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By Staff | May 12, 2017

I have been trying to figure out how to say this because it isn’t easy. So, I will simply say I am going to stop writing my weekly columns and this is the last one.

I thought of phrases such as “all good things must end” or “nothing lasts forever,” but cliches are too dismissive.

Trying to find something to write about that readers will find interesting and enjoy reading each week has been a big part of my routine for more years than I can remember.

One reason I am stopping is that my wife and I have the months of May, June, and July planned with activities that I want to give my full attention to without meeting a weekly deadline.

A second reason is that my seventieth birthday is approaching in July and it may be a moment to realize it is time to let the column go.

I am grateful for all the people who have written, called, or approached me to let me know they read my musings regularly and enjoy them. Those hand written notes I have received in the mail are in a spot above my desk as they are that hallowed to me.

I hope everyone reading this understands this is not a decision I have made lightly as I will miss this.

Sitting in silence for a couple hours to assemble my thoughts in a coherent manner that people will read and understand, I believe, has been beneficial to my own mental health.

Now you know what I get out of my columns and why I will miss that discipline of a weekly deadline.

After all these years I remain in awe of what these columns represent as part of my life.

I did not go to college to be a writer or a journalist. After a few years I began to realize I had a God given ability to express myself in a way that people would enjoy. Each week was another chance to hone that ability.

I first began to realize this when in the fall of 1999 I wrote about being with my dad as he took his final breaths and left this world.

I submitted it and my editor Bill Rentsch, who encouraged me on the path to writing columns, said “It blew me away.”

In the weeks after it was published, I received many comments and compliments. It made me realize that I possibly had something to say that others would want to read.

I had no idea that it was the beginning of a many year path leading to where I am today.

More than anything else, I want to say “thank you” for allowing me to be part of your weekly routine. It is a privilege and honor to be part of your thoughts and maybe your conversation.

I would be the first to say some weeks were better than others.

I have my columns on the hard drives of several computers I have used over the years. Occasionally, I will read one from years ago and think to myself, “Did I write that?”

Which could mean it was very good or (hopefully not) very bad.

I am also grateful to have the privilege of a place where my thoughts can be read by so many people. Being printed on these pages has been my megaphone.

At the risk of repeating myself, I want everyone reading this to know how honored I have been to be worthy of being included for a few minutes in your life each week.

Okay, here comes the hard part. Thank you. Please feel free to contact me anytime as I want to hear from you. And good bye.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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