By the time you get around to reading this week’s edition of The Landmark you will be either enjoying the leftovers (which I sometimes think are better) or attacking the stores trying to get those good deals.

I can’t believe people were actually pitching tents in anticipation of shopping. I won’t even spend time in a tent in my own backyard, but enough of that.

I would rather focus on something a little more calm and serene and with that I mean our local surroundings, particularly around the Des Plaines River, a beautiful area at any time of the year.

While this past year has been busy and controversial around the riverbanks, the huge equipment is gone and the soil and dust have settled into what will become the new normal without the Hofmann Dam.

I wonder how many of us will have to adjust our way of speaking of the area where the dam was. I guess we’ll just refer to it as the Barrypoint bridge. One can only imagine this is more what the riverbanks looked like when the early settlers and Indians made use of the river. This will add another chapter to Riverside history.

Swan Pond looks even better and holds a history of its own which can be told to future generations. As a child, I was told not to go “down there” because of the gypsy camps on the other side of the river that would steal children.

I was also told not to fear tornadoes because the Swan Pond was deep and tornadoes would get caught down there and not touch the houses. So I was gullible!

What teenager hasn’t gone down to the area at night? Who hasn’t gone down on a sled on the hills? Do you remember the toboggan slide? Or when there was ski jumping? A Civil War re-enactment? How about playing on the playground equipment, soccer games, or watching the dogs romp?

Lots has happened down at Swan Pond over the years, but perhaps it can best be known for being a beautiful, peaceful area to walk with someone or to be alone with your thoughts.

I will admit I was opposed to the changes, but it has worked out well, so I guess I can be thankful for that as well as many other things including my readers and editor and publisher, among many things.

And I will be thankful for that turkey sandwich with cranberry on Friday while the masses are out shopping.

Happy Thanksgiving!