‘Tis the season to count your blessings | VailDaily.com

‘Tis the season to count your blessings

Marty Lich

I am grateful for this wonderful free country that I live in.

I am grateful for the ability to write what I want to write without fear of reprisal. I am not jailed for speaking out.

I am grateful for the right to vote in America. Even if Referendums C and D passed, (darn it) I am still grateful to be able to cast my vote.

I am grateful for the freedom to speak out. I do not lose my tongue because I dare to speak up.

By virtue of this country that we live in, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was allowed to sue over the display of the Ten Commandments in the Mercer County courthouse. And by virtue of this great country we live in, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals also threw their latest lawsuit out.

I am grateful that sometimes ‘The People’ who speak up are heard. That is how it is supposed to be, but still – how about that! It can still work!

The words “Merry Christmas” are still shining brightly, PC or not, on the Denver city and county buildings. Denver Mayor Hickenlooper agreed to keep the lights after the public outcry.

Wal-Mart created a “Christmas” section on its website after all, instead of just the sections “holiday” “Hanukkah” and “Kwanzaa.”

And Lowe’s agreed to rename its “holiday trees” Christmas trees because the public said they are definitely Christmas trees.

I love living in a county that allows me, John Q Citizen, to waltz in and see Teak Simonton, Eagle County’s clerk and recorder, and be greeted with genuine pleasure. (Hi and thank you, Teak). I love being able to hoof it unannounced into the Eagle County Assessor’s office and find a friendly and knowledgeable Joyce Mack eager to help us unknowledgeable folks. (Hiya Joyce, Happy New Year to you!) I love the delightful experience of just chatting in the grocery store with County Commissioner Tom Stone, who really cares about the “little guy” living here.

I am also grateful to our school district superintendent John Brendza. Someone who takes time out from his busy schedule to listen and respond to us. All you have to do is ask. Likewise, I appreciate our assistant superintendent, Karen Strakbein, who remains conservative with the spending of our tax dollars.

I find it remarkable that District Attorney Mark Hurlbert takes the time to personally answer any of his calls, but he does.

Now how neat is all of this? Pretty darn neat, really. Try it in a big, impersonal county sometime. You’d still be waiting for someone to care.

I am thankful to the many residents in Eagle County who give their own personal time to coach, supervise, and lead all of our children in Eagle County.

I appreciate the Town of Vail and the wonderful programs they put on, their recreation and ice hockey leagues and how hard they work for all of the residents here.

I appreciate my town and all the things they do for even their youngest non-voting residents. I appreciate Mayor Steve Carver and the Mayor pro-tem, the illustrious Pam Schultz. (Hey Pam, keep on keepin’ on) Got an issue? Catch ’em at the post office. They take time to listen. It is remarkable!

Thank you to Gypsum Fire Chief Dave Vroman, he is one of the finest people anyone could ever hope to meet.

And last, but certainly not least, I am ever so appreciative of not finding myself assigned this year to some deserty immigration office located in Purgatory, courtesy of the infamous annual Christmas wish list by my pal and columnist Richard Carnes. Gee thanks, RC, I dislike the heat a whole lot, you know.

The reality is I am blessed by many true friends, by my family, by my country, and by my God.

Have a happy and successful New Year everyone. VT

Marty Lich is a Gypsum resident and a regular columnist for The Vail Trail. E-mail comments about this column to editor@vailtrail.com

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