I’ve sure you’ve noticed that most of my blog posts lately have been very lighthearted. I’ve talked about weekend fun, hanging out with friends, my amazing birthday, and college football. What’s not to like there? I write for a career, so most of the time, when I’m not “on the clock”, I don’t want to sit down and seriously write- and I’m “on the clock” more than ever lately. Plus, I recently started volunteer coaching for the Florence Track Club, so that’s keeping me busy some afternoons (I will talk about this more one day!).
Fall always reminds me of football, marching band, pumpkins, Halloween, crisp weather, and my grandma. Her birthday was on Halloween, and it was ironic that she shared it with such a sweet holiday. Granny passed away around Christmas back in 2009, so while I’m not actively grieving, but it’s like anyone else who passes away- certain events, situations, and seasons in life remind you of that person. Today was no exception.
I made the Francis Marion University newspaper after placing first overall (female) in the FMU ROTC 5K that was held on campus. It wasn’t that big of a deal- it was a new and small race, wasn’t my best time ever, and I was really running for fun with my buddy Terence. Of course, any event held on a university campus is a big event to the university, so someone from the student newspaper got up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to cover it.
Who says writers don’t earn their measly salaries?
I interviewed with the student reporter and it brought back memories, even though it was funny being on the “other side” of journalism. Two things about interviewing someone who has been in the journalism business- we know to spell our names out to reporters, and we know how to give quality quotes!
I didn’t think much about it after the race- it was my birthday, and I had other things going on (football was coming on TV!). Today, the newspaper was published, and for me, the weirdness hit. Not just seeing my name in the body of an article rather than a byline.
Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up reading the newspaper with my Granny, long before I decided to take this career path. As a high school student, we read the paper on the porch every morning while waiting on my ride to school. Back then, newspapers had substantial content (very little was on the web- this was 2000-2001), and if I didn’t finish it that morning, I read the rest of the paper after school. Pre-twitter, news traveled a lot slower, so what was published that morning was still news that afternoon.
After Granny passed away, my mom and I found every newspaper clipping I’d ever written or appeared in underneath my grandma’s couch. We’re talking everything from honor roll to university newspaper to local news to a few newsletters I wrote for at my first job- under the couch.
I sometimes wonder what my grandma would do if she were alive today, with a computer and internet access. I could see stacks of financial accounting software manuals fresh off the printer, just because I’m the one who wrote about the ever-so-present ideas of debits, credits, charts of accounts, and electronically filing W-2s and 1099s.
I have copies of the article saved- both for my parents and his. One day, he and I will clean out our apartment in preparation to move, and I’ll most likely wrap fragile plates or mugs in the very words I wrote. Someday, hopefully far off into the future, we’ll clean out another house when mourning. We’ll find and read the articles- remembering the days of 5Ks, FMU, being young, print journalism, and the special people in our lives who cared enough to pull out the scissors and save those moments for as long as possible.