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Yellow Farmhouse; White Rocking Chair

By Kayleigh Rahn
This edition marks four years since I’ve taken my editorship at The Tuscola Journal.

I’ve kept The Journal each week in a stack on my desk. After this publication makes it back from the press plant Tuesday afternoon, I’ll tie my fourth bundle and become anxious to start my fifth.

It’s gone by quickly.

When I think back to four years ago I have to laugh. I was unprepared and overall barely keeping my head above water.

William and I were sitting at home on the day I accepted the job, and I was explaining to him the work I was about to attempt.

His only response was: “Are you ready for this?”

The answer was no, but we made it through the learning phase, and at the office we continue to work each week to bring the most pertinent news of the week in a professional, ethical, reliable publication. I suppose, overall, not much has changed in four years but rather than flailing about, I’ve learned to swim in the deep end with a bit more confidence. Thank you, readers, for your continued support, patience, and interest. I’m still just as determined to improve for this publication, and I’m excited for what is ahead.

William and I were newlyweds and new homeowners when I took on the gig from the fabulous and beloved Colleen Lehmann. We’ve changed so much as a family since that time, but I’m incredibly proud of where we are both privately and professionally. And, honestly, so much of that is due to taking this role at my hometown newspaper.

I’ve grown a deep, deep appreciation and love for this community, its people, its services, and its history. I’ve grown in ways I never knew needed growth, and I’m forever changed by so many residents, good doers, and kind humans who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting only through this work.

Over the years, faces have changed at the office, but the work has not. Each week is a labor of love, and this is the most satisfying job I’ve had. In year five, we’re quickly preparing to say goodbye to a longtime friend and coworker as she moves on to a new line of work. Her dedication to this publication has molded these pages into everything you read today. I do the words; she does nearly everything else.

Michelle is the type of coworker who finds a way and doesn’t quit–everything you want in someone whose been in our corner without hesitation for the entire 13 years of The Journal’s comeback. Michelle, thank you for your support, your dedication, and your friendship. We at The Journal wish you and your family nothing but happiness and success along the road ahead.

With that said, we will be going under a bit of an overhaul behind the scenes as we shift to adjust to such a loss to our small office, but I’m confident we’ll turn this corner with great opportunity on the horizon.

For year five I have goals for our publication and our coverage that include new series and new perspectives. I’ve learned we cannot publish a community newspaper without the community’s input. If you have suggestions or insight, swing by and let me know your thoughts or send me an email at I’ve learned to take criticism as an opportunity to improve, and I’d appreciate fresh ideas to better bring you the news of our community each week.

I know I’ve said this before in this column, and I feel like a broken record when I say it out and about on assignment, but I love this job. It’s sincerely my heart’s work, because this community has always been home to me.

So here’s to four years, to year five, to new projects, and to new faces.

In so many ways I feel we’ve just begun.

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