She’s off to the Bavarian Alps

Jennifer Morris - File photo
Jennifer Morris
— image credit: File photo

I’m taking my leave of the North Kitsap Herald, completing a two-year tour of duty in community journalism. In a few days, I’ll move myself and what belongings I can fit on my back to the Bavarian Alps of Germany.

It’ll be an adventure, becoming a peripatetic citizen of the world.

When I began writing for the Herald, talk of a recession had yet to sweep across our television sets. My mom didn’t yet have a Facebook account and Twitter was just a sound made by birds.

Since that time, newsworthy issues in Poulsbo have come and gone. Some of them went lightly, like flies through an old screen door, while others landed heavily on your porches, their thuds difficult to swallow. It seems the flurry of coming change can first be heard in the flutter of a newspaper’s pages.

Back then, the location of Poulsbo’s new city hall was a messy, hot debate; now, builders prepare its Moe Street and Third Avenue foundation as council members discuss funding details, eyeing potential cuts to keep their almighty budget balanced.

Poulsbo RV still had a home in Poulsbo. Harrison Hospital, which plans to open a cancer care center here next month, did not.

I’ve celebrated two Third of July’s, covered two Viking Fests, and watched a city government ring in its 100th year in existence.

I’ve knocked on your front doors, visited your businesses, sat on your sofas and listened to your stories.

Thank you for letting me in.

The Herald is an exceptional newspaper.

You, The Reader, receive a chronicle that is unrivaled in its dedication to local journalism.

In the face of a crumbling news industry, your hometown publication has continued undaunted.

And I hope you continue to keep it accountable. Keep its writers on their toes and its editor buried in letters. Take advantage of your sounding board, and expect to read the best on its Web site and within its pages.

It is with readers such as you that reporters thrive.

As I head out on this journey of mine, I often think of something a wise fellow once said.

“Go explore before every road is paved and every inch has been Google-Earthed,” he said. “Walk the path less traveled as soon and as often as you can. Learn to find comfort in the uncomfortable.”

You have welcomed me, and made me uncomfortable when I needed to be.

This small town, in its own way, has been a great adventure, and I encourage you to set out on your own.

Thank you for allowing me to write from this desk, to learn, for the sake of the community and the craft I love. I’m so glad to have had reason to keep a pen in my hand these two years.

So long, and thanks for all the lutefisk.

Jennifer Morris has spent the last two years as a staff writer for the North Kitsap Herald.

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