It is hard to believe I have worked for the Daily Sun News for 11 years, but my anniversary date earlier this week brings to mind all the changes that have taken place during that time.
When I first began my career serving the readers and business customers of this community, Grandview was not one of the towns the DSN covered.
As a resident of Grandview, I understood the reasoning behind the decision. However, I am glad we now have extended our coverage to that city because much of what affects one city in the Lower Valley can impact another.
My oldest child was just a toddler when I started working here, and now he is a teenager. I have two more children now, too.
I began working in the production department, designing ads and doing a lot of typesetting.
I was eager to please and put my full effort into the work I was tasked to. That much has not changed since moving on to become a reporter. I still want to do the best job possible, serving those who turn the pages of this community's newspaper.
Back 11 years ago, much of our work was composed via computer, but not all. Now, everything our readers see is put together electronically and sent to a printer that receives the information for our press room.
Over the years I have seen a variety of changes in the community, as well. I have witnessed economic growth along Yakima Valley Highway, while the downtown corridor has had some buildings vacated (or torn down) and new business owners do their best to bring new life to the area.
When I was in the production department, I spoke with business owners on the phone. Now, I have opportunities to speak with them one-on-one, as well as many other Lower Valley residents, and can honestly say the personal connection has cemented my roots in the Lower Valley even deeper.
I have grown to love this community over the years. I did not grow up in the Lower Valley and once viewed it with a stranger's eyes, feeling slightly out of place.
I no longer feel that way as I have gotten to know a great number of people who thoroughly love the community as much as I do. Those individuals strive daily to make our home a place where we can all feel safe and proud.
There is a bond among members of a small community like the Lower Valley that I did not experience when I lived elsewhere...a bond of what I consider friendship.
There is something special to be said about that, and I believe there is something special to be said of Lower Valley residents.