Ronda Graff

Community Connections

News and views from the McCook Community Foundation Fund


A long list of things to be thankful for

Thursday, December 1, 2022
Matt Sehnert

This past Thanksgiving morning, I awoke and got going a couple of hours before the rest of the house stirred. Yes, a few of those baker traits still linger even though I havenít worked at the bakery for nearly a year. With the benefit of the quiet, my thoughts turned to Thanksgiving, focusing on the ďthankfulĒ parts.

There are plenty of big things that Iím thankful for like the fact that our democracy, although far from perfect, still seems to work for us complicated humans.

But as this is a community column, Iíll stick to my long list of everything I am thankful for around me or as I have heard said: that which I can touch.

For starters, Iím thankful for a city that provides me with the basics like clean water, trash removal, the safety provided by a caring police force, and a fantastic fire department where Marc Harphamís team has helped the Sehnert family ďtwoĒ many times!

Iím thankful for compassionate, competent souls at the hospital and assisted care facilities that help our families through many of lifeís challenges. This includes a hospice team of angels.

Iím thankful that I have been able to travel quite a lot this year. I love visiting other communities and cultures. I appreciate the many opportunities and experiences people different from me have to offer. I love the beauty of both the mountains and open waters.

But Iím always grateful to come home to southwest Nebraska.

Iím thankful that a local morning ďtraffic jamĒ will extend my travel time by only 90 seconds.

Iím thankful that I can walk nearly everywhere I need to go.

Iím thankful for FREE parking!

Iím thankful for the many restaurants and entertainment options.

Iím thankful when we come together in community. This could be at a ball game, storytelling festival, parade, live music event, horse show, farmerís market, community theater, at the park or an area lake.

Iím thankful for the McCook Chamber of Commerce, which often leads the way by providing these opportunities to come together.

Iím thankful for people who have an idea that turns into a passion and then they act on it. So often this is a philanthropic endeavor that takes the generosity of time, talent and treasure. We are all the beneficiaries of these forward-thinking energetic neighbors.

Some examples this holiday season are the volunteers installing beautiful lights to make downtown McCook a festive wonderland and the community chorus which will resume as a community gift in December.

Iím thankful for people who reach out to us in good times and in challenging times, something I need to reciprocate more often. What if each of us were to reach out to just one friend, family, or neighbor during this holiday season? What a warm and welcoming community we would continue to build.

If I had to sum it up in one thought, Iím thankful for a truly generous community that cares about one another.

Although Thanksgiving is now over, letís continue to give thanks. Thank you, McCook. Thank you southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas. Thank you to everyone who is working to make McCook an even better place to call home. Letís continue to build the home where we want to live, raise our families, welcome others, and come together in community.


ó Matt Sehnert is vice chairman of the McCook Community Foundation Fund. Although retired from the bakery, he is busier than ever with projects to make McCook an even better place to call home.

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