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By the time you pick up this newspaper, it will either be the days leading up to Thanksgiving or the holiday will have just passed.

Time flies right now in Southeast Louisiana with a hurricane rebuild ongoing and life struggling to get back to normal.

I’ve noticed people to be a little bit less in the holiday spirit this year — maybe because of the storm, but also maybe because of inflation, the pandemic or other worries we may have.

So I want you all to please stop what you’re doing and give me 3-5 minutes of your time. That’s all I ask. Let me tell you some of the reasons why I’m thankful this Thanksgiving and hopefully, some of my positivity can spill into you and your life!

I’m thankful to be from Lafourche Parish. Can you guys imagine going through the past 2-3 years living anywhere else? We have had so many stories of neighbors helping neighbors and people making the most of bad situations. Those things don’t happen in other places. But they do happen in Lafourche. Be thankful for our amazing community. It is one of a kind in the best ways imaginable, and I am grateful. I could not imagine being anywhere else — especially right now.

I’m thankful for my health, family and friends. Did you wake up today? If you’re reading this, the answer is obviously yes. That’s a blessing in and of itself. Many others did not get that opportunity. I’m also thankful to have friends, family, colleagues and others to share experiences with daily. If you have folks you love and that you can count on, let them know that you’re thankful and give them a little joy in this time.

I’m thankful that the oil and gas industry is slowly growing after harsh times during the global pandemic. Remember when oil dropped below $0/barrel? That was just a little more than a year ago. Today, the price is far more manageable and while we may be paying for it at the pump, the news is not all bad because our industry locally is doing better today than it was at the peak of the pandemic. That’s something we can all be thankful for.

I’m thankful for parish leadership and local first responders. From parish government to our sheriff’s office and police municipalities, I cannot be more thankful to work with you all. To our first responders and medical professionals, you all are incredibly appreciated. So much of what we do requires teamwork — both from members of our staff, but also from members of our community. Our leadership, law enforcement and first responders “get it,” and are always willing to help.

I’m thankful for a school system that is one of the best in Louisiana. It’s been one heck of a ride for our teachers and students in the past few years, but they’re making it work. For that, we should all be thankful.

I’m thankful to every member of our work team — including you, the reader. During uncertain times, we have stayed vigilant and steadfast in our commitment to local news. It hasn’t always been easy. But it’s a labor of love. To everyone on our Gazette team, know that you’re appreciated. And to our readers, you are members of our team, too. And we’re thankful to you all for your investment of time into our product.

Time is up. I promised I’d be done in 3-5 minutes. While I could go on and continue to list more, I understand that it’s the holidays and your time is precious.

Find something to be thankful for this holiday season. Times are tough, but we are strong. If you look hard enough, I promise you’ll find it — those things that are in your life that give you happiness, joy, relief and comfort.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Be safe, happy and may the holiday fill you all with turkey in your bellies and joy in your hearts!

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