The years fly by, and annually we are given one huge reminder to pause and consider all the good things in our lives: Thanksgiving Day.
It's that time again.
It's easy here to look around and, even though we often take it for granted, give thanks again for the beautiful "God's country" we live in, with a wide river, towering bluffs, and forested hills all around.
We live in a land of bounty, and we are blessed with a great school system and a wonderful library.
We have a strong and healthy variety of religious faiths represented in the houses of worship in the area.
The fishing and hunting opportunities are still grand, and so close at hand. Same goes for any number of outdoor recreational activities.
And then there's all those great coffee shops around here.
Our city streets are relatively clean and uncrowded. In our entire county, there is only one traffic light (the blinking one in Bingen), yet traffic jams are quite rare.
Our fire departments are staffed with volunteers who are there to respond to emergencies at any time of the day or night.
Local business owners and other business leaders in the community are generally progressive and friendly, and have done a fine job of keeping the downtown business districts looking attractive and welcoming -- and giving people good jobs to work at.
Our various public works crews do solid work in keeping our basic infrastructure humming: plowing roads, fixing broken water pipes, keeping the power on in the winter.
We also have a lot of good citizens with solid values and deep roots who live here. They are the backbone of any community.
Most of all, perhaps, we have our families.
For all these reasons and for a thousand others that go unmentioned, we have so many reasons to give thanks on this special holiday.