Thanks to Karen Bernetti for coming up with the Be Thankful Challenge, and encouraging others to join in thinking about what we're thankful for, and writing about it on Active Rain. Also, thanks to Cinnamon Wright for prodding some of us into participating. I have not kept up with the daily aspect of the challenge, but have been thankful for the rest of a long holiday weekend, and reading others blogs and commenting.
I am Thankful for living in St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA. Let me explain. There are good things, and not so good things about almost anywhere you could choose to live, and sometimes I get cought-up in looking at the disadvantages of living here in Central Minnesota. I mean think about it for a moment. Today for example, it's just over freezing, with liquid and solid precipitation coming down all day ( I haven't looked outside for a while, and now it's dark, so there could be inches of snow out there! ). What's to like about that? Well, it could be worse! I've seen it!
From a business standpoint there is another glass half full picture. We have better employment figures here than the rest of the state, and the state is pretty good compared to the rest of the country. But, this area is very conservative, and won't reflect that relative good health in terms of business optimism until the rest of the country improves and the news media has a more positive outlook. So, it's hard to sell real estate to people that won't take what they consider to be a risk (glass half empty). But, that works in our favor, because the conservative attitudes that I described lend a certain stability to the region and it's economy. We have a reputation of being hard working and stable. And we pay our bills (statistically speaking), and seldom default (compared to some parts of the country). There are neighborhoods I drive through regularly, that have no signs of foreclosure activity at all, and others with very little.
We have cold here, but we have beautiful seasons, with White Christmas' and fresh Spring fishing openers, and comfortably warm Summers, and crisp colorful Falls. In a few weeks the lakes will freeze hard enough to skate and ice fish, and the snow will get deep enough for snowmobiling (we have hundreds of miles of trails, just watch out for moose). People are pretty friendly, even if they've never met you before. One of my friends says he likes it here in Minnesota, because only the best people can survive for long, and he may be right.
But, here's the best part. It's part of the best country ever, and I can go where I want, and do pretty much whatever I set my mind to do! I can run for office. I can speak out on any subject at any time, in public, in private, without worrying about being arrested. I can work at whatever I want, and make as much money as my brain and my body can manage to make, and pay taxes; but get some pretty good benefits for those taxes. I have God given rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, and guarded by three branches of government. I live in a country that has an Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, full of volunteer heroes. The basic goodness of this country is awe inspiring to me.
I am thankful for where I live. St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA.