As September gives way to October, the weather - hopefully - is changing to more of a fall feel, baseball (at least in San Francisco and Oakland) has given way to football and it's time to start preparing for the next big few holidays. I see Halloween costumes, turkeys and stockings in the near future.
I'm sure by now some of you have noticed my byline in the Oakdale Leader. I took over the civics and hospital beat in the last week of August and I think it's about time that I introduce myself. My name is Andee and I am new to The Leader and to Oakdale, but I have been working for Morris Multimedia (The Leader's parent company) for a few years. I am currently working for both the Oakdale Leader and the Turlock Journal, with the occasional story in the Riverbank News and Escalon Times as well.
Mistress By Midnight
By the time you read this, my youngest sister, Kamrin, and her fiancé, Kyle will have tied the knot. You see, Kamrin and Kyle got married on Friday, Sept. 16 in Sanger. I'm sure the ceremony was lovely and I'm sure there were plenty of sniffles from the audience because weddings - although joyous occasions - never fail to start the waterworks no matter how jaded you are about the whole process.
On Sept. 8, 2009 Brent Layton of Escalon and Nikki Freitas of Riverbank got the news no military parent ever wants to hear … their son had been killed in action while serving his country.
As I drove off after work the other day, my otherwise "healthy" car stopped running. Right there in the middle of the street.
When we - meaning the group of reporters and I that work together each week to put stories into print - sat down for our Wednesday morning staff meeting this past week, the question was raised about how we were going to mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The seasons move on. The schools are back in session. We're headed toward Friday night football, cold and rain, and Christmas. Forget shopping. Did you know Riverbank officials are already planning the Christmas parade? "But not yet, not yet," as the hero's friend in the movie Gladiator says. The summer crickets are still calling, metaphorically, and doves still cooing across town.
With the start of the new school year, I have a senior, a junior, and a first grader. The two teens are dialed in, they know their routine and it's been an easy transition from one grade to the next. However, with my little one, it's been a different story.
My original plan for this month's column was to discuss my transition into "retired life" and the phases I went through on the path to ultimately accepting that decision. It was something parallel to the five stages of grief, starting with a denial and isolation then ending with acceptance.
You could say I have a little history in this neck of the woods.
The lockout is over, but the effects of a disgusting and greedy battle between overpaid athletes and their employers has painted a grotesque image onto the canvas of professional sports.
There's nothing quite like a vacation.
As I write this I'm sitting in a borrowed apartment that was set up for our arrival by my friend Dulcey. I can hear bananaquits (or Sugarbirds) and frogs that sound similar to very loud crickets, a rogue rooster crowed at the break of dawn, and the ocean is a short walk away from our back door.
With all respect to my colleague, Teresa, this month's column could be easily titled "Daddy Musings."
Spring is in the air and for me that means one thing. Not flowers blooming, not complaints of sneezing and watery eyes from allergies, not Easter, not even the Oakdale Rodeo.
It never fails.
Another birthday has gone by and the year is moving along at its normally quick pace. Birthdays have always been a cause for celebration in my life. We are not guaranteed a long life so every year that I reach a new age, I find myself reflecting, feeling very blessed, and thankful that I had a year filled with a lot of laughter and love.
It seems to have all of a sudden hit me that I'm in my mid-50s. With that awareness comes the oh-so-common, "Where did all the time go?" (And there's no mid-life crisis here with plans to go out and buy a corvette and cruise with a young blonde bombshell named Bambi).
Let's just say I have never been that much of a fan of 'reality' TV because in all honesty, it's probably the furthest thing from real life as you can get. Who can be 'natural' when there are lights and cameras tracking your every move?
There comes a time when you just have to part with things.
Whether you are an ardent sports fan or just a casual observer you really can't go wrong taking a few minutes out of your schedule to sit down and watch the Olympic Games. Chances are, you get one of the many channels that are carrying them, with nearly nonstop action all day, depending on where you turn.
It's bedtime at Villa Paloma and as I make my way upstairs after turning off the lights and ensuring doors are locked, comes the time where I need to make my claim on what's left of the real estate on our California king as the TV flickers the nightly news.
All right, I can tell on myself. This column and the ones our reporters periodically provide for this page are due on the Friday before the next Wednesday's paper. Typically, a 5 p.m. Friday deadline, though I have been known to let people email them to me on a Saturday as long as I know it's coming and can still get it proofread in time for the page to be built. But it has been an extremely busy time for me so I gave myself a break and put the deadline off until – yikes! – Monday. Besides, I ...
What did I get for Christmas?
Some people just aren't meant to wear heels.
It's the middle of December and I still have pumpkins on my front doorstep.
I'm taking a chance by voicing an unpopular, politically incorrect position on a contemporary issue, but from me, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
November is such a busy month, leading right up to an equally hectic December, that it literally feels like a lifetime ago I wrote my last column.
Some people may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to get Medicare benefits.