tips or complaints. Your calls are appreciated. They help us re-examine our idea of what "news" is and what readers want.
Those who write letters to the editor. You provide thousands of people with food for thought with your insights.
Last, but certainly not least, on our list of blessings: We are grateful we live in a society where a free press exists. Not everyone will always like the message, but far better to disagree with ideas and information and the way they are presented than to never have the opportunity to read new ideas and others' viewpoints.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who make the Clarion happen.
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