Stepping away, with gratitude to readers

It’s time.

In fact, lately, I’ve noticed a few sign posts telling me just that. To wit:

The dentist who recently yanked one of my wisdom teeth is about the same age as my youngest son. My cardiologist may be a bit older, but not by much. And, these days, it scares me to look into the cockpit of an airliner. Too many times, it looks as if the kids are in there messing with the computers.

And all of this got me to thinking.

This year, I turn 66 and most of my friends are now either retired or are about to be.

So, it’s time to let go. Time to let someone else have a turn. Time to stop while I can still remember my last paragraph — let alone why I’m sitting at the computer.

I’ve been lucky as a writer. For all of the years I’ve written this column, my association with The Herald has been based on a simple handshake.That handshake has allowed me to write for three great editors and given me the pleasure of sharing print space with some outstanding local writers and reporters who are the absolute equals of, if not better than, those in “major” newspapers. I’m proud that they let me into their circle.

Then, too, there’s this bundle of fun — our granddaughter — Lori. In the near future and continuing for as long as I can foresee (or for as long as our money holds out), frequent trips to Florida are going to be necessary in order to properly spoil her.

Who else but Grandpa and Grandma can properly show her the important things in life? How to bait a hook. How to make homemade ice cream. How much powdered sugar to put on French toast.The correct mixture of soap and water to make bubbles easy to blow, and the proper way to eat fried chicken (Hint: It doesn’t involve utensils).

That last is important down South. Knives, forks, and cloth napkins down there can start conversations along the lines of: “He ain’t from around here.” And we can’t have that.

Added into the mix is my last heart episode — an event that’s still echoing around in my head. Because of that, I’ve been offloading a lot of things I’ve told myself that “I had to do.” Being a “Type A” personality, I’ve always set deadlines and, then, worked myself into a lather as they approached. My doctor has indicated that this behavior should cease. I believe his actual command was “Stop.” And he was as serious as a heart attack (pun fully intended) when he said that.

So, I’m going to take his advice.

The next has been said by just about anyone who’s ever had the privilege of writing a column. I’m going to say it too because it’s appropriate.

Thank you. Each and every one of you. Being able to write for you has meant more to me than you can imagine.

You, the readers, have been fantastic, and every ounce of pleasure I’ve derived from doing this has come from you. Further, I’ve also had the chance to meet, talk, and, in some cases, sit down over coffee with many of you. Without exception, that’s been a pleasure.

You’ve kept me at the keyboard for years but, now, and as noted, it’s time to let someone else have a turn. Someone (and I do hate saying this) younger. Someone with fresh ideas and fresh viewpoints. Someone who, I hope, will enjoy doing this as much as I’ve enjoyed doing it. And, with the newspaper’s change in ownership and management, it just seems right to step aside and let them find the new voices waiting to be heard.

There should be better words to use, but I can’t seem to find them just now. So, I’ll just end this here and, once again, say “Thank you.”

It’s been a great ride and an absolute pleasure.

All because of you.

Oh, and to all of you who have young children and grandchildren, don’t forget to help them get those popsicle sticks planted.

Has to be before the first snowfall, you know.

Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to:

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