Who among us hasn’t complained about the cat that’s been polluting our flower beds, or the irresponsible dog owner who doesn’t pick up after their pet?
‘Tis the season of temperatures getting colder and tempers getting hotter. We’re coming off of a summer with too much rain and too much construction, into an autumn with too many election signs and too few good candidates to vote for.
Annoyances are all around us: overly loud commercials on the radio, having to navigate all those traffic calming measures in Erin Ridge, high taxes and new developments changing the character of our beloved neighbourhoods. Heck, sometimes all it takes is squabbling kids or a bad hair day to sour our moods.
Let’s not forget the drivers who don’t seem to know what a blinker is (let alone what it’s used for); the speed limits that make no sense; the traffic lights that seem designed to make you late for work.
Yes, there certainly is a lot to complain about these days. In this era of first world problems, it’s easy to let these little things consume us. The less life-altering problems we have to worry about, the more we seem to fret about the length of grass or amount of weeds on our neighbour’s front lawn.
But all these day-to-day annoyances aside, we do have a lot to be thankful for here in St. Albert, and that’s what this weekend is about. We have low crime rates and good quality of life, good schools and great community events. Many of us have a roof over our head, family to spend time with and a hearty Thanksgiving meal waiting just around the corner. That in itself is a great blessing.
For those of us who don’t have those things, we’re thankful for organizations like the St. Albert Community Village and Food Bank, which is helping to feed over 1,000 families.
Last month, Food Bank executive director Suzan Krecsy wrote a column for the Gazette that highlighted some of the needs in this community that go beyond mere annoyances. Homelessness, for instance, impacts men, women and children, even in St. Albert. Wrap-around services – from affordable, barrier-free and safe housing to affordable child care and mental health services – can help those families in need, and we have some wonderful and generous people locally who help to fill those gaps.
Looking more globally, we are fortunate here not to be living through war, famine and strife. We are lucky to have good health care, education and freedom to live how we please. We're lucky to be able to vote, too – and advance polls are open this weekend for those of us looking to ignore the last few days of trivial mudslinging ahead as the federal election campaign wraps up.
So this weekend, let’s be thankful for what we have, let the little things go, and with generous spirits give to those who may be suffering through difficult times. Happy Turkey Day.