On to my next chapter

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Using hindsight, which is always 20/20, never blurry or out of focus, do you ever feel like there is someone making decisions inside some part of your psyche that you do not even yet know you have made? I do. In retrospect, it has happened many times in my life – sometimes personal, sometimes professional. Well, it just happened again.

I filed a column with the Winters Express two weeks ago at 6:05 a.m. on a Sunday morning about how Winters is changing.

A local acquaintance said that when he read it, he thought it was my resignation from the Winters Express. When I heard that, I said, “Oh, it might have been, but it wasn’t. I’d been thinking about how Winters has been changing for some time. With Debra DeAngelo’s resignation as editor, the two threads just came together, and I wrote the column.”

Well, he was right. I just didn’t know it at the time.

A few further thoughts and observations have added to my data bank, and I have decided it is time to end a fabulous five years with possibly the sweetest job in the world that a curious (nosy) person who likes to write and to put puzzles together could possibly have.

What could be better than being asked to write Feature stories for a paper? You talk to people who are doing interesting things, find out about what is happening in the area in which you live.

Better than that, the editor prints what you write the way you write it, even if it is sort of nerdy. (She drew the line at the many graphs I loved, and called me to double check how much marijuana the average user uses.)

I was looking forward to working with Julia Millon, who would have been my new editor, or “handler.”

Then the tragedy of Julia’s death, all the other calls on my time, my energy, and concentration came into play, and it seems a good time to end a good run.

Winters has changed a lot, the Winters Express is changing, and it is time for me to seek new horizons,

I am so grateful to the many readers who have told me they enjoyed my articles, and/or profited in some way from reading them. It is very satisfying. Thank you.

That is why I write – so someone, somewhere, will say “Aha! I never thought of that before.”

I am deeply grateful to the innumerable people I have talked to, called, emailed, who have given of their time and expertise to educate me about everything from walnut beetles to measuring water levels to sunflower sex life. And to all the local farmers, business people, political figures, ordinary people who have taken time to tell me what they know, what concerns them, and how they are working to improve the world, which we all are. Thank you.

Being a Staff Writer on the Winters Express can give you a very positive view of life.

Major thanks to The Main Man, who allows me to make fun of him. He is also The First Reader. Not one article ever hit the pages of the Winters Express without his scrutiny.

On to the next chapter.
Margaret Burns,
Winters Express Staff Writer

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