Our View: Plenty of reasons to give thanks | TheUnion.com

Our View: Plenty of reasons to give thanks

There’s a lot of things we missed this Thanksgiving.

The whistle of a football through the air as a visiting cousin deftly throws it to waiting hands. Or the crowded dining room table, only used on days like this, laden with turkey and all the fixings.

The cold air can sting when you’ve been outside. The feeling soon dissipates after a few minutes indoors, and the smell of dinner starts to settle throughout the house.

But not this year. At least, not for most of us. People have canceled travel plans, opting to shelter in place because of the coronavirus. There was no trip to grandmother’s house this Thanksgiving. Maybe next, or the one after.

It’s been a gloomy year, but there’s still plenty to be thankful for. You might not have sat at grandma’s table, but you saw her over Zoom. Hugged the grand kids virtually, waving and promising holiday gifts to come.

It’s not the same. No substitute ever is. But it’s a lot better than nothing.

And this is the kind of year when we need to find things that make us thankful.

This is the year when cherished traditions get shelved. Some refused, of course. We just have to look at the county’s coronavirus dashboard to see how that works out. However, most of us did what’s right, bearing the cries of our children asking “why?” and waiting for better days.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have family live nearby. You’re even luckier if, while staying safe, you ate with them in person.

An outdoor banquet on Thanksgiving — the ghost of Charlie Brown comes to Nevada County.

It’s not for everyone. The COVID-19 situation grows worse, which is why this Thanksgiving holiday has turned sour for many of us.

But there’s much to be thankful for, even in times like these.

Pleasant weather, beautiful land and enough of it to walk with loved ones, or alone, without bumping into a stranger. Good health for many of us, and the promise of it continuing as a vaccine waits in the wings.

Better days aren’t just ahead of us. Some of them are here right now.

Holidays seem built for families. While most of us can’t celebrate this year with extended family, we still have the ones closest to us. The ones we live with, speak with every day and tuck into bed each night.

This Thanksgiving, many people celebrated with the small group of people they share a home with. That meant longer walks, longer chats and a better appreciation of time spent together.

They’re thankful for that.

For those with families far away, it’s phone and Zoom calls on the menu. A few might have set up their turkey feast in front of the laptop, talking about old times with friends and family while carving another slice.

Others found comfort in tradition. A family might have stood around the dinner table, intoning an honored song: “Come, ye thankful people, come. Raise the song of harvest home.”

Then they sat, said a prayer of thanks and began to eat.

There might have been a small child hearing the words for the first time. Decades from now, having Thanksgiving with his own children and grandchildren, he’ll speak those words himself.

And, just like us, the tradition will carry on.

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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