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Winding Up, Winding Down
Marg-Ins 5-18-22
Marg Jackson Mug

This is the time of year when it gets absolutely, positively, absurdly crazy.

It’s the last big end-of-the-school-year push, with some spring sports playoff action, awards ceremonies, Memorial Day, fast-approaching graduations, some Sober Grad events … the next few weeks will be a literal blur.

I was thinking of this and trying to figure out how to juggle everything when I realized that last spring, it was even crazier, because we had a bunch of winter and spring sports all thrown in to one season after pandemic restrictions were sufficiently loosened to allow certain high school sports. So we ended up with a combined season, fun for all but definitely a time period that forced us to become expert jugglers.

Hopefully, all the activities that are now back in person will stay that way as we move out of the school year and into summer. There will be lots of Summer Reading program activities for all ages, some recreational sports, swimming – a chance to get back to ‘normal’ and maybe enjoy a summer vacation.

My sister has been asking me for the last few months to come and visit; she and her husband finished a pretty extensive kitchen renovation and she is excited to show it to me in person. She lives about 90 miles away. You would think that it wouldn’t be that hard to find a day and get away but it just hasn’t worked out. I promised her that I would get over there, was hoping for some time in May but now, she and her husband are headed off for a New York visit so my trip to her house will have to wait until they get back.

Maybe things here will have calmed down a little by then and I can sneak away for a day and nobody will notice.

Nowadays, though, I also have to check with my daughter because she has gone back to work part time and that means some days I have Grammy duty. Not that I am complaining; it is one of the best ‘jobs’ I have ever had. But the calendar is full.

We (me, Ally, Judd and Lorelei) want to get back to New York for a trip this year as well so everyone there can meet the baby. It will likely be in the fall, since most of the affordable tickets for cross country travel this summer are already gone and we would like to take Lorelei when she is just a little bit older. Plus a fall trip might include a bonus of some pretty autumn leaves and maybe even a rainstorm or two.

But that’s still a few months away and in between, there’s plenty to enjoy here. All three of our communities, Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon, are having Farmers Markets now – Oakdale and Riverbank each week and Escalon going once a month to start – and they are always good for some fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade crafts, music and a variety of treats you don’t really need but just have to get.

I also look forward each year to the Oakdale Chocolate Festival. In fact, it was the year I started here with the newspapers, they hosted the first ever Chocolate Festival. My move to California was in March and the Chocolate Festival was in May. My sister came over that weekend and we got to attend it together, the very first one. Now they are observing the 30th anniversary year?! Tell me that time doesn’t fly.

And talk about flying; this year’s senior class includes plenty of students I have known since their first day of kindergarten. Another group of ‘kids’ that I have literally watched grow up through the lens of my camera. I am excited for their graduation; this is just the start for them and I wish them all the best in the future.


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.