May: Feeling thankful for all we have

In this season of Thanksgiving, there is much for which to be thankful. Here is a potpourri of the things that come to mind for me.

First, above all else, I’m thankful for my family. They center my world.

Indoor plumbing! Having grown up without it in a cold climate, I can assure you it’s something to be thankful for, though sitting on a frosty board at zero degrees offers an unmatched level of self-awareness and being in the moment!

A cup of fresh coffee in a quiet house.

The American traditions of boisterous free speech and the peaceful transfer of power are thankful blessings.

The ability to hike. It’s deeply satisfying to propel oneself through beautiful terrain under your own power.

My good health and the occasional creakiness to remind me to take care of myself and to not take health for granted.

I’m thankful for scones from Daddy Cakes, SmartWool socks, Noosa Yoghurt, the Jax Outdoor Gear store and an Otterbox case on my phone.

I am thankful for the Bill of Rights. In the beginning, even James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” was reluctant to add those ten amendments to the Constitution. Now they largely define what it means to be an American and the relationship with our government.

Books and the eyesight to read them and a clear mind to ponder them.

The people I get to associate with on a daily basis are a gift, and I am thankful. Our staff at the Chamber, our business leaders and active volunteers, our 1,223 members and the people in the community that I interact with are treasures.

I am thankful for our free enterprise system. Even when abused it is a wonder of innovation, freedom and prosperity.

Tied directly to the point above, I’m thankful for businesspeople. In our big, public institution-oriented town we don’t want to take for granted the remarkable leadership they provide to the community and the contributions their companies make.

I’m thankful for Colorado State University in general and its president in particular. Being the home for a major research university gives the Fort Collins region a huge advantage educationally, culturally and economically. And Dr. Tony Frank is one of the nation’s finest university presidents.

A warm, safe place to sleep.

Police officers, firefighters and the men and women in our armed services. Most of us don’t have the physical strength, skills or courage to do what they do. They keep us safe, and I am thankful.

While thankful for all of the area’s medical and health care professionals, a special ‘thank you’ to those who work in the laboratories at the area hospitals, as my wife does. They are the behind-the-scenes heroes who keep us alive, healthy or on the mend.

I’m thankful for technology … and the off-switch.

I am thankful for young adults and the opportunity to try to see the world through their eyes. I appreciate their enthusiasm, intelligence and industriousness. I’m also thankful for the many opportunities in front of them, at least for the ones willing to grasp them.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Originally posted in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on November 27, 2016