It's the season of being thankful. Even though we should be thankful for our blessings each and every day, we take the month of November to remind ourselves of those things which we are especially grateful. During this month I have been asking friends of the Inspiring A-Town Facebook page to list what they are thankful for. Each day I give a new letter of the alphabet and people respond by saying what they are most thankful for in our community that starts with that particular letter. It has been so much fun to read all the comments. It is also a heartfelt reminder that we really do have a lot to be thankful for in our community. A whole lot.
Because I have been so pleased to see such great interaction on the Facebook page I thought it worthy enough to share with you today. Here is Part 1 of our alphabet soup list of what we are thankful for in our community. Comments have been taken directly from the page and are only lightly edited for space and relevance.
A: Alpena!, apples, awesome fishing, Art in the Loft, the airport, Art on the Bay, Alpena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alpena Chamber of Commerce, Alpena CRTC, Alpena Community College, Alpena Regional Medical Center, and all the fun people and places.
B: Beautiful bay, Band Shell, Bi-Path, beautiful sunrises, breakwall, Bay View Park, beaches, Besser Museum and planetarium, breweries, Bay Athletic Club, boating, beautiful sunsets, Bingham Arts Academy, babies, Bogarts Tavern, breakfast at JJ's, and bass fishing.
C: Cabin Creek Coffee, Christmas bazaars, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, crafty people, cuisine (the Cellar, the Courtyard), Civic Theater, camp, Christmas Parade, crisp mornings, Christmas lights, children, Catholic churches, Catholic community, Campus at ACC, Chippewa Hills recreation area, cones at local ice cream places, concerts at the band shell, the community in general, craft shows, and church bells ringing.
D: Duck Park, Dairy Queen (news of their springtime opening spreads faster than wildfire), diversity, downtown, delightful, Dinosaur Gardens, dining, decorations put up by regular people that make the holidays so very much fun, and the Downtown Development Authority.
E: Everything!, entertainment, events ,elementary schools, extraordinary views, Engineering Department and employees of the City who keep the infrastructure in good condition under challenging economic conditions, emergency services, eagles that soar overhead, and exercise opportunities (Bi-Path, Plaza Pool, Northern Lights Arena, kayaking, swimming).
F: Friendliness, freezing weather that kills fleas, four seasons, family, friends, fans out in the community showing their support to our athletes, farmers, the Farmers Market, and financial institutions.
G: Growlers of beer from Fletcher Street Brewery, Grand Lake, grand and good people, Great Lakes, green trees, grandchildren that live close, great school system, grandparents, golf, girls night out, and gardens.
H: Harbor, Lake Huron, Habitat for Humanity, hometown, heritage, heaven on earth, home, holiday hiatus, heat, Huron Humane Society, hospital, hiking trails, hockey, heavenly views, and the HUNT team.
I: Island Park, Inspiring A-Town, internet, industries, innovative inhabitants, imaginative individuals, incredible ice cream, ice on Lake Huron, ice rink, I (as in I can make an impact. Because we are small, the efforts of a single person has a noticeable impact and inspires others), and Immanuel Lutheran.
J: Bottles of Jolly Pumpkin sour beers at Jimmie Garants, JJ's Restaurant, Jesse Besser Museum, Junior Golf Program at River's Edge Golf Course, java, and jug of vodka.
As you can see, we have a lot to be thankful for in our first half of the alphabet. Some things are funny, some are serious, some are reminders that we are lucky to call this place home. Many people listed that they are thankful for specific family members. I did not include those comments but you can hop over to the Facebook page to read the full listings. I also didn't include any of my own thoughts in this list because I would end up going over my word count for the column. I'm sure that after reading through you have some new ideas as well. Feel free to cut this column out and sit down with your friends or family to finish filling out ideas for each letter.
Tune in again in two weeks for the rest of the alphabet in Part 2 of our community of thankfulness!
Mary Beth Stutzman's Inspiring A-Town runs bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Follow Mary Beth on Twitter @mbstutz.