Back after these messages

-4I have not been hibernating, I’ve been working, I swear!

My hometown paper gave me a call just after the ball dropped on New Year’s Day, asking if I could help out as a reporter for a few weeks while a former colleague and friend needed to take some time off. I was only to happy to help out.

So in addition to cooking for teens, sportsmen, lovebirds and other guests, I’ve been on the run with a reporter’s notebook, from outhouse races on Caroga Lake to county supervisors ready to burn down the governor’s mansion over new gun laws to a new school district being created. It was long, fascinating work, and I may have actually enjoyed every minute of it.

But tonight, I filed my last set of stories, and after 10 weeks of doing two jobs, as I did for two years here, I’m done.

I’m sure I’ll have other opportunities to help them, and I’ll be thankful when they come.

There’s actually been a lot of thankfulness with this job.

At first, I was thankful God spared my colleague, whose setback was critical in nature, but his healing was swift and assured. He’s back to work with a renewed and lightened outlook.

I was thankful to God for providing in his own ways. We knew we’d be faced with a financial challenge this year as our daughter’s mouth was being outfitted with a few ounces of metal and rubber bands, along with associated costs. That’s now done, thanks to the extra income from this opportunity. The bill was paid in full on the first visit.

As always, I was thankful that when fatigue set in, usually after a 16-hour Saturday followed by a 5 a.m. Sunday wakeup call, I always had ample time to renew and recharge. Part of that is because of my wife and daughter who are always supportive, no matter what ridiculous notion I have.

And I’m thankful for a renewed purpose. When I wasn’t in the kitchen, whether cooking, strategizing or even sweeping, I missed it. It will be good to get up early tomorrow to crack a few dozen eggs, cook some Leidy’s bacon and start cooking some chili, knowing that for now, that dining hall and the people who come in are the only things I need to focus on, professionally.

And I missed typing words and uploading pictures into this space. It’s nice to be back.

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