Clay Cox, Owner/President Kitchen by Clay

The holiday season is here, and we are all blessed to be able to celebrate them in our own ways. For me this means bringing good cheer to family, friends, employees, and strangers. I know that if I choose to smile and present a happy and content face to all around me, my days will also start and end in good cheer.

So, to everyone out there be happy, be generous with your actions and be kind to all, friends and strangers alike, and your holidays will most assuredly be wonderful.

Unfortunately, I feel like I should address Hurricane Ian, which passed through our community in October. In my travels to follow up on our clients to see how we can help put their lives back together, I saw areas that were devasted and unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed in the 30 years I’ve been designing kitchens here in Naples.

It was so hard to see folks up and down the shoreline and in low lying areas that had their life’s belongings along the streets to be picked up as trash.

I thank God that my family and friends fared well and pray that everyone will have their lives put back together soon.

On the other hand, I spoke to a lot of people who understood that the tragedy will not stop them from living their lives to the fullest. I saw the true spirit of folks helping their neighbors in any way they are capable of, while putting on brave smiles as they weather the aftereffects of the storm themselves.

It’s true that the roadblocks seem to be everywhere when it comes to re-building those homes and lives.

Inventory is low and sometimes non-existent, at least for a while. There seems to be not nearly enough labor and prices are high. Not to mention that the time it takes to get things done seems like forever and a day. These are the facts of life as we know them right now.

The best way for us all to help maintain a positive attitude is to be patient. Patience and kindness will not only win the day for the holidays but will help to make our community whole again. And a complete and whole community is what I’m asking Santa to bring us all for Christmas this year.

God bless everyone out there and may everyone have a wonderful holiday season with a happy and prosperous year in 2023.

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