On the move


I don't know about you but when things are a bit unsettled, creating some semblance of order seems to help.

We're practicing that here at The River Reporter.

We're cleaning up our space, recycling tons of paper and forms and generally getting very serious about what we don't want to stumble over.

We do that because the stakes are high.  It's a bit like training for a marathon.  Local community journalism has never been as important; or in quite the disruption that it seems to be. Everything is changing and moving at a rapid pace.

To that end, I have moved my desk to the space beside the front door.  What I have accomplished in the move is that it is no longer necessary to stop and twist around to see who is walking through the door. (With an office full of smokers the turning and twisting was getting to be a bit much.)

Plus, the new space is more open and it's easier to stop and speak with  people who walk through our door.

I have sat in this space off and on for decades, starting out in 1980 when I worked as the production assistant at the then Delaware Publications, a letterpress print shop run by George Krause, Jr.

By the mid '80s, I had a playpen to my right, where now 35-year-old-son Zac would spend some hours as I worked in the morning.  

There's something to be said for sorting through piles of paper and getting rid of them.  And there is something to be said about returning to familiar spaces with a different mindset.

This different mindset came to the fore when I attended a "Celebration of Life" of Michelle Schuchman at Rafter's Tavern in Callicoon on Tuesday evening.  When the invitation came for the gathering, I wondered whether Michelle, who has stage four cancer, had died.  Far from it, she, and friends, were hosting a birthday party. When I arrived at Rafters, there was Michelle, decked out in a vintage party dress, short cropped red hair, complete with a green tiara.

She talked about how she was living and how her cancer was growing. She related that she had entered the Miss Senior Pennslyvania, and that the dance troupe Lava was helping her with her dance choreography.

The room agreed with the comments of one of her caregivers, Lisa Gonsalves, that Michelle was living large and would continue to do so until she wasn't.

There's a sort of commitment to life in that statement, which somehow reminds me of cleaning and sorting through the newspaper office.

We want to be able to concentrate on journalism, and not stumble over our organizational processes or the disarray in the office.

In these times, we need to focus on taking care of what needs to be taken care of. We need to take care of things without drama and without recriminations.

We need to reorder our lives and live each moment as best we can.

That’s what, at the end of a long week, I think has had me on the move, in a lot of different ways.


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