Two years and eight months ago, I found myself driving the unfamiliar streets of Wayland for the first time. I found a towering beautiful church on one corner, a town building that I must have driven past three times before realizing it was there and a couple of abandoned buildings in the middle of huge fields on the west side of town.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Fortunately, I also found all of you, faithful readers, patient teachers and, now, memorable friends.
On Monday, I will become the new Community Editor for Wayland Patch and a number of other area sites. This is a bittersweet opportunity, as I'm excited to try my hand at a new challenge, but I will certainly miss being "in the trenches" in Wayland.
Some of you know that I was fresh off the bus from Nashville, Tenn., when I took over Wayland Patch; what you likely don't know is that working in Wayland made New England feel like home. After all, nothing makes you feel like a local quite like attending five nights of a New England Town Meeting (which is nothing like the version I knew from "Gilmore Girls," by the way).
There have been some lovely moments during my tenure -- celebrations with new business owners, retirement parties for beloved employees, much-deserved milestones for exceptional individuals and even a festival or two.
I'd be remiss to ignore, however, that there have also been some exceedingly difficult moments, moments that no town, no family should have to experience.
Through all of this, the celebratory and the tragic, I've had the opportunity to play some small role as a town of 13,000 unique lives united in joy and in sorrow.
Wayland, you are a remarkable town.
Luckily, this new role with Patch will not take me entirely out of Wayland... you'll still spot me at Starbucks or the library and maybe even a meeting or two. You'll also begin seeing Ryan Grannan-Doll around town. Ryan has years of experience both in local journalism and with Patch, so I'm completely confident that I'm leaving you in capable, if different, hands.
I'll keep the same email address and phone number, so I hope you'll stay in touch. Wayland has been a significant season of my life and you all have played a part. I feel blessed to have spent these few years with you.