ELLENVILLE – So here we are. Digging out from yet another snowpocalypse, shifting our schedules to accommodate forces beyond our control. As I write this, I’m watching it blizzard on Wednesday afternoon, actively envisioning our house fires and warm embraces forming a force-field that will protect our tiny microcosm from bearing the full brunt of what the armchair prognosticators counter will be a severe battering.
The pummeling has been relentless lately. If it’s not the weather, it’s the national mood. Threats, bills, deadlines, various demands, but on the hopeful side, plans, lots of plans, upcoming events and excitement. Yes, last year we teased you that big plans were coming — and they are. We are perfecting things, and, as it turns out, perfection takes longer than previously thought. Slap that in the ‘plans’ category, with a hearty dash of excitement on the side.
It’s been a year now since I first signed on as publisher, and it’s been nothing if not memorable. I’ve been yelled at and commended, confided in, humbled and welcomed. This job, this life, really opens you up to the range of emotions — being interwoven with the dreams and frustrations of our neighbors... We are all waiting to hear about the 209 resurfacing, the FEMA mapping, the zoning of three acres or five. Waiting for word that the first bulldozer is starting progress on the Nevele. Waiting for warm weather, and with it the promise of parades and festivals, blueberries, car shows and UFOs.
And, in fact, next month will mark ten years that my reporter, the indomitable chap Chris Rowley, has been with us. A decade on the beat, his fingers on the pulse of our communities, filling my head with facts about wine, solar panels and the Pliocene period, and filling these pages with heartfelt and dynamic writing. We are incredibly lucky to have him.
Over the past year, I’ve seen so much happen, even within a few blocks radius from the paper — absolute community joy, and tragedy too. I can recall vivid conversations with people I bumped into on the street, and I’ve kept a running tally of the people we’ve pissed off, and yet, so many more that we’ve made smile, who have been educated, delighted and strengthened by our paper, and the power of the press.
So, this year has flown by. On a personal note, I joined a book club, I’ll tour a new school for the child, endlessly chop wood, poke the fire, and there was a day I started drinking at noon. There’s a roller derby bout on Saturday — come on out to the rink in Accord and watch me pummel the other team, on skates. I’ve cut ties and cut my hair, examined my beliefs, forged friendships and helped others have a voice. As I look out the window, and watch this snow waft down in chunks, I feel satisfied that the hard work is all worth it.
I truly believe in this paper, and what we are doing here. We are a small team, but we are mighty. Sure, we care about our communities, but this is a damn talented bunch, and really, if you are not tuning in each week, you’re missing out. Our supporter drive is ongoing — so if you believe in our paper, and not just in a practical way, to find out what happened at the school board or town board meetings, but believe in us as a positive community force that heralds change and champions the good things happening all around us — let us know, subscribe, support our independent efforts, let us know what the last year has meant to you, and what you are hoping for, because, no matter what, we all need something to look forward to.