I will be leaving The Mansion and heading Downeast to my Sweet Pea Cabin before the end of the month!
I am replacing the Calais, Maine, reporter, who is retiring, and starting a Washington County Bureau in Machias - all for the same paper that I have worked for these past 23 years - the Bangor Daily News.
I'll be working right from my home...just think, if a winter storm rumbles in, I can report the news in my pajamas. Miss Emma can sleep at my feet as I work and the Amazing Kiley can toddle over for a pb&j! And before I have to write about mischief and mayhem, I can take a pit stop on the beach and sit for a while.......heaven....
We are moving the office itself this Friday and I will be up there getting acquainted with officials and meeting with my new editor on Tuesday. Then I head back to Pittsfield, work for the next two weeks, cry my way through a good-bye party (which my friends are calling the "I'm not saying goodbye" party, and go to Connecticut for my nephew (the superior swimming/diving coach) and his beloved Cassie's wedding.
My last day of work in Pittsfield will be the 18th and by the 23rd, I'll be writing from Machias. I'll be a bit schizophrenic for a while since I will be covering some things in Pittsfield via phone and email until they replace me.
I am so excited: how challenging is this to explore new territory, meet so many new people and gather such new stories. All with my family next door!! It will be invigorating and I'm sure it will shake me out of my comfort zone...Sweet Pea Cabin here I come!
The downside is saying goodbye: the fire department in Pittsfield recently invited me to their annual supper and gave me a plaque and a standing ovation for chasing them around for more than 20 years. I told them it was my HONOR and they are my HEROES, and I meant it. The work goodbyes are hard - these are some of the finest people to work with. They have opened their homes, their offices and their hearts to me. So I'm saying goodbye to them:
"For the past 23 years, I have served as your local reporter
for the Bangor Daily News. As I prepare to relocate to
Machias and new writing and life adventures there, I want to
thank the thousands of people that I encountered while
To the troopers, police officers, deputies, firefighters, EMTs
and rescue personnel: my admiration for the heroic work
you do knows know bounds. For the many times you let me
tromp through fire scenes, get too close at accidents and
provided me with critical information, I thank you.
To the town managers, council and select persons, state
legislators and town clerks: I could not have done my job
well without your cooperation and assistance. For the
unselfish dedication you have shown while serving your
fellow citizens, I thank you.
To the farmers and others in Maine's agriculture community
who have let me wander through your barns, welcomed me
into your kitchens and walked me through your fields, I
thank you. You are the heart and soul of Maine and your
work often goes unnoticed and unrewarded.
To all the artisans, craftspeople, business leaders, and just
plain people next door, I am so grateful that you let me into
your lives and allowed me to share your joys, your sorrows,
your successes and your work. It has been my pleasure to
tell your stories.
To all of you that called with information, tips and story
ideas, you were my backbone and I thank you.
It has been my great honor to have written the history of
Central Maine for the past two decades and tell the
remarkable stories of the people who live and pass through
here. I hope I have treated you fairly and have adequately
represented the amazing people that live here. There will
always been a large part of my heart running up and down
the back roads of Pittsfield, Detroit, Burnham, Skowhegan,
Newport, St. Albans, Hartland, Canaan, Corinna, Plymouth
and Palmyra - and beyond. I will sincerely miss working side
by side with many of you.''
But the goodbyes to all my friends - my dear ones - I cannot put that into words.
Just tears. Lots of tears.