Soon many of us will be gathering with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a time we often travel great distances to be together. It’s a moment we share favorite recipes and dishes and catch up with relatives and friends. Its origins are the celebration of the harvest but also survival in a new world that offered a new beginning.
It’s also the start of the Holiday Season in all its hectic energy, warmth, and nostalgia. This is the beginning of our local celebration “Home for the Holidays” that embraces the best of the small-town experience. A friend once described our Village as something out of Currier and Ives in a snow globe! And it is, but better, because it includes the exuberance and intangible elements of real life. Quite often it seems that this is the Holiday Pageant that has gone awry but in a good way! The best way!
But for now, it’s Thanksgiving and my mind goes to thoughts of our sweet and tender valley. I think of all it has given us – the beauty that unfolds from the mountains, woodlands, and fields, to the broad pastures and orchards, to the deep dark loam of the muck lands. I think of our lakes and streams, our backroads and trails, the wildlife, the good life – a life of time well spent. I think of our Queen Village, its broad avenues, beautiful homes, neighborhoods, and rich history. I like the quiet hours before the day takes charge – there is a sense of timelessness when everything is very still. I also like the bustle of downtown, the music in the air from a summer concert or the laughter amongst friends enjoying the place they live. Whether you’ve known these things all your life or recently stumbled upon them, there is a shared sense of awe because we understand that this is not by happenstance. I’m thankful for these things that we’ve worked so hard for and loved so deeply.
This is a special Thanksgiving for our family because our son will be returning home from school for the first time. This is a homecoming, and as I remember from my many returns at different times in my life, that Warwick was waiting patiently, reminding me of its strength and beauty- always welcoming, always familiar, always home.
On behalf of the Village Board of Trustees, Village Administration and Department of Public Works, we wish you and your family a heartfelt and Happy Thanksgiving!
The next Village Board meeting will take place on Mon., Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 77 Main Street.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.