Celebrating Thanksgiving is pretty new to me, an Englishman in Dubuque, but it’s downright weird celebrating during a pandemic. Where we would normally gather together, share, and celebrate, this year, we must stay apart and be thankful that 2020 will soon be over. Yet this year has revealed so much to be grateful for:
Dubuquers have responded with maturity and community spirit to the many challenges we have faced. Our collective action has helped to ease the lives of people affected financially, psychologically, and socially by the pandemic. I am grateful for the way in which my friends, neighbors, and colleagues have approached problems and difficulties with good humor, resilience, and a willingness to ‘muck in’ (did I mention I’m from England?).
Winston Churchill once said that “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. Reflecting on this and the experiences of the last nine months, I am grateful to be living and working in Dubuque. I have felt incredibly welcome here and am grateful for every kind smile, every email and call ‘just checking in’, and every invitation to join events and parties. I’m particularly grateful for my friends, colleagues, and clients for their kindness, and the local Chamber for introductions to the friendly like-minded business owners. It can be quite daunting traveling to another continent and establishing a new business, and I will be forever grateful for the generosity, warmth, and thoughtfulness of this community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how interdependent we are, how what happens to one person can affect many others. With this in mind, where I can I buy local, helping to sustain local businesses and reinvest money into the local economy, and I make sure to praise them online to share the good news, generate interest, and further increase revenue. I am grateful for the chance to contribute to the Dubuque community in whatever way is useful.
* The quote at the top of the page is from Johannes A. Gaertner,