I’ve never really liked winter. Even when I was a little girl, at a time when most kids were happy with snowball fights and ice skating, I sat inside by the heating vent, longing for sunshine and the green grasses of spring. I’ve made efforts to enjoy it, trying to appreciate the dusting of snow on Christmas and the chill in the air that lets you know New Year’s is just around the corner. But those postcard moments were always quickly replaced with bitter winds, frozen toes and a dead car battery. For me, winter was simply depressing; five months of cold, bleak and gray, when the whole world seemed asleep.
So maybe it was the gardener in my bones that inspired me to do it. Or perhaps I just got sick of complaining about living through another Chicago winter. Whatever the reason, when I was offered the chance to leave my hometown and move to San Diego, I jumped on it.
THE BIG MOVE
Leaving the Midwest was no easy task. Despite my less-than-cordial relationship with old man winter, my family, my career and my home were all in Chicago. No friends, no relatives, not even a job awaited me in California. Still, the time was right for a change. I owed it to myself to venture outside the Midwest and see what life had to offer.
So I guess what I’m trying to say in my usual, roundabout manner, is that you’ll no longer see my face on this page each month. This isn’t a final farewell, however. My byline will still dot the pages of GPN. My relocation planted me smack dab in the middle of one of the nation’s largest commercial growing regions; how could I pass up the opportunity to explore and write about it? The West Coast is often the jumping off point for horticultural innovation and technology, and I plan on scouting it all, from L.A. to Denver, Vancouver to Mexico. I hope that in my new role, GPN and its readers will be better served with a wider range of coverage and an editorial team that spans the country.
Preparing for this move has given me the opportunity to worry about many things. But from the first day I made this decision, the least of my worries has been GPN. I’m simply passing the torch to a different set of qualified editors who are just as enthusiastic about the horticulture industry and the people in it as I ever was. You’ll soon get to know them, their faces and backgrounds; you’ll even recognize voices when you call to ask questions.
Bridget White, GPN’s managing editor is adeptly taking the reigns of the magazine. She brings several years of writing and editing experience along with a Master’s degree in English to the editorial team. Bridget brings a new perspective and new ideas to GPN that will keep it on the cutting edge of horticulture.
Mary Stoerp, GPN’s associate editor, is a true gardener at heart. Mary has gardened for years, has an as-yet-unused commercial-size greenhouse and is currently enrolled in the Master Gardener’s Program. Mary brings a passion for plants and excellent writing skills to GPN.
We also have a new staff member who is very quickly becoming an important part of the in-house staff. Andrew Wagner, our new staff writer, worked several years for an Arkansas newspaper before moving back home to Chicago. He will be the perfect person to take control of GPN’s news, products and other departments.
I’ve only had to pen a few letters from the editor, but I’ve come to enjoy speaking with you each month, one on one. I have a very personal writing style and have shared much of myself in these columns. I will certainly miss this forum, and I would like to thank you for both your praise and criticism over the years. I hope we can continue our relationship in my new role as GPN’s West Coast Editor, and I invite your story ideas, news tips and suggestions for California site seeing! My new contact information appears below. Please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call.