Thanksgiving is all about appreciating what God has provided for us. Unlike some who think the Divine is some kind of Santa Claus or even the Occupy Wall Street who expect to be coddled; the pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation gave thanks for just SURVIVING after losing half the colony. When George Washington issued his Proclamation, it was with deep gratitude that the country emerged from a long war, independent and with a strong Constitution. Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Decree right in the midst of a great civil war.
In our present day, we here in the Greater Newburyport Area grumble and think ourselves ill-served when we are truly surrounded by untold wealth compared to other communities. It is often those who have the least or have gone through great tribulations who are often the most thankful. Here we grouse about our neighbors or belly-ache when one of our local politicians doesn’t return our phone calls.(Which happens way too often.)
On the other hand, God has certainly and richly blessed Newburyport.
Even the P. Preservationist understands the cool situation we are in. While a great number of homeowners in other places lose value in their homes and a great host are being foreclosed upon; Newburyport sits in a rather enviable position. We are the regional leader in heritage tourism that even makes Salem covetous.
Right now, the City is not just in the black but with a moderately healthy surplus.
Right now, our High Street is now part of the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway and poised to be placed on a national footing and duly recognized.
Right now, we have a new charter the first since 1919!
Right now, while other cities are having water restrictions, we have a surplus!
Right now, while other towns and cities are choking on urban sprawl, we have beautiful open space, farmlands and a forested buffer between Route 95 and the City.
We are literally drowning in arts, music, literature and surrounded by natural beauty.
Even though the hard times have even been rough on the rich, we still have managed to have a great harbor and busy marinas. (Those boats are expensive to maintain let alone buy!)
Right now, we have the first real opportunity to protect our city by a comprehensive local historic district.
Right now, we have a downtown full of restaurants and shops.
Right now, we have the lowest tax rate in the region.
Yes, we can do better and yes, the opportunities before us are excellent but the fact we even have so much to look forward to is a GREAT cause to be thankful.
So many other communities are on the descent and fraught with troubles.
So in the coming year, as we fight over infrastructure (LHD, sidewalks, waterfront & more waterfront) and the politics gets brutal and at times nasty, personal & weird, we should be thankful that none of this involves gang fights, home invasions, murders, rapes, and other violent and horrible happenings!
THANKS BE TO GOD!