Life itself is a festival of ironies. The biggest one is this — the only constant in life is change.

We change in the womb before we are born. We change as we grow. We experience change in ourselves, in others and in our surroundings.

Nature, travels, opportunities and unexpected surprises can spark these changes. It’s hard to tell what will happen as you set off in life.

As some of you may know, a change is coming for me. After 17 years, I am leaving The Crescent-News. I have written a few articles for an August publication, but that is it. I have been here a long time. When I started here, my daughter was a toddler. Now she is 19.

I have covered many a natural disaster ranging from the Nov. 10, 2002, tornado that ravaged Paulding and Van Wert counties to multiple floods in Ottawa. There also have been long election nights and stories regarding presidential, county and village races.

I have met many wonderful people and some characters in my time reporting throughout the six-county area and beyond. Memories such as meeting comic book legend Stan Lee and singer Meatloaf are melded into my mind as much as those of cosplayers at the first comic con the Defiance Public Library hosted and children doing mutton bustin’ at fairs.

The Midwest, especially northwest Ohio, in its own way is quirky, fun and spirited.

My hope is that during my time as a reporter I’ve shed some light on things that readers didn’t already know or helped connect local nonprofit entities, both with those who needed their services and prospective donors to aid those services.

A recent story that hopes to make a lot of positive changes to the community is the Paulding County Vision Board’s Dream of a Million quality of life campaign. Individuals who live, work, play and just enjoy Paulding County are encouraged to donate to their fund through the Paulding County Area Foundation to aid several specific quality of life programs currently in the county and provide an endowment for future projects as well.

The region has a number of great causes and organizations. I encourage everyone to continue to support them and attend one of their many events. A couple of great examples of this is the United Way of Defiance County’s Hot Air Balloon Festival on Aug. 3 at the Defiance County Airport and the John Paulding Historical Society’s chicken barbecue and cruise-in from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 3 as well.

For those who are wondering, I’m not leaving the area. You will still see me around, possibly at even one of the above events.

The change for me was simply that a different opportunity presented itself. It’s not in the journalism field, and no, I was not the person who won the lottery over in Holgate either. I wish that person the best of luck with the changes he/she are facing as well.

I want to thank everyone who has wished me well on my new journey. I also appreciate everyone who told me how much they enjoyed my writing and articles over the years. I may write more in the future. It’s hard to know. A few people have suggested a blog, but that’s not something on my immediate radar.

Right now, my plans are simply to take seize the new adventure before me and make the most out of the changes I hope it will bring to my life and household. I wish the same for anyone out there ready to embark on changes of their own.

As President John F. Kennedy said in a 1963 speech, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past, or the present, are certain to miss the future.”

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