Brother Erick has noted that RedState has begun its fifth year. I am writing to note that I am beginning my fifth year with RedState. This was my first post for the site–a post written four years ago yesterday–and happily, my fellow Contributors have seen fit to continue to tolerate my presence, my penchant for late night postings, my evangelical desire to spread the gospel of free trade and free markets and my love for all things relating to the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and the highly underrated sport of soccer.

I am, of course, grateful for–if somewhat mystified by–their indulgence and yours, dear readers. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the work done at this website. To be given the chance to exercise one’s passions for a cause greater than oneself and to have the chance to do it with so many people of wit, charm, humor and an admirable mix of zealotry and temperance is an experience far greater than what most people will have the chance to experience. Never once have I stopped being grateful for that experience. Nor will I be.

I did not write this to say “Happy Anniversary to me.” I wrote it to say “Thank you” to all of you–our readers and my fellow Contributors–for giving me one less reason to sing the lament of “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda,” the lachrymose song sung by those who don’t have the chance to be part of Something Big And Wonderful. At bottom, of course, blogging is just a hobby. But the collegiality I have experienced thanks to being a part of the RedState community makes writing for this site a labor of love. And most hobbies don’t reach that august level.

So, thanks. Many, many, many thanks indeed. I look forward to working with all of you for another four years . . . and more after that.