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Embracing All Of The Changes
Marg-Ins 10-18-23

There’s something to be said for simplification.

Or at least I think so.

When we made the move to our new West F Street building in Oakdale from the longtime newspaper office on South Third, we did a lot of purging. A ton of items that did not get transported from there to here. However, we (well, okay, mostly me) also brought a lot of stuff with us. Though we are now considerably downsized, we do have a garage that is basically just a storage building, since there is no entry door that a car can fit in.

Our big move – which was made in several small trips plus a huge weekend undertaking that involved employees, families and assorted friends – was completed early in the year. My office is in the back of the building, a spot my friend and co-worker Michelle decided was perfect for me and which we affectionately call the ‘Hobbit Hole.’ I do love it even though it didn’t really get quite enough A/C over the summer and I have to layer up in the winter.

As the months have rolled one in to the other, my mind often wanders to the boxes of ‘stuff’ that I transported from my old office to our new garage. Do I want to go through it and simplify by trashing most of it? Yes, honestly, I do.

What needs to happen is what everyone told me months ago; just go through one box a week. One. Go through it, keep what is necessary, trash the rest.

Chances are, most of it will be stuff that isn’t necessary. Just another reminder of my pack rat tendencies.

Still, it has been an exercise in simplifying a bit here in my actual office. When we ordered a new desk for me, we chose one without drawers; the goal being I would have fewer places to stash ‘stuff.’ Even the walls of my office are much cleaner and simpler.

Actually, the only things on the walls are my three-month calendar, a “Contact Information” list of co-workers and other offices within our 209 Multimedia group and a framed photo from our trip back east last October. It’s of my dad, my daughter Ally, granddaughter Lorelei and myself. Everybody is smiling; nobody’s eyes are half-closed and we all look very happy; it’s one of my favorite photos.

Amazingly, it has been a year since we took that vacation so all my east coast family could meet Lorelei. She reminds me of a little pumpkin in this photo from October 2022 – when she was just nine months old. Her little round face, her sweet smile; they melt my heart.

Now, at 21 months old, she is very much a toddler. There is no doubt that I am her ‘Mimi’ and she has definitely lost that first-year baby chubbiness.

My schedule still allows me to step in and babysit when needed based on my daughter’s work schedule but it’s harder to get work done while I do it. Lorelei is much more active and her ‘down time’ when I used to jump on the computer is less than it used to be.

We’re making it work, though sometimes it can lead to mistakes if I am distracted or go on auto pilot.

One recent case in point: My apologies to brothers Travis and Nate Bartelink – both of whom I covered in sports when they were in high school in Escalon – for inadvertently making Nate the football team’s trainer instead of Travis, who actually is the trainer. Not only that, my apologies to head coach Andrew Beam, since the wrong name was used as part of a quote from him regarding the medical staff’s response to an injured player. Coach Beam definitely said Travis, my brain just somehow went to Nate when I was writing the story. Thankfully, after some good-natured ribbing, everyone just chuckled about it. And I will do my best to put the right Bartelink brother in my stories from now on.


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.