Thursday, December 14, 2017
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Thankful

If a touchstone of the Universe is that you receive the energy you put out, now is the perfect time to step away from the cliff that seems to have dominated the new world of anyone other than Trumpsters after November 2016. Don’t worry, be grateful.

There’s got to be gratitude in not working where you would be spending a lot of time answering questions about Russia. Gratitude in that the next president probably won’t spend a large amount of his public time berating black athletes peacefully protesting on a football field. Be thankful that people are noticing and pushing back that the Secretary of State is cutting the budget for diplomats who cool down world tensions while the politicians are funneling more money to the Pentagon war machine that heightens world tensions. Middle class families might wonder if they should be grateful for the “tax cut” zooming through Congress but at least one family, the Trumps, have to be grateful for the windfall they will see if it passes. Be thankful you weren’t a teenager in a mall in Alabama while Roy Moore was in his 30s and be reallllly grateful you didn’t work for Charlie Rose as a young intern and he asked you to bring him a towel to the shower. Yuck.

Okay, okay. Let’s step back from the cliff and put out some positive, grateful energy.

It is ski season, after a really good bike season. The lifts are indeed turning and that means winter fun. So many people in this country dread winter. We live in a place that embraces it. Our weather—and living up here at 9,000 feet above sea level ensures we have a better chance at holding onto winter weather more than many other places as the climate changes—makes playing outside in the winter a pleasure. Skiing right now is limited to the strip. But there is opportunity up high. It will come. Skiing on that mountain above Crested Butte is a challenge and keeps us all young and vibrant and appreciative of  life. Thanks to the Universe for making Crested Butte a part of this life.

Thanks to those Crested Butte councilmembers who stepped up for many years as town representatives and stepped down this week. It is a low-paid, (sometimes) high-reward task and one that matters. Frankly, I wasn’t initially sure about Glenn Michel as mayor two years ago, given his penchant for focusing on the academic elements of politics. But he stepped up to be a clear-eyed mayor who directed meetings with purpose. As a guy who sits through a lot of meetings, running a good meeting matters to me. While he was sometimes a bit overly keen on cutting off discussion, I’m thankful for Glenn’s seriousness in running those every-other-Monday-night gatherings. Roland Mason has spent eight years as a calm voice in a sometimes-turbulent bay. When Roland spoke, people generally listened. That’s a good trait to have. Both Jim Schmidt and Chris Ladoulis have made valuable contributions to the town council system these last years but only one will continue on the board in the role as mayor. We’ll see who that is on December 19. Either can take the reins competently for the next two years. I hope they learned from Glenn how to run a decent public meeting. So thanks to all of them for stepping up. I would bet a few will find a way or try to find a way to continue on their political journey.

I saw this nugget in the last Town Council packet that made me grateful. I am thankful to Colorado’s GOCO program. Great Outdoors Colorado has contributed more than $44 million toward trails, parks, rec facilities, ranchlands and open space projects in Gunnison County. Millions of dollars have been spent at both ends of the valley and you can see it—literally. Open space, views, ice rinks have all benefited from those dollars. That money is raised through the Colorado lottery and we have certainly gotten lucky with our share of support from these dollars. So take a minute this holiday weekend and look around and be thankful for those contributions.

Actually, that’s it right there.

Look around.

Be where you are. There are the views, the vibe, the people. Some might see the colorful sunsets or sunrises. Others focus on the stunning views of majestic mountains covered in white against crystal blue skies. Even in ski season, the ability to be in a small town where you know or at least recognize a face just about every time you walk down Elk Avenue or get in line at the Queen on a powder day is a treat. Being able to walk out your door to a trail is a treat. Having a voice in your community is a treat. Have you looked at the night sky recently? On a moonless night the Milky Way feels like you could reach out and grab it. That the valley’s CNG bus is working now and it is part of a fleet of free buses—that’s a treat. The school is a treat. We live in a place of treats. For that, be grateful.

On the national scope, if you are a resister, then resist. That means more than sharing a Facebook meme with people who think like you do. It means putting pressure on the elected representatives. I have a friend in Nevada who has called his U.S. representatives every single day for months asking why they don’t censure the president for his lies, especially the lie that Obama wiretapped him in the election. If you support the way things are going in D.C. then keep supporting—but really? Sorry. Good energy—good on ya for the optimism.

It is the holiday season. We are all somehow connected to a special place. Do not discount that. Be grateful. We are among the truly fortunate.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

—Mark Reaman

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