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11/28/2013 Thanks… (A Tribune Tradition)

Here in the Wet Mountain Valley, we have plenty to be thankful for. We should say thanks for letting us live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. A place where everyone takes time, makes time, to stop and say what’s new. Thanks for our merchants who make you feel like you’re the most important customer around, and for our doctors and nurses at the clinic who do the same. Thanks for the bartenders who make sure the beer’s kept cold and the welcome warm, and for all the waitresses who keep the coffee cups full.


Thanks for the seasons. For the smell of fresh cut hay and for the winds blowing through the pines. For the sound of swollen creeks in spring and the rustling aspen groves in fall. For early summer days when the air is warm and still, and for cold winter nights when the stars shine bright.


Thanks for the smiling faces of the 4-H kids winning ribbons at the county fair, and for the strong handshake of the rancher. Thanks for heifers in the meadow, deer in the woods, cats in the barn, dogs on the porch, crows on the fence, hawks in the sky and brookies in the stream. Thanks for family, and for friends who feel like family.


Thanks for big wood piles, pure well water and warm spring showers. Thanks for pick-up trucks and tractors, hay wagons and hiking boots. For winter evenings around the woodstove and rowdy dances under the summer sky.


Thanks, too, for no traffic jams other than the occasional cattle drive, no shopping malls, and no skyscrapers other than the church steeples. And thanks for allowing us to keep the backdoor unlocked when we’re away.


Thanks for all our neighbors. The cowboys and carpenters, the old hippies and the rednecks, our teachers and the tourists, the little old ladies and the school kids. For small town gossip at the post office and worldly problems on the bar stool. For church bells on Sunday and quitting time on Friday.


And thanks, especially, for Thanksgiving, which reminds us all just how much we really have to be thankful for.