I’m so thankful.

The Finan Thankgiving, as usual, went off with a hitch: A trailer hitch. And three flat tires.

While I hovered on the shoulder of Route 380 using my barbie pink sweater to ward speeding tractor trailers away from our vehicle, I thought about the ever-increasing stampede of industry trucks that is trampling Susquehanna County.

Later, my father and I joined Pennsylvania’s largest demographic of Thanksgiving-less individuals at Denny’s.* The rig workers, identifiable by their cowboy hats and complaints about the cold weather, were the most abundant patrons.**

It’s all reminded me how thankful I am for natural gas. A flickering flare welcomed me warmly back to Susquehanna County this Thanksgiving… I could see it ten miles away! And the land is so lovely, decorated with lit drilling rigs and multicolored flagging tape.

Thanks to natural gas drilling, my cute little art blog has turned into the dumping ground for my crazed rantings and I’m getting more hits than ever. Isn’t that great?

Knowing that, at any moment, I could lose the place that I love and care about really makes me thankful for what I have. And for that, I can thank natural gas drilling.

I’m not the only one who is thankful. I bring you these anonymous quotes from a local gas forum:

“[Anonymous] wants to send a “thank you” card/ad to her favorite gas company, WPX Energy, and “thank” them for all the water they’ve delivered daily since March and for the water buffalo and shed for it and the vent stack. We might want to consider “thanking” our local gas company for all they’ve done to enhance our lives!”

 “I want to send a THANK YOU note to Dr. Engelder, to thank [him] for telling us the TRUTH about being seen as necessary sacrifices.

 “I’d like to thank them for all the practice I have in researching and the encyclopedic knowledge I have gathered about their industry, yeah, that and the increased traffic, increased housing expenses for those I know, for the fractured community, and for the lost friendships, either through dread of listening to me or through moves to other areas. Also for the wonderful new friendships with sad, infuriated, impacted residents. I can probably think of lots of other things to be grateful for too.”


Sarcasm aside, here’s what I’m really thankful for.

Activists blocked access to a gas rig on public land.

Calvin and Frank taking air samples at homes near compressor stations.

The media room at Riverdale Mobile Home Park.

I’m thankful for the protesters, the honest scientists, the accidental activists, the “volunteers” who don’t want to call themselves activists because it sounds too radical, the shit-stirrers, the big-mouths, and the supporters. You mean the world to me, especially when flares lurk on the horizon and and mysterious flagging tape creeps ever closer to my house.

And of course, all seven of my readers, I’m thankful for you, too 🙂


*Years of experience has taught me that Denny’s and The Waffle House are the only chain restaurants in NEPA to keep their doors open on Thanksgiving.

**They were friendly, but I wish as much as they do that they were back in Oklahoma with their families.



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