Things to be grateful for in this time of uncertainty

If you’re a regular reader of my weekly column, you know I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the election of Donald Trump. I’m at the same time anxious, depressed, fearful (for others mostly) and just downright angry. It’s a particular type of outrage that’s difficult to explain in words not of the four-letter variety.

But I can’t focus on the president-elect around the clock. And this week, I’m thinking about some of the many things I’m grateful for. I don’t have enough space here to denote everything. Here are a few highlights:

I’m thankful for my family and friends, who love me despite my many flaws. A special shout out to my husband, who doesn’t mind being married to a woman with the nickname Maddog. As a working mother, I’m thankful that my child is surrounded during the day by caring teachers and teachers’ aides.

I’m thankful for dedicated colleagues (my CN&R family) who put a lot of time and effort into fulfilling this newspaper’s mission of, among other things, bettering our community. This includes former Editors Robert Speer and Evan Tuchinsky, both of whom know what it’s like to sit in the hot seat in the corner office at Second and Flume streets.

I’m thankful for the folks behind the bylines at newspapers throughout the nation who have devoted their lives to comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. I’m thankful for the little notes of encouragement from readers that buoyed my spirits during the long and punishing election cycle. I’m thankful for the folks whose donations to the CN&R foundation, the local investigative reporting fund, will result in in-depth stories that will shed light on important subjects.

I’m thankful, in the face of great uncertainty from our nation’s capital, that I live in an overall fantastic community where strangers say hello to each other and smile. I’m thankful for the artists who give Chico its identity as a creative—and wonderfully weird—place to live. I’m thankful for the many people in our region who spend their lives working to better the lives of others.

Speaking of which, this week, in our annual Local Heroes Issue, we’ve profiled seven people who go above and beyond through their volunteer efforts (see page 24), just a sampling of the excellent nominations we received this year. For the package of stories, I sat down with a local couple who run a nonprofit gardening program that’s so varied and impressive that it could have been the subject of a cover story. The short write-up is just a glimpse into the work they do running a community garden, showing families how to stretch their food budget and, perhaps most significant, helping people heal emotionally and physically and grow life skills such as independence.

This time of year, as the temperatures drop, remember that many people in our community lack adequate housing. There are excellent nonprofit service organizations here to help, but they need community support to sustain their work. Please consider making a contribution. Also, CN&R is collecting unused toiletries at our office at 353 E. Second St., as we have in past years, to deliver to local service providers. Thanks, in advance of your donations.

Happy Thanksgiving!