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The best 11 years of my life

I just realized next week is my last week at the Algona Upper Des Moines.
It seems so long ago that I sat with Gene Hall — one of the best bosses I’ve ever had — to tell him I wanted to leave journalism. 
“You really love doing that emergency thing you do, don’t you?” was his reply. 
Yes, I do. 
In February, however, sitting at a conference room in Clear Lake for a Charles City Press/ Algona Upper Des Moines meeting on our 150th anniversary special section, Dec. 30 seemed so far away. 
In July, when Nathan left for Mount Vernon, it seemed far away. When Nichole Montgomery left for Northwestern College, it seemed far away. 
It still seemed far away when Alan came on board. 
When I took my name off the masthead on page 2 and put Alan’s name in its place in November, there was a pang, but between working on the 150th, volunteering for Algona EMS, and taking my needed prerequisites for nursing classes on Jan. 10, it was a short-lived pang at best. 
The past 11 years have been a roller coaster, but overall I can say the 11 years I’ve been in Algona have been the best of my life. This community is more amazing than any of you natives will ever realize. 
You were here for me when my mom died, and then a few years later when I took custody of my nephew for two years and my father died. You were here for me when I needed to learn how to make ‘Graduation Mints,’ when I needed advice on how to put in laminate floors, when I needed an ear or a shoulder. You’ve watched as I juggled being an EMT, an Editor and a Par-Aunt. You’ve watched me battle my weight – I know I’m losing that one right now, but I’ll get turned around.  
On Jan. 1, I start full-time at Kossuth Regional Health Center in the reception department. I’ve been doing that for a bit now on an as-needed basis, and it’s a perfect fit for me. I love helping people. I love working with the people at Kossuth Regional Health Center. On quiet nights, I will have plenty of time for homework. 
I want to thank the readers and subscribers over the past 11 years. Thank you for your constructive criticism when I needed it, your support when I needed it, for sharing your stories and your lives.
I look forward to my next adventure and serving Algona and the surrounding communities as a medical professional. I’m leaving journalism, not Algona. 
You’ve been too good to me. 


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