It’s been a pretty rotten year. Terrorism, disasters, crime, wars, nasty politics. Even here on our beautiful Rock, life has felt a bit less blissful and wonderful, hasn’t it?
Therefore, to cheer us up, it’s time for my annual list of things I’m thankful for as we head toward Thanksgiving. Now this column is usually meant to be humorous, and my tongue’s in my cheek on some of these list items – but not others. You’ll have to decide which is which. But I do hope you’ll smile even if this makes you want to tweet, post or write snarky letters to the editor.
1. The election is finally over. Some new turkeys will now join the same old turkeys in our fowl flock. I feel like brining and deep-frying the whole gaggle. Our endless election cycle may yet make me a vegan, but for the moment I am thankful I can still munch McNuggets. And I am even more thankful that the election signs cluttering our Scenic Isle Way will soon be tossed in a dumpster at the recycling center.
2. The Coupeville Wharf and the Greenbank Farm are still standing and doing fine no matter what mysterious, clandestine strategy the Port of Coupeville commissioners have been privately cooking up. Therefore, I am thankful to admit that my conservative friends are occasionally correct: Less or no government is sometimes better. Would anyone notice if the Port of Coupeville no longer existed?
3. Growler jets are not as noisy in the 24-hour aggregate as the Prowlers were. The Navy has given us its carefully researched word on it. I am thankful that this means I won’t have to plug in those fancy new wireless Apple earbuds and crank up the Grateful Dead, except for those endless times when the jets are flying directly overhead.
4. There was a bumper crop of Rockwell beans harvested by farmers on Ebey’s Prairie this summer. Of course, the proud little red-and-white bean from Whidbey Island will still cost us $10 a pound. But I’m thankful that we seniors here on the Rock will be able to buy more of them, especially now that I’m told our Social Security checks will rise by a whopping 0.2 percent next year.
5. The handsome new addition to Whidbey General Hospital — sorry, I forgot, make that WhidbeyHealth Medical Center — is going up right before our eyes on Main Street in Coupeville. I am thankful that our community came together to make it possible for us to have more quality health care services on the Rock, and even the purple signs out front that some folks find unsettling are growing on me. Of course, given the rise in insurance premiums and with some plans and providers dropping out of the Island County market, we may not be able to take advantage of what’s offered. But that’s another column.
6. Finally, I am thankful to live in a community where it’s virtually impossible to take a walk, grab a bite or go to the store with bumping into someone you know – and, more importantly, someone you actually like. This is a friendly, decent, gorgeous, livable, still pretty affordable place where it doesn’t take long to get acquainted, feel part of a community and become involved. The rest of our country may have sunk into division, anger and isolation. But not here. Thank God!