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."
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.
Although technology has made several advancements, why does it seem as if some people have left their intelligence behind? I am sure that we have all discussed the changes that technology has made in our lives. Are we really at a point where we no longer think for ourselves and let machines do the thinking for us?
There came a time at the beginning of the year that when I looked into the mirror I saw a guy I didn't recognize looking back at me with his chipmunk cheeks and no neck.
For the first time in I can't even count how many years, the 'Back to School' sales did not instill a sense of panic in me.
After the excitement wore off when I first heard I was going to be a grandfather, I wondered if I was destined to be a loveable old man who wore a little fedora with a feather and plaid Bermuda shorts with calf-high dark socks in sandals. Or, if taking after my family lineage, it was time for me to get in the role of 'Papa' and eventually start having a garden with zucchini, fava beans, tomato plants and other vegetables like both my grandfathers had when I was young.
By definition, 'vacation' means an 'extended period of recreation' either at home or in travel. The word has also gained the reputation of meaning you get some rest while you are on vacation but that particular four-letter word did not seem to be on the itinerary for this trip.
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