OUR VIEW: Much to be thankful for this holiday

As you head to the store to get all of the Thanksgiving fixings in advance of tomorrow’s holiday of gluttony, it’s important to remember that we have lots to feel thankful about in the bayou region.

Sure our Saints may have a losing record, our Tigers will fight tomorrow night just to have a .500 record in conference play and we don’t have a Colonels win to be thankful for since last Thanksgiving.

But there’s a lot more to southeast Louisiana than football – even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. And even if you’ll get nearly 12 hours of marquee gridiron matchups on television tomorrow.

We have the pleasure of living in one of the happiest places in America, something that just about everyone in this region could have told you even before the Louisiana-heavy study came out earlier this year.

Just take a second to compare all of the pleases, thank you’s, yes sirs and yes mams you’ll hear as part of our common lexicon to the words of anyone not from around here.

The southern states are certainly known for its “southern hospitality,” but here in Cajun country we take our kindheartedness and courtesy a step further.

So take a moment to thank yourselves for making your homeland a better place tomorrow, but don’t spend more than a moment or our area might lose some of its selfless charm that makes it so special.

Besides, there are plenty of other things for us to be thankful for also.

Many of you have strong family ties in this area. We all know how hard it is to leave here. That’s why many of you don’t move away, and nd what that results in is lots of car rides and not very many airplane rides to see family members during the holidays.

Your wallets thank you for that, as do your hearts to be able to see family members more often.

And for that too, you should be thankful.

Of course strong faith goes hand in hand with our region, keeping us together through the best of times, and unfortunately, sometimes the worst of times.

We should be thankful for our devout beliefs as well.

But all of the above things, although incredibly important, are in our control. There are things out of our control that we should be thankful for as well.

One is our booming oil and gas industry – sending our economy surging into the stratosphere. Sure you could argue that our hard working attitude has a lot to do with it – and those hard workers are dually noted – but our area’s workers have always worked hard, and we haven’t seen anywhere near the financial returns we’re seeing today. These numbers have resulted in some of the consistently lowest unemployment rates in America. In fact, earlier this year, the Houma area had the lowest unemployment rate in the country for the month of February.

Another thing we must be thankful for is our very quiet 2014 hurricane season. The six-month campaign is nearing its conclusion, and you may not have even noticed because storms this season have been so sparse and uneventful.

Following the hardships faced by our area and those near us during the recent hurricane seasons of 2005 and 2008 as well as the near misses in the previous few hurricane seasons, no threats what-so-ever was certainly a refreshing change.

Surely there are many things not mentioned above that you will be thankful for, and we at The Times encourage everything and anything to be included in your thoughts tomorrow.

Just remember that we are incredibly fortunate to call the bayou region home, and even when times are tough, we still have it much better than the vast majority of the country and the world.

And that, you can be sure, all of the employees of The Times will be thinking about while biting into a delicious turkey with family and friends tomorrow.

We hope you will be, too.