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All Systems Go
Marg-Ins 11-1-23

This past week proved to me why you have kids when you’re young. My daughter and son-in-law celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary and they were able to sneak away for a couple of days and a night in Tahoe, one of their favorite ‘go-to’ spots for hiking and relaxing.

So that left the triple threat of house, dog and granddaughter Lorelei-sitting to me as my schedule has some flexibility on non-deadline days.

‘Grand-dog’ Sonny always wears me out simply because he never wants to stop chasing his ball in the yard and that chasing also requires a human to throw the ball he wants to chase.

My dog, Bella, always come along when we house sit and she and Sonny get along well; except when he is feeling a little overzealous and wants her to join in when he races laps around the yard. At that point she just watches him zoom past and occasionally barks at him.

The house is not a problem; it pretty much takes care of itself.

Lorelei, at 21 months old, is another story altogether.

She is busy from the moment her eyes open in the morning until they close for a brief nap in the afternoon; then it’s go time again until bath and bedtime. All of which is thoroughly enjoyable but also a little hard to juggle when trying to write a magazine story, get some stories and photos for this week’s issue and try to cover previously scheduled events.

With my laptop it’s pretty easy to work from wherever, it just is hard to find the time when watching her. As soon as she is down for her nap, Sonny’s eyes don’t leave mine until I have taken a ‘break’ to throw the ball.

Then its’s time for some power writing before she wakes up and we head to the library or a park or even make a quick stop at the office to check in.

She is very hard to keep up with and though I figured I could get in even more writing and check things off my work list when she went down for bed, I was too tired by that time to think straight so no burning the midnight oil writing this time around.

This assignment also came after a very busy week, specifically with all the Homecoming excitement at Escalon, with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the dedication of the newly renovated Engel Field. The parade on Friday afternoon and the big football game; it was all a blur.

There was a little added excitement for me and the family, though, as I was honored to have been selected as Homecoming Grand Marshal and got to ride in the parade on Oct. 20, the first entry right behind the American Legion colorguard. My son-in-law Judd drove (his dad’s classic Ranchero) while my daughter Ally, Lorelei and I sat in the back on a hay bale. We need to give a shout out to the Escalon Fire Department; not only did they provide an emergency blanket we could sit on instead of the scratchy hay, they loaned us some tape to affix our ‘Grand Marshal’ sign to the Ranchero and also offered us ice cold waters for the ride in the parade, as temperatures inched toward 90 degrees that day. So, our thanks to the Escalon Fire Department; we were lined up right across from their big bay doors so they were definitely a huge part of making the experience a good one for us.

Thanks also to the committee that did the asking; it was at the end of the school year last year that they asked and I accepted. Little did I realize it would be a small part of one of the most memorable nights for the community of Escalon, with the long awaited dedication and reopening of the football field/track and field facility to cap the week.

So I am hoping to pencil in a day to breathe pretty soon, maybe take a hike or look at the ocean. Right now, I think I have to go; Lorelei is waking up from her nap …


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.