Today I covered my last council meeting. You'd think that being the last one would make it special and make me want to soak up every last drop of small-town politics while I had the chance.
I was as hard-pressed to keep my eyes open as ever.
The Reeve (mayor) and a few staff members apparently got wind that this would be my last meeting, and over the lunch break, several council members approached me to offer their help if I need references for work. The Reeve gave a little speech thanking me for my honest but fair coverage over the past two years and the staff presented me with a bouquet of flowers.
Considering that I've spent much of the last two years afraid to show up at meetings or, you know, walk around out of doors for fear of being tarred/feathered by some kind of Beauty and the Beast-style mob, I've been blown away by the reactions from people when they find out I'm leaving.
My editor held a little going away shindig for me at her place earlier this week. I figured it would pretty much be just the two of us, as two of the people from our tiny office were sick, and one was on holidays. Instead, pretty much everyone I've worked with, and some who I never worked directly with but got to know while covering events, since I got here drove into town to say goodbye.
Two weeks ago when I first got the news that I would be busting out of here, like it or not, I've been walking around with a chilly lump of fear in my stomach and coating my internal organs that no amount of jalapeno soup can take on.
Realizing that I've been a bright enough spot in even one or two peoples' days that they're actually sorry to see me leave, well, that's some powerfully warm and fuzzy stuff.
And of course, I couldn't help but crack a smile at this month's animal control report:
- 2 dogs taken to the vets
- OPP called me once
- Black Lab got caught in a 22 degree connibear trap The owners of the dog thought that the dog was dead. They cut the trap off with bolt cutters and did mouth to mouth on the dog and the dog came back to life.
"And the dog came back to life."