Here it is the week of Thanksgiving again. It's amazing how fast the years go by and the holidays are upon us.
Thanksgiving Day 2010 comes at a time when our nation is facing an economic and political crisis. The economy is not yet truly recovering, and millions of Americans cannot find work. Budget troubles are forcing states, counties, and cities to cut back on essential services, and there is no real end in sight to the difficulties.
Our political leaders in Washington, D.C., appear to be out of touch with citizens across our nation. The word "gridlock" comes to mind. Too many in our Congress are no longer concerned with solving problems; rather, it's all about scoring political points and denying progress as a way to make the incumbent president look ineffective. The creed of some of the president's opponents in Congress seems to be: "Let's make sure conditions stay bad so people will stay mad. That way, we can make sure we get a new president in 2012." But at what cost to our nation in the meantime? They don't really care; power is all they seem to worship.
And on the other side of the coin, it looks like we have a disappointing president who lacks the conviction, courage, or ability to stand up and fight for what he told us he believed in just two years ago. What a mess.
Yet we gladly set the divisions and frustration of politics aside in this season, and we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving as a time of faith and family. And we remain steadfast in finding so much to be thankful for. That includes the fact that we live in an area that is nationally recognized for its scenic beauty, and the wonderful sense of community we enjoy in this little part of our planet.
Even in tough times, there is a festive spirit in our downtown business districts and a determination to make it through to the better times we all hope are coming.
We give thanks for the reality that in Bingen and White Salmon, we don't have to deal with traffic jams; that there is a capable and efficient local school district teaching our kids; and that area citizens are almost universally open, friendly, and caring about their neighbors.
This is a list that could go on and on, but the key point is, despite the problems all around the world, we still find plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future. And we continue to give thanks for all the good things we see around us.
So here's to a happy Thanksgiving Day, 2010.