As Thanksgiving approaches during this challenging year, we want to focus on the positive and remind ourselves that, even in a challenging year, there is much for which to be thankful.
This year we have a lengthy list, in part because the pandemic appears to be waning but also because America is moving toward stability and sanity. A case in point: There has been no attempt to overthrow the government since January.
There is, of course, much more to life than politics. Most items on our list fall into that category.
First, fall foliage. This year, it is magnificent. We enjoy the vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. We are grateful that this year’s fall leaves are even more brilliant than usual.
We are also grateful to again spend face-to-face time with family and friends. Last year we made exceptions. This year we moved back to close-to-normal practices, still exercising caution but nonetheless again enjoying dinners and get-togethers the way they are meant to be enjoyed—in person.
Living on the Eastern Shore. Notwithstanding the pandemic, the Eastern Shore keeps raising the bar. Farmers’ markets, art galleries, fish markets, bakeries, food trucks and shops continue to abound. And options for quality restaurant dining are increasing. We are grateful to shopkeepers and restaurateurs who persevered and give a gold star to all who opened a new establishment in the middle of a pandemic. That takes courage.
We attended this year’s Waterfowl Festival and remembered how much we enjoy it. It was great to see so many people enjoying the art, food, and yes, the dock dogs and raptors. We are grateful for everyone’s efforts which made this Festival so successful. Great job! Thank you!
A special interest of ours is the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. We are thankful that it has survived the pandemic. The return of the antique and classic boat show was a clear sign that things were getting back to normal. The museum is a gem.
We are grateful for to the Prager family for opening the Prager Family Center for the Arts and giving Chesapeake Music a permanent home. The Ebenezer Theater is is a true treasure. We look forward to hearing future concerts there–without a mask.
A special interest of ours is reading. Many amazing books were published this past year. We will mention only two– Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr and Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Good books helped us get through the pandemic, but we don’t need a pandemic to keep reading. We are grateful to the authors who continue to entertain, educate, and inspire.
And we permitted ourselves only one political salute. We are grateful that the infrastructure bill has been enacted into law. Thanks to our representatives in Washington who supported the bill (that is all of them except the guy who represents the First District), significant resources are being allocated to clean the Bay. That is something for which we all can be grateful.
One final note of thanks. As we hope you know, Dave Wheelan is the editor of The Spy Community Newspapers. While we are privileged to have the opportunity to write for The Spy, we are even more grateful for the opportunity to read it. We have come to depend on The Spy as a primary source of information about culture, politics, and life on the Eastern Shore. We are grateful to Dave and to the writers and editors who work so hard to make The Spy such a tremendous resource.
And finally, we thank those of you who read our columns this past year. We appreciate your reading our work. We are especially grateful to anyone who comments. It is a privilege to exchange ideas with you.
We wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Maria Grant was principal-in-charge of a Federal human capital consulting practice of an international consulting firm. She currently is the HR Director for Politics and Prose Bookstore in D.C. While on the Eastern Shore, she focuses on writing, reading, piano, gardening, nature, and travel.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, birds, and other subjects.
Both Grant and Dean love goldendoodles and recommend the breed to anyone looking for a good dog.