Samantha Anderson finished her last day as editor of the Cloverdale Reporter on Sept. 10, 2019. (James Smith photo)

COLUMN: Thank you for everything, Cloverdale

Samantha Anderson writes her final column as editor of the Cloverdale Reporter

Endings are always bittersweet.

When you find yourself turning to the final page of a book you’ve enjoyed a great deal — a story that pulled at your heartstrings, made you think, changed you for the better — you slow down, and, with a heavy feeling, read those final words.

Of course, there is the next story to discover — a new adventure awaits. But you’ve met such great characters, learned such incredible things. The end is a joyful moment, but a poignant one, too.

In this small newsroom, I covered every beat. I wrote about crime, politics, car accidents and pyramid schemes. I wrote about lemonade stands, cat shows, Christmas lights and the art of floral arrangement.

I interviewed politicians, cowboys, farmers, pre-schoolers, developers and beekeepers. I spoke with veterans about their experiences during the Second World War. I talked to people who lost their homes to wildfires. I attended Block Watch meetings, bagpiper conferences, and got to be as up close and personal to the Cloverdale Rodeo as a person can get, short of being a bronc rider.

I’ve learned a lot, more than I could ever write in a single column. What I can share is this: one of the most important lessons that this job taught me is summed up on a sticky note on my desk — “Make Time. Be Kind.”

That note reminds me that a meticulously planned day will never go how you expect. News will break, a story will walk through the front door, and you will need to re-think your day on the fly. Make time for the unexpected. Welcome it. After all, if you give a person five minutes, they can change your life.

It’s a reminder, too, that if I ever had a real down-and-out kind of week, I could count on a story coming across my desk that would demonstrate that Cloverdale is exactly the kind of place you want to be. This community is filled with great people — people with sharp minds, gentle hearts and a wicked sense of humour. Time and time again they showed me that small kindnesses lend great strength.

It was a great honour to be able to tell your stories, Cloverdale.

Thank you for welcoming me into your homes, coffee shops, news feeds and community. I will always be grateful for the incredible privilege that being your editor afforded me — it made me curious, hopeful, and driven.

I’m looking forward to what my next adventure will bring, and to writing a new chapter.

Until we meet again, Cloverdale.

This is Samantha Anderson’s final column as editor of the Cloverdale Reporter. Find her on Twitter @sam_andrsn to follow her next adventure. Read some of her previous work here.

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