Many of our readers may recall the little yellow VW bug that became former Riverbank News editor John Branch's 'signature' vehicle. We laughed (mostly with him) at the trademark jet engine sound when he fired the bug up, shared our concern when one of the wheels literally fell off as he was turning the corner to come to the Oakdale office – luckily he was close enough to park with three wheels intact – and celebrated with him when the bug went to storage and a newer, more reliable vehicle emerged.
Who knew there would be an adjustment period to living the dream? I certainly didn't. Many of you know I published my first book in December 2006 and it's been a dream of mine for longer than I can remember to support myself solely on my fiction writing income. After many years of incredibly hard work, I managed to make that dream a reality and I left my post at The Leader to live the dream.
Monday, April 15 did not start for me as it did my friend and running teammate Cathy McClelland or Oakdaleans Vanessa Walton and Tom Burchell, or Jesse Santana of Riverbank. I did not board a motor coach in my sneakers with a race bib pinned to the front of my shirt in anticipation of running the 117th Boston Marathon.
No need to check the calendar and this isn't an April Fool's Day joke – I am just trying to get my column schedule back 'on track' after having been haphazard about it the last couple of months. I know one ran just last week, so forgive me for the back-to-backs.
More than a week past deadline, I finally have taken a few deep breaths and will try to get this column written. Typically, the 'Marg-Ins' column appears the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is running a week later than normal this time.
Hello, Escalon, Oakdale, and Riverbank. I am the new girl at the Oakdale Leader office. You may have seen my name on a few different articles, pictures, or both in various issues. Or by now, you may have even met me in person.
I have an issue with finality. At the end of every year, as everyone is celebrating the ball drop on a New Year, I'm lamenting the fact that I'll never be in that moment again - another year lost to time, never to experience again. In that second before the big calendar change, I panic just a little knowing that it's over. I'm happy to report that the panic doesn't last but I can always count on it because I hate endings.
I was originally going to do this column about family quirks around the holidays, but with the tragic events over the last few weeks with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut and the Clackamas Mall shooting in Oregon, we are reminded of the ever increasing threat of an active shooter anywhere in the country. Not holiday feel good stuff, but something we can't ignore.
When you start adding it up, a column a month for 19-plus years working for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News, I've probably covered about all there is – and some topics, more than once.