The phrase “new year” seems almost synonymous with the idea of change. We change the calendar, resolve to change a behavior or two, set new goals, make new plans.

The dawning of 2020 certainly brought a number of changes for me. One of the biggest and, I would add happiest, is my new role as editor of the Greeneville Sun’s Accent and Lifestyles pages.

No stranger to the Greeneville Sun, I previously filled a reporter position here, covering the city and education beats until about this time in January of 2018. That was another year of exciting changes and accomplished goals for me, so I’ll take a few moments now to catch everyone up.

After leaving the Sun, I drove northward to my childhood stomping grounds in New Hampshire to spend February and part of March interviewing a former sea captain and civil engineer in what, during his 20 year career, was known as the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, for his memoir.

My role as his ghostwriter was a big change from writing newspaper and magazine articles and gave me a front row seat as he recounted his adventures across the globe and his part in some of our nation’s most pivotal moments — being taken captive in Africa, surviving a helicopter crash on a mountain top, supporting our young missile and space programs, and sailing with research teams doing ground-breaking scientific research, to name a few. Never underestimate a person because they’ve slowed down some or have a few more wrinkles.

The trip wasn’t all work for me, as I renewed old friendships there and visited childhood haunts.

My next stop, in early March, brought me to Massachusetts to visit my sister on the way to cover a freelance assignment in Ohio. That was at the same time a nor’easter nailed the New England coastline, dumping snow and shutting down parts of several states. If you’ve never experienced a nor’easter, let me assure you that they are legendary for a reason.

My sister still didn’t have power when I left but I bought gas where services had been restored along my route west and got the story filed by deadline.

After catching my breath back home in Greeneville, where I’ve lived since 2004, I was soon off again, boarding a plane in May to go back to Massachusetts. That trip brought me to the world renowned Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole as a Logan Science Journalism Fellow. My experience there will forever remain one of the highlights of my journalism career and confirmed my belief that scientists are some of the coolest people on the planet.

I returned in June and in August embarked on another kind of journey that culminated with fulfilling another of my goals when I obtained certification as an interpretive guide in October.

The following year found me staying closer to home, other than short personal trips to see one of my sons in Oklahoma or my grandchildren who live in Michigan. Though much lower key overall, 2019 did see my household grow with the addition of some pygmy goats. Since my work here will keep me at home most of the time, I hope to add some chickens and expand my garden this year, perhaps adding some berry bushes and grape vines.

I’m thankful for the experiences and accomplished goals I’ve enjoyed since leaving the Sun in 2018, but I’m also thankful for the opportunities being back here my new position offers. The warm welcome from former colleagues made me feel right at home. I’m glad to see some familiar faces in the office and look forward to getting to know the wonderful and interesting folks behind the new ones.

Though I’ve just arrived at the desk and am still settling in, I’ve got some ideas for both Accent and Lifestyles that I hope you’ll enjoy as they come to fruition over time.

I hope, too, that you’ll let me know what you’d like to see more of in these pages or if you hear of something you think your neighbors across the town and county would like to know about. You can reach me at

I wish you a wonderful 2020 as we begin its journey together.