Thankful For …

What are you thankful for?

That’s the question I posed last week.

“06880” readers responded. Family, friends, community, health — the emails came in.

When we all sit down Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner, we’ll give thanks for many things. Among them:

I am thankful for Westport’s beautiful nature — the beaches, the fall colors at Longshore, and all of the deer that remind us of who walked here before.

Globally, I am thankful to be a US passport holder — what an amazing gift to have the movement and freedoms that come with it.

Personally, I am thankful for my new son, a gift later in life who came via a selfless surrogate. (Alia Afshar)

I am so deeply grateful for how hard our Westport teachers, school administrators, staff, coaches, club sponsors and Board of Education work to prepare our children for a productive, purposeful and happy life.

Too many to name have had a meaningful impact on my children. I am so thankful that they continue to embrace new ideas and development opportunities to do even more for all students. (Joan Gillman)

Into our world of grim news and widespread loneliness, the Westport Book Shop arrived to become a place of community, warmth, and encouragement.

Every time I enter, I feel uplifted and hopeful for our world and our little town. The staff and volunteers are unfailingly kind.

The inclusive mission, to support the Westport Library while developing the talents of employees with a range of abilities, is a joy to support. On a personal level, when I retired from teaching and took shaky steps to build an art-based business, the Westport Book Shop supported me by hosting my first solo art show. Then they offered my stationery and gifts up front by the register — talk about encouragement!

Their active empowerment is life-changing. I am a loyal customer and I invite my neighbors to visit for holiday shopping and “It’s a Wonderful Life”-level good cheer! (Kerstin Rao)

The Westport Book Shop’s Katherine Caro and Jocelyn Barandiaran.

This has been a brutal year in many ways. I am thankful for the health and safety of my family, our Westport community that voted to put children first in our School Board election, and the solidarity shown by President Biden that we stand with Israel and Ukraine. (Jonathan Alloy)

That my mother cares for herself, her children and the world at large. A huge shout out too to the folks at the Westport Book Shop. (Caroline Sorstein)

As always, thankful for my family. (Diane Silfen)

I’m thankful for having made it to 70. I know that might sound strange to some, since I grew up in a place with many advantages and resources — but more than a half dozen of my childhood friends unfortunately never made it to this age.  And I have family medical history and non-genetic health issues which have not been in my favor either. 

So I am also thankful for even the little things that I am able to enjoy, and naturally for the friends who are still around. (Fred Cantor)

I’m thankful for the new games I’ve learned to play, and the new friends I’ve made playing. I’m also thankful for all I’ve learned from the Democratic Town Committee, and the great people I’ve met there. (Bobbi Essagof)

Just yesterday, I felt grateful as I rode across the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, seeing the blue ribbons. I was grateful that I live in a place without war, in a town that tolerates its citizens exercising their constitutional rights. (Joyce Barnhart)

I am thankful to live in a community that advances social justice, values diverse opinions, and fosters mutual respect, where my family feels safe despite so many terrifying tragedies that regularly occur in our world. (Carole Orland)

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


6 responses to “Thankful For …

  1. Kristin Schneeman

    Hang on a second, did no one say they were thankful for you, Dan, or are you just too modest to include the 100 emails you received on that score? Thank you for your unflagging reporting of all things Westport (including all the good news, the things folks above have cited – who even does that anymore?), and for your active engagement in making it a better place!

  2. Thank you, Kristin! You made my day (and it’s still only 7:30 a.m.!). I am honored to do what I do, and proud to do it in this amazing community. We are all in this together. Much appreciated!

  3. I am thankful that when I take a walk thru out very beautiful community, that I see hundreds of beautiful birds, chipmunks scurrying the the bushes, deer munching grass, oppossuiums and woodchucks lumbering across the street. I love our wildlife who were her first and have adapted to be our friends

  4. I am grateful for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport where everyone is welcome exactly as they are.

  5. Caroline Sorstein

    I am thankful for Dan Woog. The platform you provide is welcoming and safe. So I thank you.

  6. Janette Kinnally

    Thank you so much for all you do for your community Dan and for having this amazing blog to share with other Westporters. And I am grateful for the many wonderful people that live in this town because they really step up and support each other when needed. We truly have an amazing community. Happy Holidays!

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