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Grateful hearts

When local residents sit down today to eat the annual Thanksgiving meal, many will be extra appreciative for the simple things in life.

In a year plagued by economic downfalls, skyrocketing unemployment rates and an increase in financial struggles, many are simply thankful to be living, have this time to spend with family and friends, have a home cooked meal and have a warm home for fellowship.

“I’m thankful for just being here,” said Troy resident Weltha Solomon, who was at a local grocery store buying staples for Thanksgiving dinner. “My mother is 82, and all of my family is healthy and well.”

Another Troy resident, Ruth Griffin had a similar response.

“I’m just thankful to be here and to have clothes and a warm home,” Griffin said.

And with foreclosures on a rise, just having a home to go to is something to be thankful for.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, there have been 2,184,376 foreclosures since Jan. 1, 2009 in the United States.

The center projects that by year-end there will be nearly 21,200 new foreclosures in the state of Alabama alone.

But overall, the general consensus it that people are simply thankful for family and being alive.

“I’m thankful for just being alive,” said Donald Brown of Flattops and Fiddles.

Another local, Danny Brown, said he was thankful for his family.

“I’m just thankful for my family and the fact that the good Lord has kept me alive all these years,” Danny Brown said.

While reading her paper, local resident Salene Dunn said she too was thankful for family.

“I’m thankful for family, my grandbabies and my health, so I can cook for my family,” Dunn said.

Perhaps, this year, locals will celebrate Thanksgiving in a way that is more comparable to the First Thanksgiving.

What is referred to as the First Thanksgiving took place in 1621, when the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared a fall harvest feast.

This meal has symbolized the cooperation and interaction between European colonists and Native Americans for the nearly 390 years.