As 2018 approaches, the Herald Democrat looks to the new year with optimism and enthusiasm. And, as we bid farewell to 2017, we do so with genuine gratitude to our readers, customers, and many others who contribute in a variety of ways to making the HD an integral part of Texoma.

There is no place on earth we would rather be.

Our community is richly blessed with a diverse blend of caring and talented residents, exciting opportunities, and a bountiful reservoir of strong values. Texoma is a great place to live, work, worship, and play.

The various professions and paths of service that make Texoma great are too numerous to fully acknowledge. However, a beginning would include law enforcement officials and first responders, faith leaders, educators, medical practitioners, elected officials, prosecutors, judges and volunteers.

The list continues with business leaders and entrepreneurs, hard working employees and trades persons, manufacturers, restaurateurs, students, retirees — and of course parents.

The roll call grows with city, county, and state employees, sales people and so many other hard working contributors, and yes, I suppose even journalists.

“We are all in this together,” to quote a well used phrase, and what a blessing it is. We are fortunate to call Texoma home, and we have much invested here.

And, we share something else — the gift of a new year just ahead.

Happy birthday Sunday to Susan Kullin and Valerie Freels, both of Denison; Kinlee Cook of Greenville; Celia Schuster and Kevin Hill, both of Sherman; and Douglas Brooks of Savoy.