Speedering through life

The best part about working at a small-town paper is you really get to know the people in town. They stop you on the street to say hello, come into the office to chat with you, wave when driving by and they say hi at the grocery store.

They keep you posted on when things are happening. And sometimes, they invite you to be part of the family.

This is Clyde.

Clyde is one of my favorite people in Othello. And he thinks I’m pretty swell, too. We’re standing in front of something called a speeder. Speeders are small railroad cars that were originally used to go out and fix the other cars broken down on the rail. Now, they are collected by rail enthusiasts and ridden around for fun. Clyde invited me to join with his family and spend the day riding around.

It was pretty dang great. It took about 12 hours, we went all over this area and saw a lot of delightful things. Of course, the car is open sided so it was pretty dang windy and cold.

But still a lot of fun.

I had a good time.

As you can tell.


What’s weird is when I was getting ready to drive back to Renton that night and I looked down at my feet. I was wearing boots which were now covered in dirt, as I had been outside all day. They weren’t cowboy boots and I hadn’t spent time on a farm or a horse, but it still made me feel somehow at home in this rural agricultural town.

Weird.

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On being employed

So, I just finished my third day at the Outlook.

I am exhausted. More tired than I have been since last semester, for sure, but I am not even trying to do as much stuff. It is a combination of getting up at 6:30 a.m. every day (something I am really not used to) and the excitement/stress that comes with starting a new job and moving.

On Monday, I worked at 11-hour day.  It made me feel right at home.

It was a pretty busy day. No “Welcome aboard” luncheon or anything. I laid out six pages and proofed more. All while trying to learn everything about my new home that I could. There are so many design things that happened at the egreen that they just don’t do here. Or they do them differently. So trying to learn new rules while forgetting the old ones is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Another different thing: I have an office. This is exceptionally exciting in itself because I have never had an office before. But I am used to a newsroom sort of atmosphere. Where you can see everyone you work with and there is a big cloud of ideas, ridicule, jokes and tips floating around all the time. This sort of happens here, as people yell out of their open doors, but it is just not the same.

Even if we were all seated in one big room, however, it wouldn’t be the same. There are only 6 people who work at the paper. The publisher, the editor, the office manager, the designer, the sales manager and me. The hustle and bustle of reporters running around and editors venting frustrations to each other are in my past, and perhaps my future, but not my present.

Also, on Monday, everyone kept apologizing to me about how crazy it was and asking me to please be patient. All I could think was “this is what crazy is?” No one was even crying!!

There are definitely things I miss from my days at the evergreen. I can’t go into Rikki‘s office, shut the door and complain when my day is going horrible. There isn’t anyone at my office who I would even think about doing this with now. Maybe that will come later. Maybe I will just call Rikki even though she will not know anyone I am complaining about. I don’t have angry/sarcastic/funny facebook and text conversations with Jeff while sitting next to him. I realize I can still talk to him, and I do, just the whole talking-over-the-internets-while-you-are-in-the-same-room-thing is better.

Don’t get me started on how much I miss Janel, Jenny and Morgan.

Bleck.

But all in all, this is a wonderfully pleasant experience. I think I am really going to enjoy it.

I would enjoy it more if people came to visit me.

Just sayin’.