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Marg-Ins Counting Down The Yea
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Stop me if you have heard this before. I love my job.

There aren't many jobs I know of that offer such variety, where I can go from interviewing newly elected city council members in the morning to the intensity of a volleyball playoff game later that same day. Or spend my Friday nights with 40-plus sweaty guys and enjoy every minute of it. (We're talking football, people.)

Of course, there are the occasional fires and car accidents that demand my attention, too, and the proofreading and the dealing with the public, but it's all good.

Especially when we get to this time of year: Riverbank has had its seemingly annual foray into the state cross country meet while Escalon and Oakdale are both deep in the football playoffs, this year both ready to do battle next for their respective Sac-Joaquin Section division crowns.

Combine that with the just-passed Thanksgiving holiday, the upcoming Christmas and New Year's observances and things definitely kick into high gear.

My daughter, in her 14-year-old naiveté, figured she and I should do the 'Black Friday' thing this year. She was so excited to learn that the mall would be open at midnight, and a few other stores we frequent opening at 3 a.m. on Nov. 26 that she was all primed and ready to go. Alas, when I pointed out to her a couple of key facts - if we went, we would be shopping for OTHERS and not her, plus she would actually have to get out of bed at that unruly hour - the Black Friday trip lost a little bit of its luster.

This is the teen that asks for 'two more minutes' every morning ... for about half an hour straight and she thought she could get out of bed for a midnight run? She makes me laugh.

And I also had to let her know that while the 'black' in Black Friday used to mean that was the day when stores would likely turn their biggest profit for the year and be 'in the black' instead of the red, now it more often than not means getting a black eye for your troubles in heading out to the stores with the rest of the throng.

We will get there to shop, just after the crowds have gotten a bit less frenzied.

We've also been talking a lot at work about how, yet again, this year has flown by. It seems such a short time ago we had stories on Escalon's Park Fete, Oakdale's Chocolate Festival, and outlining all the recreational activities offered in Riverbank for the summer. Then the calendar changed, the rains came and we are in the throes of winter and almost ushering 2010 out the door.

We've enjoyed a year of relative stability here at our newspaper office, and appreciate the continued support of our communities. At this time of year, when people are taking the time to be thankful and maybe making an extra effort at a little kindness, we would be remiss if we didn't thank you for being faithful readers and advertisers. We couldn't do it without you, and our goal always is to provide a well-rounded, accurate, entertaining and informative product, whether you're interested in The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times or The Riverbank News.

There's a lot to look forward to in the year to come and the best thing about it is we all get to start anew. It's a fresh year, a fresh start, another year of days to make something good happen.

We've got to get through this hectic month of December, of course, but get the shopping done, bake the cookies, pull out the holiday decorations ... and take time to enjoy your family and friends; they are among the blessings of the season.

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.