The Newcomer

When the walls come tumbling down

Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest woman alive.

When I was a raggedy-tag kid growing up in Walla Walla, I had a child-size desk and I spent hours at it, making up newspapers I distributed throughout the neighborhood. (No feedback ever received on whether they were read or not.) As a high school student, I spent hours at my grown up vanity, writing stories which I stuffed into its capacious drawers.

My mother had quite a job tossing all that paper when I reached the ripe old age of 16 and moved out, newly graduated and ready to tackle the world on my own.

I didn't go to college for the silliest of reasons-I didn't know how to apply. And no one in my family knew how, or even discussed it, because they had never gone to college.

It was the dark ages, so my Catholic high school had no career counselors to help me steer a course. So I steered my own, and took a train to Chicago to enter a rather sterile environment from which nuns were turned out, complete with black and white habits and huge wings framing their faces. (You've seen them depicted in old movies and in the Flying Nun episodes.)

It didn't take long to find out I am not the stuff of which nuns are made.

It wasn't until I was married and a mother about 40 years old that I got the opportunity to work the printer's ink out of my veins.

I went through the college of hard knocks to get my 'diploma' in journalism. I received it at the right hand of an old newspaper woman who started me out by whipping a piece of paper into my typewriter and screaming, "Write up that wedding, girl!"

From office clerk to reporter to editor and, finally, to publisher, I worked my way through, what was to me, Paradise.

For 17 years, I got to live my dream. Then I retired.

And now the Daily Sun News lets me play periodically on its pages. Just enough to drain off the excess printer's ink, but not so much that I can't take a trip or pull weeds when I want to.

I feel blessed to be able to still meet people in the community and chat with them, get to know a little about them and tell their stories on pages that make their way into your homes. (Even if I don't always get any feedback about whether they're read or not.)

We have some wonderful and interesting people here in Sunnyside and the Valley, and I love writing about them.

It's really great when you can live your dream. Because I have, I often ask young people what they would do, if they could do anything they wanted to. So often, their answer is hemmed in by restraints they put on themselves. I usually have to reiterate the question, adding the provision that I mean what would they do if nothing stood in their way.

Then, what fun! They open up, and their dreams come spilling out. Sometimes we take it a step further and talk about how they might overcome the walls that seem to be in the way of realizing their dreams.

So often, the walls come tumbling down.

And when mine did, I became the luckiest woman alive!


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