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There’s plenty to be thankful for in Lodi, from food and wine to friends and family

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Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:07 am, Thu Nov 24, 2011.

It's surprising more countries don't have a Day of Thanksgiving.

Canadians celebrate the holiday in October. We do it in November. The custom seems to have gone no further. But the act of giving thanks, of looking back over a life or a year and counting our blessing is an uplifting experience that we would commend to everyone.

Looking back over 2011, we enjoyed reliving these high points:

Lodi is blessed with many cozy, quirky, welcoming mom-and-pop businesses. We recently ran into Don Phillips at Phillips Farms. It's fun to say "hi" to a delightful curmudgeon and savor the Phillips' pumpkin pie.

Lodi's blessed with great, small wineries. A partial — this is risky — a partial list of favorites includes Jessie's Grove, Lucas, Omega, M2, Heritage Oak and ... it's hard to draw lines. But it's not hard to find a Christmas present when you live in Lodi.

Lodi is blessed with all sorts of gatherings where we run into friends — and ghouls. The ghouls, of course, were at the Zombie Walk organized by Tom Presler in October. But then there's the Grape Festival, the Street Faire, the Farmers Market, Oktoberfest, the Giro d'Vino and the Christmas Tree run. We probably left some others off that list, too.

This may be obscure, but we newspaper people are grateful for a warehouse full of advertising supplements. If you ever wondered how we are able to bring you a piece of Lodi and the world everyday, the answer is advertising.

We're grateful for Skype. It's not exclusive to Lodi, but it keeps our family and many others tied together. If you can't get your far-flung family together for Thanksgiving, we recommend getting a Skype account.

We have to give thanks for the 19 years of service to the boys and girls of Lodi by Richard Jones. We're not thankful that he's moving to Toledo, Ohio, but thankful he'll be reunited with his brothers and sisters.

And how about them Niners? Isn't it wonderful to have them back on the track to football playoffs?

The forecast for the Thanksgiving weekend has a few partly sunny days. We recommend looking for a break in the fog and going out to the crane preserve at the end of Woodbridge Road. You'll be thankful for those gorgeous birds.

We need to shout our gratitude for grass at DeBenedetti Park.

And we'll close with a glorious event that comes to Lodi just infrequently enough that when it arrives, it takes our breath away. Haven't we had wonderful fall colors this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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