A fond farewell to summer and its many memorable adventures

It’s a question that is echoed in almost every classroom and school hallway across the district: what did you do this summer?
The responses tend to be similar: hung out with friends, traveled, went to the beach, slept. And soon these various summer adventures will be but a distant memory, one that we occasionally draw on in the cold, dark winter months while we shiver and remember sunnier times.
For me, my summer was filled with those usual things, but this summer also featured something unique, special you could even say.
I got to take a trip down memory lane, back to a time when my scribbles filled my reporter’s notebook, my camera was never too far out of reach and the sound of my fingers clicking away on the keyboard was a common soundtrack to my Sunday nights. Almost 10 years ago, as a fresh-faced, recent college graduate, I got to report on the stories of my hometown, a place where they say living is a vacation.
I loved the job, but a calling was strong within me, and I knew that my future was in the classroom.
It was hard to walk away, but in a lot of ways, my days in a classroom are pretty similar in concept to those as a reporter. I get to meet unique individuals and hear remarkable stories. Every day is a different adventure and I never know what it might throw at me.
I know that teaching is what I am supposed to do – but, man, was my summer rewarding and fulfilling while I filled in here at The Review. And I think now, as not nearly as fresh-faced with my hard-earned gray hair, as a mom, a wife, a person who has lived a lot more of their journey, I can appreciate this job so much more and I am so thankful for the people that let me into their worlds, into their stories, so that I could share them with you.
I met business owners that radiate with pride for their community and who have intentions much greater than just making a sale. I met people that are using the tragedies in their lives to do something special, to make a difference for those around them. I met young people that are working harder than I can ever imagine I did at that age to accomplish amazing feats and to live out their remarkable dreams. I got to capture the spirit of people of all ages doing things they love – making art, dancing, singing – and spreading their unwavering enthusiasm for their passion and life to those around them.
Because, let’s be honest, awesomeness is contagious. And I truly believe that you cannot find a community that is more awesome than that of Lake Orion, so thanks for sharing your summer with me, LO.
And now as I put down my reporter’s notebook and pick up my lesson plans, I bid you adieu. (Well, at least in the pages of this newspaper. For now.)