I honestly thought this would be easier to do. But, dammit, it’s hard.
Never did it cross my mind, since I started in this wonderful business of newspapering in 1979, what it might remotely feel like to write a farewell retirement column.
Well, here goes.
It’s time to say thank you and — as my dear friend Marty Forbes says, “It’s not good-bye, it’s see you later.” But when the telephone rang last week telling us our offer on the house overlooking Jackfish Lake in Meota, Sask., was accepted, reality set in.
It’s special: really special. We’re moving into the house my mom and dad built in 1988 where we had some wonderful memories … and make so many more.
This means I’ll be leaving The Sun. I really don’t think Edmonton readers are interested in Saskatchewan grain prices or whether anyone has bought the Meota hotel or not.
And maybe the timing is right. It’s four years ago, March 29, 2014, when my first column ran in The Sun. Thanks to John Caputo, Steve Serviss, Dave Breakenridge, Barry Hanson, Chad Huculak, Nathan Martin, Bob Paterson, Allison Ferradas, Ted Dakin, Robyn Caillier and so many others who have made my journey so rewarding.
I’ll also be giving up my position as ATCO Edmonton Sun Christmas Charity Auction executive producer. But it’s in good hands.
One of my biggest dreams came true two years ago when I joined the Oilers Entertainment Group in the corporate communications department. Thanks to Bob Nicholson, Kevin Lowe, Tim Shipton, Andrea Garland, Kristen McWatters, Sandy Langley, Paul Helm, Rick Carriere, Bill Scott, Amanda Bacon and more.
I’m in my second term serving as a member as the Premier’s Council of Persons with Disabilities. In fact, I was just was re-appointed in the summer.
I would really like to continue to carry out my role. Somehow, though, given the little rift between the provincial cousins lately, it might not be the most politically thing to do: making policy decisions for Alberta while sitting on the deck overlooking a Saskatchewan lake.
Sometimes, it’s time to start a new chapter, and since I will be turning 60 this year, now is that time. Heck, I just applied for CPP.
For close to 40 years now, I have always wanted to write books from Meota, where I have deep family roots dating back to 1902.
My goal is to write two books a year. I want to write children’s stories, too.
I sit here now, looking at the word count of this column. I have 70 more.
What to write?
Thank you seems so meaningless when I push the rewind button in my mind of all the people who have helped me; all the people who have shared their trust in me and told me the story; my wife Joan, who is my rock and has been so supportive of the move.
Finally, to you: a reader. We may not have always agreed, but your feedback has always inspired the next story.
Thank you. So much.
It’s hard thinking I won’t write another column again.
So … I will.
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