It's that time of year again -- time to take stock of the year's events and remember the positives. This year I am particularly thankfulÉ

It's that time of year again -- time to take stock of the year's events and remember the positives. This year I am particularly thankfulÉ

That sisters Madeline and Dorothy tease each other, that Helen drives in from Dayton, that Karen and Bonnie entertain little Christian, that Jerry shares his book club details, that Sherry and E. Jane solve the problems of the world, that Big Ed and Aggie have become fast friends, that Norm and Fred keep each other entertained, that Mr. Quillen always drinks his 2pm cup of tea, that Dwight and Sharon bring their tea and breakfast and that Nancy brings her latest book -- all for Visitor Center duty. Plus extra thanks that we've now got Mr. Carrick back on Friday afternoon duty!

That our Meeting Haus neighbors Alex and Tom have their own "lost and found" system for the blockÉcan I tell you how fun it is to find baby toys and winter hats (both of which often belong to the Graichen House) hanging on a wrought iron fence waiting to be claimed?

That German Villagers continue to give and give and give and give to the Livingston United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

That David Schooler is such a glutton for punishment -- how else do you explain someone who drops in to defrost our refrigerator, power wash our parking lot, and paint our garbage can?

That Commissioner Ned Thiell has picked up right where Brent Warner left off with Commission site visits. And that he's got just as keen an eye.

That Bob Jackson signed-on to coordinate our Haus und Garten volunteers and let us rope him into coordinating just about everything. And even more thanks that he's tight-lippedÉhe's heard us say a lot in his time at the Meeting Haus, but hasn't ratted us out once!

That our Commission is so concerned for the historic integrity of our properties that they'll argue for ? of an inch with an applicant who is a Commissioner.

And that our Commission respects a good compromise when they see one -- after all, that's so much of what the process is all about.

That each of our big events this year saw rainÉI'm telling myself that's got to mean only good things for 2009 events!

That this neighborhood has such tremendous staying power that we're coming up on two 50th anniversariesÉone for Haus und Garten, and one for the Society itself.

That German Village has its very own Jimmy Olsen in one very attentive reporter, David Cross.

That our civic association has volunteers who are looking for chores -- Chad and Anne, consider yourselves our go-to banner hangers, like it or not!

That Jim Plunkett came to my rescue during Oktoberfest -- we didn't know quite how big a beast "operations" would be without Brent, but we tackled it.

That our Oktoberfest treasurer Jim Nichols has given us months of his time for a three-day event. Considering the time he's spent here adding up numbers for an event that saw torrential rain, we'd have had to give him an office at the Meeting Haus if it had been dry!

That the board and the neighborhood have given me a shot at wearing the Interim's been a trip to say the least.

Jody H. Graichen is Interim Executive Director of the German Village Society.