John Harrigan: A look near and far yields plenty of thanks
The sunlight pours through the six-over-six window, and bathes me and the office and attack dog Millie, recumbent there on the rug, in golden warmth.
The sun will continue to sink lower on the horizon until Dec. 21, the winter solstice, when it will begin climbing back up. When I think about all this - the cusp of the seasons, the southward view from my office of back-country and mountains where not a soul lives, and where there are no all-night lights piercing the dark in a place where I can go right out the barn door to hunt, or fish, or snowshoe or cross-country ski, with no close neighbors except by way of close friendship, and then get to write it all, do I give thanks? You bet.
I've been to Alaska a few times, the first on a junket to see first-hand what was going on with Prudhoe Bay and the pipeline, the last two or three times to visit longtime friend and wildlife biologist Jeff Fair, who lives in Palmer and writes and has a gift for making words sing.
Me thankful? You bet.
I'm thankful to live in a free country where you can say what you want and go where you want and force the government to correct its mistakes (see Obama Care). Thanks be that I live in a nation where nobody can knock on my door at midnight and drag me off never to be seen again. And a place where if I'm sighting in my muzzleloader or shooting a partridge for supper, no one calls 911.
And I'm grateful for newcomers from Down Below, who have been here and seen this place and love it just as much at the natives do, maybe more, and are committed to moving up when they've retired and the kids are gone.
They tend to drift into the warp and woof of life in the towns and the territory, see things with fresh eyes, remember where they've come from and why they're here, and soon pitch in to help make the region continue to be different.
Happy Thanksgiving, and please pass the gravy.
John Harrigan's address: Box 39, Colebrook NH or firstname.lastname@example.org
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