Dear Sandy Mason,

Now that you and Earl have become full time Arizonians, you say you can really feel it when the snowbirds start arriving. You have traffic backed up for two or three light changes. And you can forget about going out to dinner without reservations.

Thanks for the postcard showing a bobcat seeking shelter in a big cactus. So they really do that when scared by predators?

We’re heading into Thanksgiving here in Grand Forks, trying to remember how to walk on icy streets. And that is -- very carefully. When the streets and roads get icy, we really have to pay attention. Otherwise we can join the others who slip and fall and end up in a doctor’s office.

You know about that from living here while Earl was a professor at UND.

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But you also know life is good around Grand Forks. It still revolves around UND. This week we know the Hawks football team is moving on to post season play. The basketball teams are showing promise. There’s a double header game tonight at the Betty. And hockey is off to a winning start.

Some say children are born here wearing ice skates. You’d almost believe that when you see all the classes listed in the fall and winter guide for the Grand Forks Park District.

It won’t be long until Santa’s Workshop opens in the Lincoln Golf Course Clubhouse. I can hardly wait to see what the special events coordinator Lynne Roche comes up with this year. It’s always fantastic.

But we need to wait until Thanksgiving is over before we get serious about Christmas.

I’ve been talking turkey with people around here, Sandy, and asking them why they are thankful. Char Holy said faith and hope bring her through -- even though the harvest season was bleak for beet farmers like her husband, Mark.

At this time of thanksgiving, Mary Lou Liddy is thankful for her doctors who helped her survive cancer surgery.

Allen Sorbo is thankful for the harvest work that got finished near Adams, N.D. There was wheat, black beans, soy beans done while dealing with 23 inches of snow.

Well, in spite of troubles, the message seems to be: Keep the faith.

And I send best wishes from the banks of the frozen Red River to the sun and blue skies of Arizona. Your friend, Marilyn