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."
As I write this, it's 100 degrees outside and the air conditioning has gone out at The Oakdale Leader office. Fortunately for me, I chose the first day of this calamity to telecommute. However, for some of my coworkers, having to be in the office all day with only ceiling fans and some box fans to circulate hot air makes the hair and the clothes tend to cling where they're not wanted.
Ah, the wonder of the Internet and the remembrance of things past.
Rafting is all the rage at this time of year and seeing the enthusiasts buck through the white water rapids or float lazily down the calmer stretches of the Stanislaus River, I'm reminded of my personal experiences of going down a river.
On the cusp of another holiday - bracing for the fireworks of July 4 - my mind goes back just a few weeks to the last official holiday, Memorial Day.
It hardly seems possible that time has flown so quickly but I'm staring at the dates circled on my calendar for New York thinking, there's no way it's already down to the nitty gritty and I don't have a dress yet.
May always makes me think of Mother's Day and flowers. And this year we added a graduation, planning for a wedding in June, and everything else in between.
As I write this, a named suspect wanted for attempted murder is on-the-lam, in a city that doesn't have any detectives to investigate its cases.
As I write this, a named suspect wanted for attempted murder is on-the-lam in a city that doesn't have any detectives to investigate its cases.
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.
As I write this column, I am planning to be off work for an ROTC assignment.
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.
Twenty years goes faster than you think. Trust me.
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.
The Super Bowl Season is upon us as many of us gather for what is as close to an American holiday as it can get.
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.
Happy New Year! We all survived the Mayan calendar apocalypse and the "Fiscal Cliff" – kind of started to remind me of the Y2K phenomenon 13 years ago.
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.