Thursday is a time for us to pause and remember that, whatever hardships have come our way in the past year, we still have much for which to be thankful -- from friends and family to good health and abundant snow.
Thanksgiving has its origins in festivals in Europe held to celebrate the fall harvest and to toast prosperity. The Pilgrims did not have such good fortune when the first Thanksgiving was held. Rather, they held a feast with American Indian friends mostly to give thanks for having survived their first year in America, a year filled with hunger, disease and other hardships.
The hardships we have faced in the past year pale in comparison to those faced by the Pilgrims. Still, from an economic standpoint, there is little prosperity to celebrate. Skier visits were flat. Summer tourism was down. Sales tax receipts are behind 2002, which was not a stellar year. Many local stores and lodging businesses report they are struggling.
But amid such disappointments, there are many reasons to give thanks. We offer just a few:
n We should be thankful for our freedoms and for those fighting in Iraq and elsewhere to protect those freedoms.
n We should be thankful for the quality of life we enjoy, that we get to live in a beautiful community with amenities and recreational opportunities that precious few other communities can offer.
n We should be thankful for the thousands of visitors, who enrich and support our town.
n We should be thankful for our children and the joy they bring us whether they are playing football, leading cheers or performing in a musical production.
n We should be thankful for those whose efforts help make Routt County a better place through their civic leadership, philanthropy and volunteerism.
n We should be thankful for our families, friends and neighbors.
n We should be thankful for our health and well being.
n And finally, we should be thankful for the weather Mother Nature has provided, including more than five feet of snow on Mount Werner.
We encourage everyone to reflect upon the many reasons we have to be thankful this holiday season, and we wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.