By Carol Doud

In gratitude:

For Mother Nature. Autumn here is simply stunning.

For our heritage landscapers

For our Chinese Pistache and Aspen trees.

For our master gardeners who care for our fairground’s entrance triangle.

For our dedicated few who lead student historical tours of our community. (More volunteers are needed.)

For our Sheriff’s Community Service Unit whose 367,000 volunteer hours have saved the county millions. (More volunteers are needed.)

For our small team of veterans who lead military funeral rites. (More are really, really needed.)

For our Sonora Police Explorers who undertake a multitude of tasks from dawn to midnight.

For the sold out Annie Oakley fundraiser that donated $8,000 to our Search and Rescue team.

For Jamestown’s merchant community who stood up and demanded action and for the Sheriff’s Office who responded. Partners gathered to find solutions.

For our inmate/probation work crews who clean up homeless trash camps, vegetation, abandoned properties, and beautify public areas.

For our Veteran’s Museum for their new, attractive Smoker’s Pole.

For Mike McDaniel with his inventive Tidy Cat box on wheels/Swifter handle as he picks up too many cigarette butts along the thoroughfares of Sonora left by those who don’t know how to use a trash can.

For Ed, Robin, and Richard who are actually cleaning up downtown Sonora without a lot of hoo-hah and the business owners who are appreciative. For Alice Scott and her grandson Justin who planned to do it themselves and graciously accepted help. For all who work together to make downtown Sonora a cleaner place.

For all our business owners who show some pride and tidy up outside their stores every day from sweeping to cleaning up other’s disgusting messes.

For all our dog owners who train their pets to poop and pee in appropriate places, which is not on our sidewalks and buildings, and always clean up after their pets.

For Jamestown, Twain Harte, PetSmart and Mother Lode Fairgrounds for providing pet waste stations for the public (hint, hint, downtown Sonora).

For the young man at Safeway who goes out every morning and cleans the trash receptacles. Their trash cans do not look nasty. Ever.

For all business owners and citizens who take responsibility for their own trash management and don’t steal services from their city/county/neighbors or dump their waste anywhere they want.

For our trash haulers/public workers who navigate our narrow streets, our terrain, our weather, and go throughout our county to do jobs that most of us would not.

For those who use their letters to the editor and online comments as opportunities to share information instead of bitter vitriol, name calling, and blaming/shaming. You inspire us to be positive and civil in our discourse.

For our new Yosemite Community College District Chancellor Henry C.V. Yong, please bring Evergreen’s Civility program to our community.

For our community members who rise to fill the leadership vacuum when some elected officials cannot.

For Jackie Roberson, B. A., and the family of Mark Bergstrom for your bravery.

For all trying to make a difference.

Carol Doud is a Sonora resident.