Region has much to be thankful for

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

During this era of economic uncertainty, a capricious labor market, family lives strained by myriad of exterior forces and even stress over if we will be able to afford to go to the doctor next year, allowing ourselves to take a break and reflect on what we should be thankful for might seem trifling.
But Thanksgiving is upon us and what better time to strip away the veneer of the outside world for an honest evaluation for all that is good in our lives. Hopefully for most, we only need to peruse the Thanksgiving table, one that is weighed down by some of the world’s finest dishes that can only be found in southeast Louisiana. That alone is a reason to give thanks.
More importantly, however, than the nutritional nourishment is the emotional nourishment offered to us by family members and friends surrounding that table of turducken and oyster dressing. They are at the center of the universe, the ones that provide a much-needed sliver lining of support in times of personal crisis.
Beyond family, we who are fortunate to call the River Parishes home are abundantly rich in treasures for which we can give thanks. We live in one of the most unique and tradition-rich areas of the country, where family and history collide to provide a template of life.
The Mississippi River, one of the country’s critical economic highways, is a repository of history, its ever-changing currents occasionally offering a tantalizing sneak into the past and hope for the future.
We are a people for whom tradition is sacred, and nowhere else do residents provide a lighted glide path for St. Nick on Christmas Eve.  It is traditions such as those that set us apart.
Area residents, especially those in St. John the Baptist Parish, can also be thankful that they are in a full year of recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Isaac and that this year’s hurricane season passed quietly. Many are already back in their homes; some are not so fortunate.
There remains much work to be done, but Thanksgiving Day is not the time to reflect on what difficulties lies ahead but rather a time to enjoy the company of family and friends. Don’t forget to pass the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving!