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Column: Caught My Eye, Crossed My Mind: Subject – Network Issues, Black Bears, Politicians & Daddy/Daughter Dance

Early October started with a trip to Washington D.C., followed by a late month trip to the Smoky Mountains, ending with a Daddy/Daughter dance.

By: Forrest R. Church, Publisher

I’ve had several people ask me in recent months if I have discontinued this column?  Not at all.  Like my answers previously when there were large gaps in my “weekly” column, the amount of free hours I have a week are extremely limited.  As a matter of fact, I’ve started my past columns before with this same reminder several times over a few decades.

Why people enjoy my ramblings is a mystery to me, I do not like them most of the time myself.  But that’s probably because I tend to discuss issues that rub me the wrong way or share problems we are going through.  I am however honored when readers let me know they enjoy my ramblings.

I’m alive and well, though I have numerous additional “issues” and “problems” that I could have dis-cussed since my last rambling which I have not been placed on paper.  The truth is while I often think about sitting down and typing my next column, there is rarely time or I run out of time and do not finish.

With things being crazy busy at the newspaper office and a family of five, there are lots of 20-hour days that stack on top of each other.  I’m not complaining, but often when I call a day done and I think about what was accomplished before falling to sleep.  Often, I feel further behind than before the day’s effort was started.  I’m one that believes “traction = satisfaction”, I’m not a big fan of days where the “to do list” did not shrink and the next morning looks to be more over-whelming than the prior one.

I also like country music enough and have talked to those older than me to know I need to soak in these exhausting times, they will be missed someday if I am fortunate enough to grow old.  I know this and believe it.  I’ve had several cups of coffee with elders who have shared they would give everything for one more fam-ily vacation, one more date night with a lost spouse, etc.  You can have an empty downsized house that has been cleaned ten times a day because you have nothing else to do, with everything in perfect order.  Yet you wish you had a house torn up, full of kids to yell at.  I believe life is truly about perspective.  I wish for more calm and order, yet others miss the blessings of the days I am literally in the midst of.  Where do you fall in this circle?

So, to briefly catch up, here is a few personal and professional highlights from recent months.

—In recent weeks we have had some very serious network issues at the office once again that have caused working day and night.  A million and a half files to be exact.  I have little interest in sharing this story beyond stating I’m being heavily tested.  Honestly I have been running on fumes, I have had to stand up and walk away from this frustrating situation more time than I can count.

I haven’t thrown a thing yet, not one keyboard snapped in two believe it or not.  I heard a sermon a long time ago that talked about smooth edged river rocks.  When a jagged rock falls into a river upstream, it does not smooth out overnight.  It takes a lot of water for a long time to smooth out those rough edges.  That has always stuck with me.  Stating that my key-boards are all in one piece might mean some of my jagged edges are a little smoother than years past, al-though many in my inner circle will attest that I’ve got a long way to go.  Of course if the water running over the jagged rock is frustration, stress and negativity there will be no “smoothing”, it is possible those edges will become sharper.  I will not preach, but scripture, positive message, positive fellowship / accountability would be some positives to help slowly wear down those rough edges.  Anybody else have a ways to go in this area or is it just me?

In late September / early October I was in Washington D.C. for a week in the midst of a government shutdown, House of Representative fire alarms being pulled (I was a few blocks away), among other interesting observed activities.  I was in town for the annual National Newspaper Association Convention along with receiving some national awards for the team at The Village Reporter (we will share these in future).  I will admit this was the first time talking to numerous Representatives over coffee in their offices about small business struggles and issues with the Post Office (newspaper delivery).  I had the honor to speak with some pretty big names in our country’s leadership on both sides of the aisle, it was certainly an interesting experience.

Though this has been a tiring stretch, we did squeeze in a working vacation to Tennessee a few weeks ago (only to come back to a crashed newspaper network).  Those that know me are aware once I get away from a computer screen or the phone locking me down, I will walk until dark and then use headlamps to keep going.  I enjoyed getting into the mountains in perfect autumn weather and even having one day with no phone or WIFI service.

We enjoyed a hike to a hidden waterfall during the trip, caught trout via a catch and eat, sightseeing, Dollywood, caves and hanging out.  One of the highlights was discovering a family of bears eating black walnuts with cubs playing.

There have been lots of other activities squeezed in including an annual Daddy/Daughter dance in Williams County in which my six year old (only) little girl was slightly excited.  About 12 hours before the event started she woke us up before the crack of sunlight over the eastern horizon, just to remind us that the dance was that day.  I honestly love sitting back with these youngsters and ponder what the future has in store for them.

Just this past Friday we were also able to enjoy the annual Veterans Day program at North Central in Pioneer.  A shout out to all our area schools that do a remarkable job honoring those that served.  It takes a lot of work and practice to pull these programs off and a pat on the back should be given.  But more importantly, “thank you” to those that gave so much to serve this flawed, yet still great country.

I’m squeezing this likely typo filled column in last minute, before our files go to press, so I better wrap things up.  Until next time …


I’d love to hear from you. As always, feel free to reach out to me at or via mail at 115 Broad Street, Montpelier, Ohio 43543.


The post Column: Caught My Eye, Crossed My Mind: Subject – Network Issues, Black Bears, Politicians & Daddy/Daughter Dance first appeared on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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