Spoiled, spoiled rotten

This morning I had a few interviews set up to talk to some high school students that are participating in the program SCOPE, Student Congress on Politics and Education, in March. After watching the news last night, I learned that I had a tight timeline I had to make if I wanted to interview those students.

All Washington County schools in Tennessee were closing at 11:30 a.m. because of the snow storm that was on track for our area.

This sweet man of mine saw reports that the snow could start as early as 10-10:30 this morning and decided to drive me to my interviews. Jason’s Subaru handles snow much better than my Mitsubishi. I love how he knows when my nerves need to be calmed down, how he always looks out for me. Well, my interviews went well, story has already been turned in, it was a great way to start my day.

Good news was we got home in plenty of time before the storm started. So, Jason could have slept in, but I am thankful he was looking out for me. Interstate 26 is a nightmare when the weather is fine . . . IMG_1055

The snow started about 2-ish this afternoon and has been off and on since. We saw some really big snowflakes when we left to pick up dinner, but has since decreased in size. Fortunately this snow storm has brought some nice snowman, snowball packing snow . . .

So Jason made us a little snowman with the little snow we had this afternoon on top of my car. We went back outside just a little before midnight and it’s still there, much smaller of course.

IMG_1056Jason made sure I took a picture farther away to show just how small the snowman was. It made me laugh, made my day actually.

The memory of today was making snowballs and throwing them at each other, as well as Jason throwing them at his car.  I felt like a little kid, it was great.

I thought of our family dog Mandy. When I lived in Illinois with my family as a young girl we used to make snowballs and throw them at Mandy and she would catch them with her mouth. Oh such great memories flooded my brain tonight.

IMG_1057Since that first time we went out earlier this afternoon, a lot more snow has accumulated. Around 11:30 p.m., Jason measured about 4 1/2 inches and it’s still coming down.

IMG_1082One of our neighbors has a table in front of their porch, which provides a good visual of the amount of snow we have received so far.

IMG_1066The snow on the back porch.

Jason came back inside to get me tonight after he walked towards the decline of our driveway down the hill. He knew I would want to take pictures, which he was right. It’s such a beautiful site, especially with the snow still falling.

IMG_1067Both Jason and I commented on the silence that surrounds you in the snow. The sky also provides an incredible view, there’s kind of glow that engulfs you while filling the night sky.

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Winter Storm Pax sure made its presence known today and is expected to continue Thursday with possible snow on Friday as well.

Today was an incredible day. Jason and I spent the majority of the day, night laughing hysterically. I had tears flowing freely at one point as I could not stop the laughter.

Days full of writing

I feel complete once again … my days are full of writing … therefore full of my all time passion.

I love piecing an interview together to create a story that others can follow and hopefully enjoy. I love incorporating the emotions I feel from an interview to further portray their story.

My favorite conversations are those that move me, those in which I can feel their passion about a particular subject.
I just finished writing about a gentleman who lives in Gilbert, Arizona …  his passion for helping others was contagious as our conversation continued. Those ate the stories that give me the drive, those are the ones that I want to tell.

My opportunities for writing are soaring once again. I never thought I would be where I am at – have as many opportunities as I do. My calendar is once again filling with times for phone interviews.

Although my full-time job didn’t pan out the way I hoped, things couldn’t be better now.

I started working my editors position for the Neighbors section of the SanTan Sun News, a publication in Arizona, today. It felt good to sit down at my desk and organize and rewrite content that is beginning to trickle into my email.

On top of that, I was excited to dive back into interviewing people to do articles I love to write.

My editors in Florida and Arizona are keeping me busy, they are pushing a good assortment of articles my way. I should be adding Tennessee to that list as well, as I am waiting to hear back from the publisher about my first article.

When we first moved to Tennessee all I was doing was freelance work. After a while I needed a change, I needed to actually get out of the house and interview people in person. This is why I started looking for a full-time job. I believe I fixed that urge this time because of the partnership with the paper in Tennessee.

The ability to write is an amazing feeling, the opportunity to do it for a career is indescribable. I’m on cloud nine, I am beyond excited for what my future holds again.

A glimpse of my impact

The last few days I have revamped my resume as I updated it with my latest journalism jobs, improved the wording and changed the style. This document, which made me proud of my accomplishments, will soon be sent to newspapers of our new destination.

While working on my resume, it made me reflect once again on where I started and how far along I have come. Memories poured out of the words that appeared before me as the descriptions of my duties brought me back to the time and place of that particular job, making me remember stories, people and co-workers I have had the opportunity to work with.

This morning I stopped by my executive editor’s office to share a little more about my move, as well as discuss details about my departure. As we caught up on each other’s life, my appreciation for this woman increased as she told me she would take care of me and wished me the best on my journey. The more we talked the more she shared her excitement for my new adventure.

As the economy affected the newspaper over the past few years, this woman always found a position for me within the company, so I could continue my passion of writing.

It will definitely be a bitter sweet goodbye when that final day comes as I walk away from my newspaper that I have become so proud of, as well as my editors who have recognized my hard work and shared wonderful compliments.

As I drove from the Cape Coral office to my office, I began brainstorming who would be so kind to write a letter of recommendation. Within an hour, my first letter appeared in my mailbox, which almost brought me to tears as I read how much of an impact I have had on this little community.

beaconThe executive director of the Beacon of H.O.P.E. truly touched me with what she wrote.

“We will be at a loss to replace her, but I am confident that she will be an asset in any endeavor she attempts,” she explained in this letter addressed to whom in may concern.

I have truly enjoyed writing about this non-profit organization that began shortly after Hurricane Charley devastated the area. Over the years, this incredible island organization has provided countless programs, which are still increasing and improving, to help island residents young to old excel in life. As I wrote articles for the Beacon, I formed a friendship with the executive director and never left the room without sharing a hug.

“She would arrive on time for any event as requested, with a smile and a curiosity to really understand what was happening. Her writing was articulate and accurate and spoke well of our community,” she continued.

One of my favorite parts of being a journalist is conducting the interview because I love finding out why people do what they do. I love digging into the subject and finding out the story behind that particular subject.  Whenever I wrote an article for the Beacon, this woman always directed me to the right person to interview and was always happy to share the history of how a particular program began.

“Meghan has been the editor of our local paper, The Pine Island Eagle, and has functioned in this role with enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism,” she wrote.

The compliments continue through the many paragraphs that grace this letter of recommendation. I am incredibly proud of these words and look forward to pass them on to the jobs in which I apply for in the very near future.

Although I am walking away from this editor position to further my career, I will never forget all the wonderful memories that were created on this little island in Southwest Florida. I will always hold these compliments close to my heart as I strive to improve my writing and path in this amazing career.

I never imagined that a career as a journalist could be so rewarding and so touching. What an amazing journey these past 16 months have been.

I truly believe the best way to get to know a community is through being a reporter because of the rapid pace in which you learn about the area and what it has to offer. This community welcomed me with open arms and provided me with an incredible learning experience as I tackled being an editor for the first time.