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These could be a few of my favorite things
11/26/2013 12:30:04 PM

By Chad Kimberley
Splash Column

The first year of our married life, my wife started a Thanksgiving tradition that will enter its 18th year this season: gratitude cards. The simplest of traditions has become one of the most meaningful for me. Each year, we take a notecard and write down all the things we are thankful for from the previous year. This yearly activity has, in fact, become a continuing journal or diary of the history of my family.

As I look back on previous years' notecards, I remember friends who made a huge impact on my life during certain seasons. I recall the joy that we experienced as each of our children entered this world along with plenty of nieces and a couple of nephews sprinkled in. I relive again some challenging moments that we made it through with only a few battle scars, celebratory moments that I wish I could experience again and various moves to different parts of the country.

There are also tons of food items (I seem to really, really like food) and sports memories. I have been thankful for successful Cubs seasons (although there are fewer of those cards), Iowa Hawkeye highlights, kids sports seasons, the ability and health to run, swim and swing, and my various teams I have coached over the years. 

I have already started thinking about the things I am grateful for in expectation of writing this year's card. I completed my first half-marathon alongside my wife this past spring, I have been blessed with an opportunity to coach some phenomenal young ladies the game of basketball at Freeman High School, and we have had another great year with our kids in local schools (LLES and GMS) with great teachers.

So this got me thinking about creating a gratitude card for Liberty Lake. But NOT what I am thankful for in Liberty Lake, that is too easy (parks and trails, friends and family, businesses and opportunities) but what I HOPE to experience in Liberty Lake. What moments, new establishments or new memories would merit consideration into the archives of my family gratitude cards?

Here is what I came up with.

Liberty Lake zombie run
This would combine two of my newer favorite things: running and zombies. As I have gotten into running this past year, I have covered lots of the neighborhoods and trails in and around Liberty Lake and have determined we have a great location for a zombie run. Recent years have seen a boon in alternative races (color run, tough mudder and dirty dash), including a zombie run where racers have to cover a 5K while zombies attempt to "infect" you. "Survivors" reach the finish line healthy and intact. I am imagining a race around the trails, maybe golf courses, the parks or even neighborhoods with a bunch of zombies trying to take a bite out of your day. 

Star Wars marathon at Pavillion Park
I love the movie series presented by Greenstone and Friends of Pavillion Park, and I like to recommend an all-night movie binge on the Star Wars trilogy. Now, I admit, I am a bit of a Star Wars nerd and would only view the trilogy as being movies 4-6 of the saga as worthy of an all-night marathon. I can already imagine my son and me setting up our tent, eating nothing but cavity-inducing food and playing with his Lego sets as we watch. 

Culver's in Liberty Lake
This is a pipe dream unless there is an aspiring small business owner out there who wants one very loyal and dedicated customer in Liberty Lake. Culver's is a restaurant that is primarily in the Midwest but has now reached as far west as Spearfish, S.D. Chicken strips, mashed potatoes and a frozen custard with heaps and heaps of toppings on it for dessert make for a great day for me. I would be grateful for days like that in Liberty Lake.

Community-wide broomball game 
We live near and on a lake; we must use this to our advantage. As the lake freezes over, I would be ever-so-grateful for one massive broomball game. I played broomball back in the Midwest, and it is essentially everyone on the ice, using brooms as hockey sticks, a tennis ball for the puck and of course tennis shoes instead of skates. I can imagine about 10 goals sprinkled all over the lake, 100 tennis balls that start in the middle, and nothing but bruises and laughter splashing over the frozen water. 

Next year I will write my 19th gratitude card with my family, and boy would I love to add one of these ideas to my list of thankfulness - along with all the other many ways I am extremely grateful to live in Liberty Lake and be a part of this community. 

Chad Kimberley is a local teacher and coach. He lives in Liberty Lake.

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