Yep, that's the day I got laid off.
As I sat across the desk of my editor listening to how the paper didn't need me during this time, my mind was already focusing on what I could do, how I could keep telling stories. I knew before I got out of that chair that I wasn't going to stop and that I would find a way to keep telling stories of my community. Somehow.
"It's what we do!"
My first offering came two days later after I created a new page on this website that I called 8 & 322. I explained my situation and told a small story about a community leader who was also moving on to something new. Seemed apropos.
8 & 322 represents the physical crossroads of two major routes in Franklin. My thought is these two roads spider in all four directions and from this center I could tell stories all over the region.
It also can represent my own personal crossroads where I need to decide my future direction. "When you come to a fork in the road - take it!" Yogi Berra.
"It's what we do!"
The stories are not earth shattering, just community stories that I can tell as I am figuring out unemployment, health insurance and learning all sorts of new things about the world of communication. And I'm not even close to knowing what I need to know yet.
But, I'm paying attention and learning. For instance, I now know what #icymi stands for. I plan to use it from time to time to help spread these stories around and hopefully build an audience as I learn to better use social media to better communicate.
If you clicked on the link to the 8 & 322 page above, you already saw a story about people sharing their lives and talents from home. Since that post, I've become aware of even more folks sharing things that help us all feel batter about life.
Some entertain and spread cheer while being informative.
She did this hand-washing video to help us all stay safer during this time. Her make-up tips video, which has already been viewed over a 400 times, is also a must watch. You can view it here: https://www.facebook.com/101072411546316/videos/524553258467601/
Another person wanting to help remind us of the importance of hand washing during this COVID-19 scare is Crawford County resident Kim Lengling. While sudsing up her digits, she offers alternatives to singing Happy Birthday twice, which is the suggestion of Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.
Another Crawford County woman, who has been taking to social media to help during this difficult time is Cheryl Weiderspahn. She has been getting quite a bit of attention from newspapers and TV news stations for her efforts to help sew masks for medical personnel and others. She saw a need and uses her love of sewing and her ability as a community leader to rally others to help.
The features on her have also helped spread the word on the need for these masks. As she says in the video, they are not the approved masks, but when some are forced to use bandanas because they no longer have the approved masks, these are a welcomed addition during this difficult time.
As I continue to find these stories to share, I hope others realize something I do - that if we remind ourselves who we are as people, as a community, we will come out of this horrible mess stronger.
Our future is so bright, we all should be wearing shades!
So #icymi check out my new 8 & 322 blog for more stories about others doing things to brighten up our lives. I will continue to do my part during this tough time to tell these stories of the people who are making a difference.
"It's what I do!"