This is the time of year I find myself counting my blessings. Being a person tasked with the opportunity to highlight and feature the great community we call home, the depth of my gratitude is vast. Here is my list:
I am thankful to the readers and the business owners who have allowed me to follow my dreams for the past 14 years. This magazine has been one of my greatest blessings, and I am honored to be the editor and founder of SMTO Magazine.
I am thankful for the nonprofit agencies and local charities that dedicate their work and life helping and building our community. If it were not for the men and women who make those organizations possible, this community would not be what it is today.
I am thankful for the community leaders, whether that is a youth soccer coach or city council member, who serve their community with respect and provide us with role models.
I am thankful for all the school board members, principals, teachers and paraprofessionals who have dedicated their lives to fostering the growth of education in our children. Your job is not easy, but you leave an impact beyond measure.
I am thankful for the artists, musicians and other creative minds in our community. You remind us about the beauty that is inside us and all around us.
I am thankful for our talented on-air personalities, whether that is on television or radio. You keep us entertained, informed and safe.
I am thankful for all the doctors, nurses and medical professionals who fight for our health and improve our quality of life.
I am thankful for all the police officers, paramedics and fire fighters who protect us, keep us safe and serve our community while often putting their own life at risk.
I am thankful for those who serve or have served in the military. Because of all of you, we all can be proud to be an American. I am thankful to all the families of those who are serving or who have served the military. Your sacrifice has not been overlooked, and you are also a hero.
I am thankful for the many volunteers in our communities who bring us the many events we look forward to each year. You all create family traditions and memories that last a lifetime.
I am thankful for my health. This year I accomplished my lifetime goal of completing my first half marathon. That accomplishment left me motivated and hopeful to all the years to come.
I am thankful for my family: My husband, children, sisters and brothers, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and more. My family not only supports me, but often lends a hand to help make my dreams come true. I hope to give to them as much as they have given to me.
I am thankful for my late mother. She taught me to always fight for what I want and for what I believe. I would not be half of who I am without her being my biggest cheerleader.
Last but not least, I am thankful for the connections I have made both from my work and from being an active member of our community. I have watched as our community has grown, even when challenged. I have seen people face what would appear to be defeat only to come back stronger. I have watched children grow into adults and become leaders. I have watched adults grow to be even stronger impacts on others. There are more people than I can count who I hold close to my heart because each have impacted my life.
So in closing, I am thankful to call the Four-States home and, by doing so, all that it has afforded me. I hope you enjoy our November edition and find plenty to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!