WP_000563I am a freelance writer .  .  . former working journalist, student of life, wanderer, designer of homes, news pages and funky furniture; wordsmith, reader, storyteller, traveler, foodie; wife, mother, grandmother; eternal optimist.

A blog.  A blog?  A blog, you say?  After many false attempts at journals and travel logs during a lifetime of collecting experiences and stories, someone suggested to me that I should start a blog.  Much to my dismay (I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age, and I am still trying to learn to navigate through social media), I found the idea intriguing.

I actually began to seriously consider it.

And then, “Why not?” said I. That was some years ago.

So, here we are.

The title comes from a column I began during my tenure in the mid ’70s as editor of the Richardson Daily News, a well-loved suburban daily in a northern suburb of Dallas, a community with its own distinct personality and a mix of interesting people.  It was a favorite time of my life.  Previously, one of my professors at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism had admonished his class: “To live and work among the people you write about is a great responsibility.”  He charged us to tell their stories truthfully and well. And he counseled us to always look beyond headline-grabbing events.

On the news pages, we told the big stories, but it was strictly a local newspaper. The news we printed may not have had global impact, but it was important enough to our community. I learned that the stories we told of small triumphs and individual plights, of little league victories and the broken dreams of senior citizens, of neighbor helping neighbor, and of small business successes — those were the stories that attracted a local following and contributed to our standing as a force in the community.

We sought answers from city officials about the municipal plans and expenditures that affected their lives, and we followed local school problems and achievements religiously. We covered religious events and we ran pictures of patriotic observances. We gave voice to citizen concerns, and we held city fathers and local businesses accountable for their respective actions. I like to think that we fulfilled the responsibility of a free and independent press, and that our community was a desirable one, partly because the paper existed. I learned most of what I now know about people and their lives, about the beliefs and values that shape individuals and influence their decisions, about cohesiveness and divisiveness, even about right and wrong, passion and apathy, during my tenure at that paper.

Our community was in no way isolated from the greater urban center, from the state, the country or the world; nor was it distinctly different from other nearby suburbs. However, we viewed the larger world through the filter of our local lens, and we could pick and choose from a larger menu of news items those stories that held particular relevance for our readers. It worked, and the paper was, during its existence, widely read and highly respected. Not because of what I did there, but because the entire staff of that unique daily newspaper tried to tell the small stories, the ones that might today be termed the back-stories, of real people and the issues and daily occurrences that mattered to those people.

We did our best to tell those stories truthfully and well. That is the tradition that continues on these digital pages. I began this blog with little idea of where it might lead. I still am not completely sure what kind of journey I have embarked upon. I do know, however, that what I write matters to me. I like to think that some of the stories I tell matter to others as well. Much of what I write is personal; I hope that some of it is equally interesting to others.

I believe that we all are related as human beings, and that the ties we forge with others are important to our survival. We are not so very different from one another, you and I, and I only hope that some of what I share will strike a chord with you, my readers. If so, please feel free to share and invite your family and friends, your neighbors and business associates, to follow me on this site.

As you read, let me know what you like. Let me know if you disagree with me.  Please, though, let’s keep it civil, factual and honest. Perhaps we can discuss ideas, learn from the stories, and find common ground and new wisdom in our diversity.

That is my hope.