Keith's Column: Not goodbye, see you soon

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I was attempting to sort through the pile of seemingly unnecessary attachments and plastic pieces in order to install new windshield wipers on my car when I did something that seemed to sum up the entirety of my time in Mineral County.

I stopped worrying about the extras. All of the little pieces of plastic, whatever they were, went to the side and wouldn’t you know I was able to quickly secure the new blades to my automobile.

Life had a lot of those extra pieces in it prior to my move to Mineral County almost two-years ago. It had a lot of things and feelings I thought were important while I raced through life in southern California.

Then I accepted the position as the reporter for the Mineral Independent. Things slowed down, and every day I was forced to examine what had previously been key facets of my life.

Things like having access to fast food were the first and easiest to let go and move beyond. Renting movies after they came out was an easy solution to not having a movie theatre close by and it’s amazing to find out how easily you get used to never seeing a traffic signal.

But when you live amongst millions on a daily basis there are other things that are tougher to move beyond. Things like preconceived notions of what success looks like, of what friendship is, and of what a community should be.

Slowly those faded as well.

Standards of success went from being able to lease a new BMW by taking out a second mortgage on a much too big home to being able to be satisfied with a day of hard work and come home to family and friends who love you and laugh with you regardless of what your job is.

Friendship went from surrounding yourself with people who dress the same and have similar interests, to forming lasting bonds with people who look like your complete opposite on paper.

Community went from an abstract concept missing from reality to something seen every single day through something simple like a hello in the grocery store or surrounding a family with support when a need arose.

In the weeks leading up to the end of my time at the Mineral Independent it has been tough to come to terms with leaving a place that has been at the heart of so much personal and professional growth in my life. A place that has forced me to examine what is truly important in life and pursue those things while letting the extras fall to the side.

But that is another thing this county has taught me – once you are a part of the community you are a part of it forever. Mineral County will be a part of me forever and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Thank you for allowing me to tell your stories. Thank you for opening up to a kid from southern California and enabling me to produce a quality award-winning product for almost two years. Thank you for showing me how to get rid of the extras and really connect.

There are several individuals I have to take the time out to personally thank as well. This won’t even be close to a complete list because if it was I would have to type out the phone book.

Mike and Jackie – thank you so much for being my Mineral County parents, for always having an encouraging word or joke to brighten my day.

Cindy Grimm – thank you for being a constant source of laughter and information (in that order) and for saving my butt on a weekly basis.

Monte Turner – thank you for cracking me up even when we were in the midst of some not so funny times and most importantly thank you for your guidance and support as a fellow journalist. It means the world.

Colleen and Jaime – thank you for the post-it notes every Friday. They were not only used as a decorative piece in my home but also used as an indicator of how well I was doing with the newspaper. Couldn’t have any Nancy Drew post-its!

Melanie Wilcox – thank you for being a consistent friend who always cared and always was willing to go the extra mile to help me out.

Alychia “Pickles” Scofield – thank you for everything. For being the best friend I could have possibly asked for and for letting me be me and escape from the news and just be goofy.

Mike Talbot – thank you for being a friend, regardless if on paper or in appearance we are complete opposites. Never a dull moment when hanging out with you.

Mineral County Athletes and Coaches – thank you for putting up with my questions and phone calls and Facebook messaging. Thank you for turning me into a huge fan.

Alicia – thanks for being the best ad salesperson ever and making my job so much easier.

Justyna – thanks for team news and putting up with my shenanigans.

Once again that was not a complete list. It didn’t even really scratch the surface. It’s been a pleasure working in this county and bringing you the news every week. This is not goodbye. This is see you soon.

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