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It's Time To Give Thanks

 Even in 2020, we have much to be thankful for. Don't get me wrong — this year has been rough in a lot of ways. The COVID-19 pandemic, especially, has affected us all. The economy has suffered in big and small ways, starting with the spring shutdowns and now with the ongoing uncertainty as to what comes next. Even those who have managed to remain healthy and maintain steady incomes have canceled trips, changed routines, and seen plans (like school, for instance) adjusted in this current, odd reality. Then there's everything else going on in our world — the kind of stuff that'll fill history books someday — that has left many anxious and unsettled.

But, as we approach Thanksgiving, we shouldn't forget the good, either. And in Milton, there's no shortage of good. If you've reinvigorated a love of the outdoors in 2020, you are not alone. Part of this may stem from the fact that being indoors became more complicated. Have your mask? Check. Keeping proper social distance? Check (as long as no one wanders too close). Citizens have always appreciated Milton's parks and trails. But now, from what I and City staff have heard, they really treasure them.

Humans, dogs, and horses enjoy weaving through the trees and meadows of serene Birmingham Park. Providence Park is another favorite, especially for those who love a lake view. Bell Memorial Park's trails have been popular, and Milton families were overjoyed when kids returned to our fields this summer and fall, safely, following COVID-19 guidelines. Adults have had more opportunities to exercise as well, including Milton's new adult soccer league and tai chi classes.

We also live in a place that supports small businesses and helps them weather this pandemic. Milton's signature restaurants, by and large, have gotten by thanks to their loyal customers.

We can be thankful for progress. Walk around Crabapple, and you will see our downtown taking shape more and more each day. And I know our police officers and firefighters are beyond grateful for their new home in the Public Safety Complex. The terrific facility is both state-of-the-art and distinctly down-home Milton, including beams from Broadwell Pavilion oaks and contributions from local artists and artisans.

And, more than ever, we're thankful for friends and family. Challenging times like these help us realize what and who are important. We appreciate the company of those who always have our backs, whether it's at home or time zones away over Zoom. We know our loved ones matter most, and we shouldn't take them or other important parts of our lives for granted. In the back of our minds, we always knew this, but the last few months have really put things in perspective.

I'm incredibly grateful for those in my close circle. I am also thankful for my city, Milton, for everything that it offers, including great neighbors.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.
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