Getting into the holiday spirit has me thinking of those I love and appreciate. The Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager song about friends reminds me of all those relationships that help me get through life’s happy and difficult times – “…knowing you can always count on me, for sure.” Being a friend requires constant thoughtful action and response. Friendship is the happy result found in the good work of living with and among others.

It’s been a tough year for many. Reaching out to make someone’s day brighter, or being touched by someone who knows you are hurting – that’s what friends are for, and that’s what makes our Hickory Nut Gorge community so very special.

Peace to those who have experienced more than their share of challenges this year, and the joy of friendship to all who seek it. If you haven’t been in touch with family or friends, may you make it so this holiday season.


Dave Leestma