October 10th is Thanksgiving this year and many people will come together around a dinner table and enjoy a fabulous turkey dinner. I know that is likely what I will be doing. As I thought about what I wanted to write about this week, I felt I wanted to cover an often overlooked angle of Thanksgiving. I decided, instead of discussing football or food, I wanted to give thanks.
A few years ago I decided I wanted to try and do some writing and I approached the Kings County Record with a column idea. From that day "Whalen's Wanderings" was born. For that I want to thank the Kings County Record for allowing me to develop my voice. Over the years my columns have varied in scope but a common inspiration has been family so a great deal of thanks and love is extended to them.
To those who read my column I also owe large thanks. It has always been surprising when someone approaches me to discuss my last column. It lifts me and pushes me to continue when I hear how someone enjoyed my column or that it led them to get out and wander. When I started I didn't know if anyone would read what I had to say and now sometimes I'm scared I might not have anything to say.
This region that we live in, and I write about, is a treasure of natural beauty, interesting culture, and full of artistic inspiration. From the Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta to Friar's Nose to Dairy Town Classic to Poley Mountain, from Corner Stone to Chris Cummings, Kings County, New Brunswick, is lucky and blessed in so many ways. I give thanks to the fact that I am able to live here and that I don't have to struggle with overcrowded living spaces and poor environmental and health conditions. I appreciate the small struggles that we are faced with and give thanks for the lessons learned through these struggles.
So how do we show thanks on Thanksgiving. Can we volunteer at a soup kitchen? Do we clean up a section of bike trail that we enjoy every week? Do we visit a senior's home for a friendly visit? Maybe we could visit our grandparents and let them know how much influence they had on us. Giving thanks doesn't just mean saying "thank you" it also means you give back to the community you live. For many, these actions occur as a Thanksgiving ritual, but our community is blessed because many people in this area try to incorporate thankful living into our daily lives.
Again I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my column and who have provided me with feed back or inspiration. Thanks too to those who live a thankful life and therefore have made our community a great place to live.