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Marg-Ins Always Time For Change
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Just a few more boxes to go and I will be all settled in to my new office, used to my new desk, gazing at my new calendar.

My reporters are now situated at their desks a mere few steps outside my office door, as opposed to scattered in five different places around the building like before.

Gone are the piles of construction debris, the 'hanging from the ceiling yet attached to nothing' wires, the stacks of sheetrock and buckets of plaster and paint.

Things have somewhat settled back down to 'normal' with the massive renovation project started toward the end of the year finally starting to reach its conclusion here at the office. There are still a few shelves to be added, a few plaques to be hung, but by and large, the renovation is complete.

Now we just have to get used to it.

For some, it has been easier than others. Old habits die hard and if you've been working in the same area of the building for a number of years, that's where you are going to go ... until you remember you now belong elsewhere.

The creative services people - all of them - have taken turns walking past my new office on the way to see me in my old office. I chuckle as I see them through the window, heading in my old direction. With a grin, they soon come back, duck their head in to my new office and admit to not remembering where I was.

In the spirit of change, we also announced our new approach to our 'Street Beat' feature, which some also refer to as 'People Poll' or simply our 'Question of the Week.'

The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with those we have asked to join the panel almost unanimously saying "yes" and a couple of people even contacting us to see about taking part in the rotating 'answer pool.'

We did receive one letter advocating we keep it the way it is and suggested the reporters doing the question each week should approach it with a little more enthusiasm and a little less of a defeatist attitude.

But change can be good and, if it doesn't work, there's nothing to say we can't go back to the way it was.

We are looking forward to having people provide longer answers and being willing to deal with tough questions.

Of course, there will be those times when we still head out 'on the street' for the questions that are more conducive to kid answers; those are fun to do and well received by readers.

Our first group of responders is featured in this week's issue so that will give you an idea of how we intend to use them; each week we'll list answers from representatives in each of our communities.

Thank you to all of you who have agreed to take part; we value your input.

All of us here think it will be a good change and we hope you ultimately feel the same.

Speaking of change, a huge one is also looming in my family. Youngest child is about to enter the dreaded teen years.

Dreaded for parents, anyway, even if not for her.

This month, my daughter turns 13 and, like most mother-child scenarios, she can't wait and I'm just mortified.

When did this happen? It seems like just yesterday she was signed up for her first swimming lessons and was so afraid to jump in from the side of the pool that it took the full 2-week session for her to finally fling herself in.

Just a couple years ago - certainly not eight - when she was finally brave enough to sit on Santa's lap before Christmas without screaming in terror and asked him to bring her a blow dryer for her hair.

Not that long ago when she still wanted to put a lost tooth under her pillow in hopes of finding a monetary reward in the morning.

And just the other day, it seems, when I would pick her up on Wednesdays from school and we would head out for a special mother-daughter afternoon at the park or a movie, just the two of us.

She's had the teenage attitude thing down for quite a while, though, so maybe the actual age isn't the issue. But to know there isn't any going back ... the years just plod on from here, makes it a little scary. Before I know it, there's dating, driving, SATs, more gray hair...

Change. Whether we like it or not, it's always going to happen.

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