Tricounty News

From the Heart: How time flies when you're ... busy

It snuck up on me, rather suddenly, this past weekend. Ten years ago, July 3 is the date my husband and I arrived - dusty and exhausted after driving from northern California to Kimball.

It wasn't exactly a wagon-train migration, but to us it was darned close enough. We arrived July 3, but it was many days later that all of our "stuff" arrived in this big move.

But we didn't care. We were home, more "home" than we'd been anywhere we'd lived in California. And it felt good.

Little did we know then what we were in for.

In the 10 fast years since then, we became homeowners and parents. And, oh, what a ride that's been!

I also took on the awesome responsibility of the town newspaper, only the fifth owner in its now 61-year history. I say both "awesome" and "responsibility" because that's what it is to me. It's certainly not just a job.

Yet it's only been in the past year that I've really realized just what a responsibility it is. At a time when big newspapers and television news are cutting and bleeding (and dying) all over the country, the importance of a newspaper to its community is reinforced at every turn.

Where does "the Internet" get its news? Largely from community newspapers. We are increasingly the sources for radio and television news, and for bigger newspapers that don't have the staff to do the "leg work."

All you have to do is look at a community that's lost its newspaper, and you'll see what a tremendous loss it is. And when larger community papers cut corners, they also cut their ties to the very people who make up their communities.

I've taken to heart in these 10 years what the term "community" means. It's not just a zip code or a label we give ourselves, excluding all others. Rather, it's an open-ended, inclusive self-description. I belong to a number of communities, as we all do. A community of moms, parents of school-aged kids, women, writers, artists, learners, business owners, residents of the Kimball area, KAHS alumni, and on and on.

I've never let geographic divisions or man-made "walls" define or limit who I am. And there is a growing "community" of like-minded people here and everywhere. We are all too interdependent and our lives are too intertwined to survive that way anymore.

So, I invite you to join (or re-join) our community, and to take an active role in it. Together, and moving in unison toward common goals, the future is truly ours to claim.

Next week, we'll mail out our 2009 Tri-County Resource Guide along with the Tri-County News. It's going to every mailing address in our geographic community.

Here are a few specific things I'd like you to do:

• Let us know this week if there's something going on in our community that you'd like to share with others.

• Make a point to read about these achievements and events in next week's paper.

• Read through the Guide to get reacquainted with our community, and keep it handy throughout the year. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Watch for more next week ...