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I'm thankful for the independent spirit that continues to thrive and to shine in all the hard work and self-resiliency displayed throughout our community

Thanksgiving is indeed a time to expressly slow down and mindfully remember the important things in our lives. The greatest thing for me is just knowing that in this topsy-turvy day and age that, spiritually, the King is still on the throne, and he is still ruling with love and great expectations for each one of us.

I'm thankful for my health and my family and the closeness that we share. I'm thankful for living in a place where so many people are friendly and return a happy wave and a smile. I'm thankful to live in a great town, and especially for living in the "Old Town" neighborhood where residents care so much for it, and want to protect what it is that makes the neighborhood unique, and in fact, so very different in many ways from every other neighborhood.

Also, my hat is off to all those highly qualified professional 'first responders' in our community, and to all veterans and those currently in military service on behalf of our country, and also for the strong school staffs we have in our Wilsonville schools.

Furthermore, I'm thankful for the independent spirit that continues to thrive and to shine in all the hard work and self-resiliency displayed throughout our community — including the business leaders, all the service groups like the Kiwanis and their various programs, the Scout leaders, and so many, many more that give of themselves in traditional ways to help others — and especially to help our young people. Also, I'd offer a special salute to those dedicated people who are pulling together in the local Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society and putting a good program together so the community can share in our heritage and culture for many, many years to come.

In addition to all this, I'm thankful for the beauty that abounds all around us — the mountains, the seashore, the trees, and the wildlife — the great outdoors where we can breathe and be free. I'm thankful to be living in a nation that is itself still free, and encourages creativity and imagination to tackle the problems of life. And maybe one of the most important, I'm thankful that I can simply turn off the news and just appreciate the good things and the good times, and leave the seething hatred of today to drip on its own kind — rather than on me!

Steve Van Wechel is president of the Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society

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