This year we learned to shake it off

A longtime newspaper tradition of asking little kids what they are thankful for just before Turkey Day inevitably results in some memorable answers. This year, 5-year-olds at the South Whidbey Children’s Center were thankful for chasing frogs, cleaning the barn, a father who catches pheasants, salad and birthday cake, among other small joys of life.

The Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record staff also has a tradition of explaining what we are thankful for in a column that runs on the day before Thanksgiving. Of course, we can’t compete with the sheer cuteness and effervescence of children’s minds, but the annual undertaking does offer some insight into the mood of the year. In 2014, for example, people made lighthearted jokes about politics, with one reporter saying she was thankful that John Boehner stopped crying in public.

Three years later, the politics were replaced with cats. Nobody wanted to talk about politics, which had gotten ugly, but everyone loved their kitties. Their unique brand of unpredictability and nonchalant stupidity was manna for the bruised American soul.

This year, several people teasingly focused on a certain staff member’s giddiness over a pop diva, as well as family, friends and other odds and ends. It’s a good sign of the times.

Karina Andrew: I am thankful that despite the whole Ticketmaster debacle, I managed to snag a ticket to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour next year in July. And I’m thankful in advance for the patience and long-suffering of my friends who will have to listen to me talk about it for the next eight months.

Wesley Moran: I’m thankful for my friends and family, and that Karina Andrew got Taylor Swift tickets so we don’t have to listen to her complain about missing the concert for the next eight months.

Kira Erickson: I’m thankful for the continued presence of teleconferenced city council meetings, which allow me to eat dinner at a respectable hour.

Davene Jones: I am thankful for a few things this year. I’m thankful that my husband is home for Thanksgiving, thankful for doggie sweatshirts, black PaperMate Profile pens, car batteries and Tide bleach pens.

Rachel Rosen: I am thankful for the good food the holiday season brings, my family, my boyfriend, my friends back home, my job and the opportunity to live on beautiful Whidbey Island.

David Welton: At 74, I am thankful for one more day this side of the sod to spend with friends and family.

Jessie Stensland: I am thankful I don’t have to go to a Taylor Swift concert, even though I’ll probably hear all about it in minute and musical detail. I’m also thankful that I have reporters who write stories that keep me entertained.

Harry Anderson: This year, I am thankful that I have no intention of buying Taylor Who? concert tickets but instead will look forward to great holiday music live in person by wonderful Whidbey groups including the Bells of Whidbey and the Saratoga Orchestra.

Kimberlly Minervini: 2022 was a big year for me. I got engaged and married and gained a wonderful family. I’ve been able to see my sister and father on a regular basis despite the distance. My youngest daughter got engaged to a wonderful man and will be getting married in Ireland next year. Life is good!