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Marg-Ins - Awash In Memories
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For those of you who wanted rain, looks like you got your way.

Of course, it is desperately needed, although it would be preferable if it came at a nice, steady pace instead of the way it has been dumping on us in a couple of strong storms here and there. Either way, though, we need it and weather, like many things, has a mind of its own and we take what we get. There are those out there who want to manipulate it but chances are that realty is still a long way off. And why should we expect anything other than the first week of league play for many of our local school sports teams to have its fair share of cancellations? They even canceled soccer which, unless it's a hailstorm or lightning, is probably going to go on no matter what.

Years ago, playing on her first all-star 'mini season' travel team, my daughter and her 'Hurricane' teammates had to play soccer in Tracy and the morning game was under a bright, sunny sky with just a light wind. The afternoon game, after we had literally enjoyed a picnic lunch on blankets and in lawn chairs, was hit by a monsoon. The rain started coming sideways, little soccer players were having a hard time just keeping their feet on the ground, not getting blown off the field. Then the thunder started to rumble, hail started to fall and when the chain lightning struck just a little off in the distance, the whistle blew and we all scrambled. The parking lot was a lake; my daughter and I had driven to the field with a teammate and her mom and the four of us were just soaked to the skin by the time we made it to the car. We also lost a blanket that day; I don't know if it floated off or the wind took it as we were running off the field, but it was a goner. Soccer players (and supporters) withstand a lot. That day, nature won.

When my nephew here in California turned a year old, I decided to surprise my sister by making a quick birthday trip from my then-home in upstate New York to help celebrate his big day. That was the year of California's 'Miracle March' when it rained for almost a month straight, after one of the driest winters on record until the skies opened up for that month. I was lucky to not get washed away while trying to reach the festivities.

And in taking a look at the calendar this week, I noticed something - it was the anniversary of my move to California. It's an easy date to remember because I made the move from the east coast to the west coast on 3-21, kind of a metaphor for my 'blast off' into a new adventure. Okay, maybe I didn't really think that at the time but it sort of makes sense. That move was on a Sunday, I flew in to San Francisco where my sister and her husband were awaiting my arrival. I spent the next day on Monday getting my California driver's license, finding a car and then settled in to my apartment in Oakdale on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, March 24 it was Day One at the Oakdale Leader-Escalon Times-Riverbank News. And that was nearly 1,000 weekly issues ago.

I'm not sure I thought when I started my job here, as editor of The Riverbank News at that time, that a full 19 years later I would still be here. From Riverbank, after the birth of my daughter, I got moved to Escalon, basically trading places with editor John Branch. He went to Riverbank, I went to Escalon to be editor there and after a few different 'fill in' times overseeing Oakdale, the editorship of that paper eventually became part of the job description as well.

You never quite know where your path will lead you. The mere fact that it has been almost two decades here boggles my mind, though. Considering my daughter is a sophomore in high school this year and talking about college and career, I guess that is proof that time is marching forward. We were briefly discussing the 19th anniversary of my employment here on Friday and while some were marveling, oohing and aahing, another one of my co-workers was more matter of fact about it.

"Wait 'til it's 20, then we will celebrate," she said.

I agreed.

Besides, there was a soccer game to attend, re-scheduled from an earlier rain out, so I didn't have time to party. Next year, though...

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.