Today is Thanksgiving and when you read this it will be “Happy New Year to all.” This was as unusual a Thanksgiving as I can ever remember. Our kids were going in different directions, some to New York, some to other family and some were just too far away to either come here or for Chris and I to visit. So we made a decision to just stay home by ourselves and enjoy the day. Everyone asked us what we were doing for turkey day, and when either of us said we were staying home by ourselves the invitations were plentiful, but we graciously declined. Some asked if we were okay, “Yes, we are fine.” I answered. “Well how can you be alone on Thanksgiving?” No matter what our explanation was we could sense that nobody would consciously choose to do that unless they absolutely had to, which we didn’t.
Candidly it’s been a great day. I participated in the Inaugural Turkey Trot which was a 5K run and was held on Fifth Avenue South at 7:30 in the morning. It was 45 degrees and was a great start for the day. Then home and did some pre-prepping for our Thanksgiving feast. It was amazingly easy prepping for two instead of twenty-two, and we didn’t have to have anything ready at any set time.
We took our Bulldog Zsa-Zsa to the dog park, I washed and waxed my car and after watching the Macy’s day parade we settled in for an afternoon of NFL football which we both enjoy but can never watch uninterrupted on Thanksgiving. The rest of the day was great. Of course we spoke to family and friends exchanging greetings and well wishes and most likely we won’t have the opportunity to do this again, but that’s okay too; we do love our family. It just made this Thanksgiving a little more special to be thankful for.
As we begin 2014 a special thanks is in order to recognize some of the special people that help make Naples that special place we all live in. Our City and assistant City Manager along with their directors and all of our City employees that go that extra mile on a daily basis. As I reflect on some feel good stories that happened over the years regarding City employees I recall one vividly. My daughter Lisa who is a City resident went out for a Sunday run with her dog on a hot summer morning. She realized with still a mile left to get home that both she and the dog were thirsty and she hadn’t thought about bringing a beverage or any money with her to buy one. They were at the Mobil station on Central Avenue, and as they were standing there in the shade a City utility truck pulled in to one of the parking spaces near where they were. The employee got out to go in the store, stopped, went to the back of his truck and got two cold bottles of water and gave them to Lisa for her and the dog. He assumed she was a tourist, and gave her a short lecture on how sometimes visitors don’t realize how hot it gets in Naples especially in the summer and for the future she should always carry a beverage with her, and to have a great day and enjoy her vacation here. She thanked him profusely, assured him she would, and went home and called me to tell me the story. She never told him who she was and that her dad was the Mayor then, and she gave me his name. I called our City Manager and relayed the story and he made sure the employee was recognized for his good deed. That wasn’t an isolated good deed, our employees do good deeds like that on a daily basis, so if you happen to be in a place where you happen to encounter one of our City workers give them a smile and a thanks, because the old saying is so true, “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” and they personify that saying.
Have a great New Year and hopefully 2014 turns out to be a super year for you!