From the Editor:

November is National Gratitude Month. Even though I try to be intentional all year, November is a great reminder to pause and count my blessings. As I grow older, it becomes easier and easier, and my list keeps growing longer.  

Recently, I have participated in fundraisers, fun runs, ribbon cuttings, parades and festivals. Oh, how I have missed being out and with the heart of our community! I am grateful to call Southwest Missouri home. I am always met with a smile and a story to tell. After delivering over 240 issues of SMTO, I am reassured Show Me will never run out of feature stories. Our region is full of great people with compassionate, giving hearts and a beautiful landscape with endless entertainment possibilities. I am grateful for the recent reminder of how many stories we have left to tell.  

We live in a world of instant gratification. Whether streaming or through apps, news and entertainment are at our fingertips. Our readers are passionate, committed and loyal to us and our communities. I could not be more grateful. Our readers understand the importance of building and growing communities and pouring into the people around us. Thank you to our readers for being an active part of what makes our region the best place to live and helping us highlight that every month. You are why we do what we do!

I am dedicated to small-business owners. Small businesses are the foundation of community. Their sweat and tears are the cinder blocks of our tomorrow. When shopping local, you stimulate the economy, help benefit local schools and charities and receive better customer service. Local businesses are owned by people who live here and are invested in our future. I am grateful to all the local business owners who have invested in SMTO and made my dream a reality. There is not a day that goes by that I am not aware of the impact you make in your staff, your customers, your community and the impact you have made in my life. I am grateful.

Shared passion is one of the greatest bonds. Turning ideas into stories, sketches into designs and suggestions into actuality, the process is a work of art. I am grateful to work with a team of individuals who each bring a unique perspective and together create a masterpiece. Show Me has the most talented and heartfelt writers, photographers, designers and more. I am grateful for your continued passion to grow and highlight the culture and lifestyle of our region.

Last, but not least, I am grateful for my family: the family who officially works with me and the ones who do not. If you know me, you know Show Me is my baby, and that means it is a part of every conversation, family dinner or phone call. Thank you to my sister, Sue, and sister-in-law, Kristi, who are literally with me every step of the way. Thank you to my husband, daughter and son, who are my greatest cheerleaders. You attend the events and listen endlessly. I am so loved and grateful.

My list of gratitude could keep going. If you are reading this letter or flipping through this issue, remember you are on top of that list!

Happy Month of Gratitude!