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October 19, 2007 - LLee Janssen

The start of something great!

Or so I'm told by the tech guru here who's convinced me it's okay to write a blog. It's been a while since I've done any writing, having found myself far too busy in the newspaper's "hot seat" -- that of assignment editor. The phones ring faster than I can answer, reporters are queued up waiting to see me outside the office door, and there's normally more conversations going on at once that what any one person should be expected to understand. Technology is changing my world, just as it's doing everywhere else, and people call asking if I've gotten their emails before I've had time to get through them. So much for a day at the office; so much for finding time to write.

And then I go home. Maximus doggus (Max for short) is always happy to see me, bouncing up and down in front of me as I try to make my way in the door, demanding his attention. It used to be that I would come home to find two young sons, while others marveled at how I managed. I don't know how I did it, I just did. They've grown up and gone out to explore the world, in search of their own adventures, while I remain in place, the anchor, the one who used to have dreams of her own. Now I'm just married to my work, and that house is brimming with activity.

I still have dreams, but they've changed. I dream of having the house filled with visiting grandchildren ... I'm told to wait a decade. I dream of the son in the Guard finishing his college education and becoming a math teacher, and I wonder if he still has that teaching dream or if the Guard has supplanted it with other plans. I dream of time with the other son, the one who is traveling the planet as an aspiring musician and who I'm afraid has outgrown his hometown. It's all okay, though, as long as they come home for dinner on occasion.

Williamsport has been the launching pad for many dreams ... it's the place that keeps me centered. So while I call my blog in part "empty nest," as that's the stage in life I'm in, I'm sure this arena will give me a chance to talk about many of the positive aspects this community has to offer. I'm amazed at the observations of outsiders from nearby communities who fear this town and wonder if they'd like to know my impressions upon venturing out into some of the back corners of northcentral Pennsylvania ... probably not. Let's just say, it lies in the eyes of the beholder. But overall, everywhere I turn, I see nice people, just as there are rude people. Some people appear scary, but might have hearts of gold if we can just look past their covers. And others, well, they end up on the crime pages, regardless of where they live.

But as far as a place to raise youngsters and a place to call home, Williamsport, in my mind, is about as good as it gets. I've always loved being within walking distance of work, family and friends, yet not be in a city so big that I couldn't have a car. To that end, I have no regrets.





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