Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2021, our corner in Four Seasons Country settles down for a well deserved dinner with family and friends. While masks and social distancing may still be on today’s menu for some, life is nevertheless slowly returning to normal.

The year 2021, just like 2020, was turbulent for the region with events once again swirling out of control around us. Still we endured and were generally insulated from the unfolding chaos, most of which was associated with the ongoing pandemic.

Today, as we are seated for Thanksgiving dinner, we pause to give thanks for our many blessings this year. We also share our hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

Despite the pandemic, a number of new businesses, both big and small, opened in the region in 2021. And a number of ongoing economic development efforts and large-scale projects planned for the area are setting the stage for a more prosperous future.

That, matched with a continuing turnaround by mature, visionary leadership on both the local and state level shores up a reason for greater expectations this Thanksgiving.

Additionally, Thanksgiving 2021 is witness to a stronger sense of community across the deep south counties. The heart of our region beats stronger even during adversity, as we have witnessed during this nearly two-year-old public health emergency.

Today, as we look across the table overflowing with bounty, we must reflect on our own prosperity of goodness. It is a growth not measured by how well our 401ks did during the pandemic, or whether or not an investment in real estate is doing better than we expected, or the growth of a savings account.

Simply, the answer is in the faces of our children, our grandchildren and all those who depend on us. Have we prospered in character, in moral fabric, in our faith? Have we continued to provide the model during these difficult days that we expect each of them to emulate?

Do we feel an inner satisfaction of doing the best we can during the most challenging of days?

Have we followed the blueprint of living we were taught when our moms and dads sat at the head of the table? Have we continued to provide those inspired examples to those who will follow us?

For many, Thanksgiving 2021 is a time to be prayerfully grateful despite the continued adversity around us.

But in facing our responsibilities to those who depend on us, real prosperity is based on the answer: “Yes, I’ve done the best I can.”

If you can say that, your Thanksgiving dinner today will be blessed indeed!

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