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Small Alaska communities are the state's backbone. Economically, if they're strong, then so, too, is Alaska.

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The fall back position might be the best to take this weekend.

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Shane Raymond Sooter, 59, died Oct. 24, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Robert ‘Rod’ Orwin Davidson, 68, died Oct. 21, 2014, in Tacoma, Washington
Mary C. Smith, 93, died Oct. 19, 2014, in Ketchikan.
11/27/2013
Count our blessings

OK, it's time to count our blessings.

The first for Ketchikan might be that it will rain, and maybe sunshine some, on Thursday. It is not unusual for a Thanksgiving Day windstorm. This year the forecast doesn't call for one. But it can and does happen on occasion. It's a blessing if it doesn't. More than one turkey has languished half-cooked in a Ketchikan oven on Thanksgivings through the years.

Then there are the people in our lives. For some it is immediate family, while for others it is a church family or another type of formed family. But we're also thankful for the people who help us, protect us, care for us and for those that we do those things for. Just imagine what life on this island might be like without firefighters, police, doctors, store (especially grocery) clerks. That's just the top of the list; the list goes on to include pilots, mechanics, pastors and the like.

Whether we are blessed with many things or just a few, for that we can be thankful. As long as we have what we need and aren't tied down or burdened by all the stuff that we do, it is a blessing to be able to acquire what makes life more comfortable.

Sometimes we can be thankful that stuff happens when it does. For example, that the salmon (and halibut) runs come each year, which allows us to catch and fill our freezers or just simply fish for fun. Either way, someone will appreciate the fish when the time comes.

A few of us will travel for the holiday to be with family and/or friends. That that is possible to do quickly — usually in a day — is worth our appreciation. That that is possible to do in spite of the ticket price also is a blessing.

It is wise to take the time to count our blessings. It helps us to see how much we have to be thankful for; it prompts us to think about what we already have instead of too much about what want.

It makes us thankful and appreciative, and thanks is what Thanksgiving Day is all about.

Happy Thanksgiving!