Carnes: Plenty of thanks to give this holiday season in Happy Valley (column) |

Carnes: Plenty of thanks to give this holiday season in Happy Valley (column)

Richard Carnes
My View

My family of six spent last Thanksgiving in "South Vail" (aka Belize … aka Caye Caulker); however, with all of life's changes over the past year, this will be the first for my bride and I to be all by ourselves.

Not to worry, though, as all is well with everyone, it's just that the other four will be together up in the Pacific Northwest visiting other family, and that's what Thanksgiving is all about anyway, right?

So for my 18th turkey column, I realize some still want to thank one omnipotent thingamajig or another, and while I steadfastly defend their right to do so, most of us already know how a mirror works.

With that babble out of the way, I, Richard Carnes, am thankful:

• For a wonderful Vail Valley summer and that hurricane season is over.

• For the massive amounts of fresh snowfall we are going to have — sooner or later.

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• For living in a community that will never forget the likes of Morrie Shepard, Byron Brown and Dr. Tom Steinberg.

• For living in a valley with veterans such as Mike Mathias (read the Vail Daily article linked from this column at, and you'll see what I mean).

• That Alberto Vilar is still a jailed, convicted felon and that VPAC will continue to be referred to as the Vail Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek.

• Battle Mountain Huskies football had a .500 season, and VMS soccer team made the playoffs.

• For locals Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn being Olympic champions in the past, present and (hopefully) future.

• For local athlete Felix Coudouy making the French Freestyle Ski Team, yet bummed he blew his ACL just last friggin' week and now will miss the Olympics in South Korea.

• Buddy Lazier is still racing in the Indy 500, and so will son Flinn at some point.

• The Broncos are not 0-10, although 3-7 is damn close.

• I live in the Rocky Mountains (no elaboration needed).

• I do not live in Alabama (ditto).

• For not belonging to, or following blindly, any political party.

• President John F. Kennedy did not tweet "Khrushchev was sincere when he said there were no nukes in Cuba."

• For already being aware that islands are "surrounded by a bunch of water …"

• I put basic morality ahead of political loyalty.

• For respecting my coffee machine more than Sean Hannity.

• The religious right is not in control. Of anything. Anywhere.

• For people of faith who perform actual actions rather than the pointless "thoughts and prayers" for those in need.

• For being pro-reality as opposed to anti-religion (there is a tremendous difference).

• I still get paid to write like this.

• For a wife who, although she will never understand why being called all sorts of colorful names in print and online makes me grin like a Cheshire Cat, still enjoys being seen with me in public.

• For having the knowledge (and experience) to never click on any email which begins with: Dear Customer.

• My favorite time of the year is beginning this week (Christmas!).

And finally, at age 58, I am thankful for three beautiful children, one beautiful wife, one beautiful daughter-in-law, real friends (you know who you are), fake acquaintances (ditto), beer, golf, skiing and that I get to enjoy them all in Happy Valley.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at