There’s nothing that quite compares to the flurry of trying to leave.
In the small town newspaper business, you have to leave as much material behind as possible before you go. Meaning the last couple of days before you go on vacation are extra-long and extra stressful as you ‘write ahead’ so the people filling in for you already have some stories in place.
It’s also a little more difficult because, frankly, I am much more interested in what is to come as soon as I step on that plane and it’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand. But there are a myriad of little, everyday tasks that I do without even thinking that I need to make sure get done by someone else in my absence. Trying to make note of all I do and put it on a list for my fill-ins takes way more time than doing it myself, but I don’t plan on putting this week’s issue together from 3,000 miles away so, lists it is.
My mind keeps drifting eastward, though, to the summer rain and thunderstorms I hope are in store for me in New York; to the family and friends I will get to spend time with after not having seen them for over two years; to the chance to just decompress.
If I want to, I can just sit there. And do nothing.
What a blessing and certainly something to look forward to.
My daughter, who lamented the fact that she is not going with me, also pointed out that it is the first trip since she was born – over 25 years ago – that I have taken to New York without her. The first time we visited, she was about 16 months old and we have made multiple trips since; sometimes the whole family, sometimes just she and I, sometimes we have gone with my sister and my nieces. It will be a little bit of a different experience flying solo.
This vacation is also a holdover from last year; my tickets were purchased for a trip in early summer 2020 but kind of got upended by the pandemic, as there were uncertainties as to NY quarantine and whether it was a smart idea to go. I ended up not going then but still had the ticket funds on account so it was like having the trip already paid for this time when I booked the flight.
I have a couple of good books to read, some ‘tourist’ plans and am excited about breathing in a little calm after the hectic spring and early summer we have just come through.
Of course, when I get back it will be time to jump right into Escalon’s Park Fete and Oakdale’s Rodeo, back to school stories and high school sports …
Speaking of sports, having the chance to cover the recent Escalon High alumni volleyball game was so much fun; plus having an alum that graduated 15 years ago tell me I hadn’t aged a bit sure made me smile. In fact, most of the alumni were among the students that I covered when they were in high school, only a couple graduated before I got to Escalon.
It was also a true pleasure to capture Oakdale’s 150th birthday celebration in stories and photos; the sesquicentennial certainly lived up to expectations and when I was planning a summer vacation this year, I had to make sure that it didn’t conflict with the big bash, as that is something I didn’t want to miss.
There was nothing but smiles – along the parade route, at the rodeo grounds for activities there, at the time capsule ceremony. Coming so soon after the state loosened up pandemic restrictions, I think everyone was doubly happy; first to be part of such a significant celebration and second, to just be able to jump back into the stream of life.
Here’s hoping you enjoy being in that stream this summer and beyond.
Now excuse me, I have one more list to make.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.