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This is perhaps the best week of the year to stop, take a deep breath, and reflect, taking stock of all our many Blessings.

Thanksgiving -- the holiday -- will be Thursday.

Hopefully you all have had friends and family over for a big meal, some down time and some time for real reflection of life.

I usually write this column for the week of Thanksgiving, as it just upon us maybe this edition, holds even more relevance for the uncharted waters ahead for all of us.

There is a lot we should all be thankful for in 2019 and with 2020 hiding, just around the corner, it should be more important than perhaps ever to be thankful.

I mean to be truly Thankful.

First, let's all be Thankful for good health.

If you have good health, you simply do not value your good health enough.

If you don't have good health (or if you know someone that is ill, suffering or in declining health) there is little one can do to restore that person to a healthy condition.

Seldom is there a medical procedure, an insurance policy, or a public policy that can do that.

We need to be thankful that others, among us, doctors, nurses and others who work hard and truly want all of our citizens to live healthier lives.

We need to be Thankful to be living in the United States of America. Where else on this planet would you have as many freedoms, including the right to complain, not only verbally, but in the written word, to criticize this great nation of ours, without threat of retribution or being jailed?

As always, we all need to be Thankful to be living in Arkansas.

I always find it interesting to discover people who really don't want to be living here. The roads are always open to other states.

In fact, I find it more times than not, the exact opposite.

More and more people are Thankful to be moving to Northwest Arkansas every day.

We should be Thankful for the natural beauty that surrounds us. There was little we did to create this beauty. But be, oh so, Thankful there are those who are tireless in their quest to keep the natural beauty, ever present, in our state.

Yes, I say be Thankful for a free press, especially one without the trappings of hidden agendas, unfairness and government control. In these days of a declining print press, I feel extremely thankful to come to you each week in this award-winning, community driven and well-read and regarded publication.

The full-time staff is small, but they are among the most committed community journalist I have ever known.

I am ever Thankful for the legion of civic clubs, non-profit organizations and tireless volunteers that exist to serve others in so many ways in our communities.

I am thankful that such great pubic facilities as libraries, senior citizen centers, boys and girls clubs, parks, walking trails and other recreational/public facilities continue to grow and prosper all over the NWA region. There are less of these in other parts of Arkansas, don't believe me? Check it out -- we have more than our share of these public amenities.

And we cannot forget the important job our public school system does in educating our children. Schools make our communities a great place to live, work and raise our families.

I am ever so Thankful for the right to worship in the plethora of churches, temples, synagogues and meeting houses of almost every religion.

We need to be oh, so Thankful in this state to have two viable political parties. The State of Arkansas needs all the help it can get from both sides of the aisle to continue to prosper and move forward.

Be also ever so thankful for a wise, cooperative, congenial working relationship by members of both political parties. Our local elected delegation is among these members who continue striving for the common good of our state.

We will test them again in 2020, as we do each and every political season.

And I am Thankful for knowing many great men and women of our area who have made a difference in our area. Some, sadly this past year, have passed away.

Others, I am Thankful for, in our midst, are stepping up to honor these fallen volunteers.

Be thankful everyone.

A transition year of 2020 is just around the corner.

-- Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at maylontrice@yahoo.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 11/27/2019

Print Headline: I am Thankful for.....

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