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A new beginning...Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at 1:12 PM
When I wrote my first Semi View column on Jan. 15, 2008, I summarized the goals I wanted to accomplish, with these words:
"I hope some of my columns will be funny; sharing my sometimes-unique way of looking at the life I've come to love. Other columns I hope will be thought-provoking. But most of all I hope in some way they'll be entertaining. (Please note: I'm not above a little exaggeration to make something more fun!)"
Today as I enter the fifth year of writing a column I hope from a reader's perspective they have been just that.
I have been encouraged throughout the past four years by the many comments I have received -- both in person and through The Marshall-Democrat-News website. Many, many have been positive and uplifting. A few have been anything but positive. But even with the negative comments, I've learned part of writing an opinion piece is having the courage to listen to not only those who agree, but also to those who don't. I've learned to take the differing opinions into consideration and actually learn from them.
I've also come to realize that no matter what I write or think I prove -- there are some who will never agree with me or understand my humor. I have also learned disagreeing with someone-- and the freedom to do just that -- is a precious American right and should be celebrated each and every day.
Writing the column has also confirmed a few things I always suspected.
First and foremost, I've learned our farm family and our story is not unique at all. In fact, some of the nicest compliments I have been given come from people accusing me of eavesdropping on their family because my columns hit so close to home.
I've also learned no matter the changes in technology, size of equipment or farms, the farm families remain much the same. Yes, they've evolved -- what family or job for that matter is the same as it was in the 1960s? But despite the changes, farmers are still hard-working, honest and intelligent. Their goals are much the same as they always have been: to make a decent living and to leave their animals, land and families better off for the next generation.
I've also learned how important it is to let people know our story as farmers. If we don't tell it, then someone else will, and most likely that version will not be accurate.
And since I tell my family's story (often with a little exaggeration), I've learned what good sports my husband and sons actually are. Since I often poke fun at their ever-increasing testosterone-fueled quirks, I make sure they read and approve each column in advance. They have seldom asked me to alter anything.
Today, as I begin the fifth year of Semi View, I want to make note of a few changes we will be making.
First, as you may have already noticed, I have updated the logo. Each day it was becoming harder and harder to recognize that youngster in the photograph. This picture, taken earlier this fall, now reflects a few more lines and wrinkles, but hopefully a little more wisdom as well. The truck has aged, too, but much more gracefully, I think.
The second change will be the frequency of my columns. Instead of every other week, we will now run Semi View every Tuesday.
This change will give me a chance to share more stories about agriculture -- both mine and others. I will also be able to better balance humorous glimpses of farm life and more serious subjects and stories related to farmers.
As I begin this new chapter, I want to thank all who have read my columns. I also want to thank everyone who has commented or contributed in any way. No matter your opinion, I always appreciate and respect your comments.
Thank you so much reading.
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