Christopher Creek had a lot to be thankful for this year. This little place with a creek running through it is tucked beneath the Mogollon Rim and the towering Promontory Point in the beautiful Tonto National Forest. Let’s start with that. When last winter’s dry spell left us in a tinderbox last May, the U.S. Forest Service, in a rare moment of wisdom, shut down access to the public. Given the current heartbreaking and horrific events in our neighbor state to the west, we can be thankful that we escaped our fire season without an incident. Then following a modest monsoon we benefited from the bountiful October rains. Of that we are thankful.

Continuing along those lines, the Creek is thankful for those who serve in our fire department. They had to deal with too many sad occasions this year, seeing to those who have departed from us. They were also called on throughout the summer to travel the western states fighting the many wildland fires in addition to serving this community. Add to that the service of a retired executive and a former fire chief who are now volunteers. Chief Lockhart reports that three firefighters deployed to Southern California remain staged in a preposition mode. He went on to say he is thankful for all his guys, this community, his girl and all his grandkids.

Let’s be thankful for our more-mature Creek citizens, the likes of LR, Pam and Mel, Bill and Peggy, Leo and Mary, Jim and Marshall in See Canyon and all the others. Should you identify as one of our super-seniors, this means you as well. On our popular social media site, two of these couples have recently expressed their gratitude for all the help they have received from members of the community and the great response from our fire department. Mary is in declining health, but is still sharp as a tack. Leo is beginning to slip a bit, but was very thankful to visit his home and the Creek last week. Son Dave brought Leo up and tells us the house is going to remain in the family.

Speaking of social media, we can thank ourselves as being part of the membership of 877, who have taken what was initially a photo-sharing media and morphed it into an information-sharing and resource request group. We recognize the founder of the group, who recently moved to be with her daughter in Colorado. Thanks, Dean Shields.

And then there are some Creek celebrities to be thankful for. One is Spencer, our 30-year-old who has blossomed in the Creek in the last five years. He now has a growing number of friends, not the least of which are all the folks down at Tall Pines Market where he frequently does business. He is also one of Santa’s favorite customers. We all are aware of the knowledge, talents, books and statewide appearances of Arizona’s State Historian. Several years back, he was instrumental in the memorials and the monument to the 1970 Labor Day flood victims. Last Sunday, it came to mind that Marshall Trimble is also a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Then we gotta be thankful for community service and first on the list is those who are fire board members, past and present. This thankless job is all-volunteer. The Firebelles all-volunteer organization hosts a number of great fundraising events throughout the year to benefit our firefighters. Our social homeowners association has an all-volunteer board and a host of those to help, whether it be for Christmas lighting, setting up the picnic, the Halloween kids party or any of the other events. Early this summer, nearly 100 volunteers joined together to do the repairs on Mimi’s crossing. Several, including two brothers, provided the large financial backing for the project and we thank them wholeheartedly.

We thank the many newcomers who came to join our little community this year. A fellow Iowan and his bride, Larry and Debbie Loots, are just two who fit this description. It’s just too bad he is a Cyclone fan.

And then there are the new babies this year who now are associated with the Creek. Stetson, Asher, and Mila come to mind.

We can be thankful for all the great cooks in the Creek. At every event, there is an overabundance of wonderful food. Thanks as well to the Landmark folks, Creekside RV, C-Canyon RV and, most recently, Helen Groom for hosting those Friday evening social gatherings. We also appreciate all the other wildlife we have had in extraordinary numbers.

But my thanks, in particular, goes to the ones who deliver all those wonderful plastic containers and to those who, from time to time, check in to read this snoozer ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

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