What should we be thankful for on Thanksgiving? All it takes is a look through the pages of the South Whidbey Record to find plenty to be thankful for, and only space keeps this list of 33 items from being far longer.
1. South Whidbey Good Cheer, the Mobile Turkey Unit and various churches and civic groups make sure nobody goes hungry or lonely during the holidays and the rest of the year.
2. We don’t have to go “over town” for the best live entertainment, not with the likes of WICA, the Whidbey Children’s Theater, the Whidbey Island Dance Company, OutCast Productions, the outdoor Shakespeare Festival and various orchestral and choral groups of professional quality.
3. Violent crimes are big news here only because they’re so rare.
4. What better place to enjoy festive holiday shopping than the Village by the Sea? Malls: bah, humbug.
5. South Whidbey’s young people believe in helping the community through food drives, brightening seniors’ holidays, working for Hearts & Hammers and many other volunteer endeavors.
6. Islanders have quietly been demonstrating for peace at Bayview Road and Highway 525 since before the Iraq War started.
7. Bayview Corner is a little gem that most communities couldn’t even imagine.
8. We have two farmers markets, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, for our growing number of people involved in small scale organic farming and an impressive array of artists and craftspeople.
9. The Family Resource Center is there to meet the needs of single moms and other families.
10. The Deer Lagoon Grange is still alive and kicking.
11. The dedicated ferry crews serving Clinton to Mukilteo are on time more than 90 percent of the time.
12. South Whidbey’s population is aging, meaning the problem of stolen hubcaps will diminish soon.
13. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is surviving the recession nicely due to a mixture of state and private jobs.
14. The Orca Network makes sure our whales are appreciated and Lolita is not forgotten, stuck in a pool of warm water in Florida.
15. Occupy South Whidbey occupied us quite peacefully.
16. Matt Nichols is back in charge of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders as CEO.
17. Even with no rain for eight weeks in the late summer and fall, the rain gauge is still ahead of last year’s mark.
18. We still have Whidbey Telecom’s buried phone lines to keep us talking during winter storms.
19. Whidbey Island Ice Cream keeps churning out our favorite flavors.
20. We have Pickles Deli, the best sandwich shop in the Puget Sound area according to KING TV, and other great local eateries.
21. Despite some noise complaints, it’s nice to have a pub back in Langley after the long closure of the Dog House.
22. Langley will soon have its own doctor doing business in Langley Village.
23. We have some of the best little libraries in the west in Clinton, Freeland and Langley.
24. Boeing’s booming, which is great for South Whidbey with its large contingent of Boeing workers.
25. The ugly, abandoned Harbor Village Mall in Freeland was beautifully transformed by Whidbey Telecom.
26. The Whidbey Camano Land Trust keeps acquiring waterfront and forested properties, despite critics worried about the tax rolls which they apparently wanted to serve on Thanksgiving.
27. The Bayview School was closed, but the classic structure is still being used for educational purposes.
28. Island Transit and its friendly bus drivers are finally getting the multi-bathroom facility they have long deserved.
29. Work on the Langley Marina remake has started and will kick into high gear next year.
30. The historic and beloved Clyde Theater stays thoroughly modern, most recently with its expensive digital projector acquisition.
31. The new Whidbey Island Fair is as good as the old Island County Fair.
32. If the rest of the island listened to South Whidbey, we’d have a thoroughly modern Whidbey General Hospital by now.
33. Finally, South Whidbey is home to an amazing variety of talented people with all kinds of different beliefs, but they coexist in a friendly and peaceful way. A good model for the world, we’d say.