Vail Daily column: A different kind of thanks |

Vail Daily column: A different kind of thanks

Given the season and all, I, Richard Carnes, am thankful:

• The elections are over.

• My family’s health care plan isn’t directly affected by Obamacare.

• I’m not bothered that Juanita’s parents can now apply for citizenship without fear of deportation.

• I can easily ignore Boehner, McConnell, Pelosi and Reid, and still sleep well.

• While certain members of Congress spend their time and money rallying against science under the guise of one fictitious character or another, actual human beings just landed a spaceship on a comet.

• ISIS, ISIL and al-Qaida are still nothing more than delusional thugs looking for power over the masses.

• Fred Phelps is dead.

• Neil deGrasse Tyson is alive.

• I don’t own a retail shop in Ferguson, Missouri.

• When the Lionshead rock lost its head in Minturn nobody was hurt.

• The skull found during the construction dig in Lionshead was not a prank by Packy Walker (although it would have been one of his top 10).

• The Battle Mountain Huskies finally had a winning season, the Eagle Valley Devils made the playoffs and the VMS soccer team went all the way to the quarterfinals.

• For locals Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn being Olympic champions, but also for upcoming athletes like Felix Coudouy, who at 15 just qualified for the freestyle World Cup competitions taking place at Copper Mountain next week.

• Buddy Lazier is still racing in the Indy 500.

• The Broncos and the Cowboys are both having winning seasons.

But more than anything else (look out, here comes the sappy part … ), I’d like to thank the good people of Happy Valley (not the bad ones though, screw them).

When my mom died a few weeks ago, I responded like I do to a lot of things in life — I wrote a column about it. There are many reasons why I do this, but the main one is that writing about an issue, especially a deeply personal one, is cathartic for me. Instead of showing extreme emotion verbally or physically (or drowning in a bottle of rum, which can actually work, but only in the short term), I transfer those feelings into words and am lucky enough to share them with the community that I have surrounded myself with for the past 30 years.

And although reactions certainly were not an objective, Vail Daily readers responded in droves, rivaling anything I have written weekly during the past 15 years (that’s over 750 Tuesday’s in a row, but who’s counting … ).

I of course heard from friends and longtime acquaintances, but the number of total strangers sending condolences was off the charts, second only to the number of anonymous comments received during the Kobe debacle over a decade ago.

But all of these were positive.

I also had my eyes opened as to how many people around me have gone through the same heartbreak in recent months, and I now feel like a putz for not being more responsive to what they were going through.

Another one of life’s lessons that I certainly will not have to learn again, but I was thankful to learn it nonetheless.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks.

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

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