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Being thankful a state of mind

Being thankful becomes a cumulative emotion as each year passes in Happy Valley.The longer I live here, raising my family, trying to be a good husband and father, observing the vast changes that occur from year to year, the more I personally find to be thankful for.Some, like failed local political candidates and disgruntled (formerly anonymous) Tipsline callers, find more and more to complain about with each passing day. To those I say with a thick Texas accent: “Ain’t no one I know forcing you to stay here, Slick.”But we all know the type. Certain folks are just never happy no matter where they are or what they are doing, and nothing the rest of us do or say will ever change their perpetually cynical perspectives. Some live in trailers, some in mansions, but all seem pretty miserable for one reason or another. I suppose I’m happy they exist. They remind me daily of the person I never wish to be.So in spite of their existence, I, Richard Carnes, for the seventh year in print, am thankful for:n The ski mountain opening with more runs available than positive Rob Katz personnel decisions.n Vail’s integrity as a ski mountain not being nearly as shallow as Aspen’s newspaper columnists or their snow base on opening day. While we opened with about 800 acres and plenty of snow, they have a less than a bottle of Aspen beer’s depth on 150 or so acres, AND you have to ride the gondola both directions. Yippee.n The Bush administration being forced to readdress international policy toward the war against religion.n The president performing the best Yogi Berra impression of the year in reference to the war, saying, “We’ll win if we don’t quit!”n Nancy Pelosi already being served a heaping slice of humble pie with a crow-shaped fork.n Not blindly following the likes of Ted Haggard simply because my elders told me to, just like their elders told them to, and their elders told them … (repeat ad nauseam until your brain falls out).n Paul McCartney’s best album in 30 years, “Chaos and Creation.” It’s full of simple acoustic numbers without all the over-production that has bogged down his work for decades, and is gentler on the ears than an hour with Beaver Creek homeowners “discussing” alpine slides.n O.J. not dropping by Verbatim for his Thanksgiving book tour.n Caring less about Tom and Katie’s wedding, but hoping they spend the entire honeymoon back on their own planet.n Levulan Photo Dynamic Facial Therapy. Although curing sun-damaged skin by purposely causing an extreme sunburn makes absolutely no sense to ignorant little moi, it works.n Pete Roach over at the Sonnenalp Golf Club. I don’t believe in miracles, but somehow he imbued my 7-iron with enough sporadic magical tricks to lower my handicap from my waist size down to about the age I graduated (from college, not high school). Baby steps, Dick, baby steps.n Listening to my wife and her Bunko buddies downstairs as they sample wine and giggle like schoolgirls. Funny thing is, though, they don’t seem nearly as loud or obnoxious as my buddies when we’re drinking beer. n My oldest coming home for the week.n My second oldest not getting his license for another week.n My youngest and I beginning construction on a ski and sled jump for the season in the yard. At his age (7), it’s on par with a trip to Disneyworld as the ultimate father-son activity.n Realizing more and more each day what my family means to me. The sense of responsibility and the love and devotion I feel grows exponentially each night when the youngest gives me that tight hug and quick peck on the cheek, his little voice showing more innocence and wonder than a box full of puppies.If you have the urge, put your own thankful list together this week. Yes, it’s sort of corny (very, actually). But you don’t have to write it down. Just make a mental compilation or something along those lines. And remember, being thankful is not for how much stuff you have, but for whom you have the pleasure of enjoying it with.Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net ail Daily, Vail Colorado CO


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