Maybe it's because today is November, or maybe it's because I'm a little light headed from the Fall Flush (sans Halloween candy, sans red wine, sans cheese with my apples), but it's probably because when you take away a few things you become thankful for what you do have, and you realize it's a lot. A whole lot. Driving to choir practice last night I was so grateful for all the Halloween decorations, large and small-- from the crazy display of body-less heads at the end of Anne Marie's driveway to the plain bright outside lights over every door and porch-- all saying, "We're home, we'd love to see your costume, we have a treat for you too, and please come on over and knock on the door!" I know we've all been saving energy and that's a good thing, but there is surely something cheery about lights in these darkening days (only 8 hours of daylight now.) I came home and wrapped my porch post with a string of LEDs. Here's something else I'm grateful for: At the pool I was chatting with my friend Marge. She's 90 and wakes early to jump in the pool every day. I asked how she stays so happy and fit and active, what's the secret? (Please, I thought, don't tell me no sugar, no wine, no coffee...) "I don't know, my brain just got stuck on 16 I guess," Marge said. Also, you should know that the cannery is having their annual 30% off sale this afternoon and tomorrow. I love the way they freeze salmon. We ate last year's sale fish all the way through June and it fooled early season guests-- you know the ones who never quite understand why they can't find fresh Sockeye in May? Oh, and I need to make a correction. Governor Parnell is not speaking at the Chamber Banquet. Apparently he's addressing the gathering at Harriett Hall via a pre-recorded video. The open house at the new Port Chilkoot Distillery from 4-8 will be much more lively (pardon the pun.) It's located right up next to the Fireweed in the Fort. Their first product, Icy Strait Vodka, arrived in local stores and bars this week and is getting rave reviews and will be distributed around the state in the next few weeks. You don't have to drink it to appreciate the craft of making it, the restored Army bakery, the sweet logo and swag designed and made by the Forster brothers-- and especially the beautiful label designed by Haines artist Laura Rogers. I learned all about it when I wrote a feature on it this week for the Dispatch, which I'll link when it's up-- but I just loved the whole scene.