North wind bore bitter cold Saturday. Even with extra clothes on, chill soon brought on shivers as I went about some day job duties outdoors. Thanksgiving seems easier to be thankful about when weather reminds you the misery that is possible for those without or those in tough circumstance. The virtual world of television, computers, cell phones and various portable digital notebooks distract us from the physical world. Combine that with a society of relative economic plenty and it is easy to forget that we are fragile beings. But the north wind reminds us about our frailty and reliance upon one another for comfort. Here’s what I’m thankful for as winter arrives. • People who serve public safety in our community. Those who fight fires and patrol streets deal with all manner of problems, tragedy and human nature. We expect their services 24/7. Some would rather be eating turkey and watching football on Thursday. But instead they’ll put on uniforms and drive the roadways or staff fire stations and ambulances. Thank you. • All our Platte County folks serving in the military and their families. You would think that with the world’s science and technology advancements, coupled with the hindsight view of how tragic war is, there would be more peace in this world. But planet Earth remains filled with threats to peaceful living. Thanks to preservers of peace. • People who work in gas stations, quick shops, restaurants and retail stores. I would hope you would all be home eating turkey and watching football or old movies with family and friends on Thursday. But the corporate world demands that you work and I guess our consumerism creates demand for your services, too. I don’t think it should be so, but I feel grateful for your work ethic. • A special thanks to coffee shops and cafes that serve turkey and dressing with a smile on Thursday. Not all people have family and friends to be with on a holiday. For some, their visit to your establishment is their celebration with others. • People who work in nursing homes have a special strength. These places have their happy moments. But they also test the happy side of human spirit. Those who give their all to help the infirm or needy in these homes, often for very low pay, deserve thanks. • Politicians. You might be shocked that I, a journalist who has been oft critical, would say such a thing. But the journalist viewpoint is also that in today’s world complex problems land on an office holder’s desk. They get plenty of scrutiny and criticism for choices made regarding those problems but very little thanks. The national divide in politics coupled with a ceaseless rhetorical banter about American issues has made the public cynical about all elected office holders. “Throw them all out and start over,” I’ve heard people say. Well at the city, county and state level, there are people who hold our basic services together and enhance life. I do not agree with all, I may not like all or agree with them on any or many issues. But I respect that they do what relatively few are willing to do — run for office and serve the public. • I’m grateful that industry and government work out a million details so electricity and water are available in my home at the flip of switches and knobs. The engineering and coordination that makes this possible is far more complicated than the knob. • Thanks to all the people who in the past year spoke kind words to me about this column. It’s appreciated. You make me feel a part of a community and that is important to me. • Finally, thanks to Citizen publisher Lee Stubbs and his family and staff for producing a newspaper that helps bind this community together. As important, thanks to you for being a reader. You care about your community, and that’s the bedrock of America.