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Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude, love

It’s the time of year when we hear many ideas about thankfulness.

The pilgrims would have been pleased. It’s too bad we don’t do it more often since it feels so good.
As a matter of fact, one friend from church, Debbie Conterato of Geneva, posts her thankfuls each and every day. When I asked her this week for a reflection on thankfulness, she predictably returned to her daily theme: family near and far.

Friends and family were frequently itemized by others. There’s no doubt that my list would include that broad stroke category, yet I must confess that some family and some friends rank higher than others.
I particularly cherish those who live in harmony, helping each other, sharing good times and bad, and producing an abundance of laughs, smiles and great meals. Thanks, again, Grozis cousins. See you on Thursday.

If you don’t fit my categories, hope to get you on the list for next year.

When questioned, Mayor Don DeWitte cited his thankfulness for committed public officials, dedicated public employees and “the quality of life we all enjoy that makes St. Charles the special community it has become.”

Picking up on the theme of our great city, Tory Haines said that she is thankful for “our great city where people reach out to help one another.”

Tory exemplifies this and is widely recognized for her Embrace a Family, which reaches out to single moms and her contributions to the board of the St. Charles Public Library. Characteristically, she expresses thanks to all who staff and support these community entities.

 When we feel thankful about our schools, we begin with a perception of key individuals who go way beyond the norm to provide inspired service to our students and families.

Allison Shambach at Richmond Intermediate School has for years been the helpful, go-to, caring voice in the office. Allison shares her wisdom at this time of year and begins with the concept of struggles – we all have them. She notes that time and God are wonderful healers and is grateful for the faith and family and grace to get through those struggles.

Jan Vanthournout of Geneva reports from Sanibel Island in Florida that her walks  on the beach bring a particular joy – brief encounters with fascinating strangers. These delightful folks and her cadre of family and a variety of friends bring her to be thankful.

The warm and sunny weather right now bring all of us to think of others who have been devastated by the forces of nature.

To me, the simultaneous showing of the images of Hurricane Sandy and the splendid documentary “The Dust Bowl” (don’t miss it!), give reason to be tolerant if not thankful for the blizzards of winter and the sweltering summers in the great Midwest.

If you know Zoe Ingersoll, local entrepreneur and chamber of commerce guru, then you will connect the dots when she reports that she is most thankful for her mother, whom she describes as wonderful and loving person who taught her to be a strong and self-reliant woman. A woman who is an eager volunteer who was always smiling.

Thanks, then, for family and friends, our wonderful communities and the people who share and care.

• Joan Arteberry is a long-time resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at

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