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.