Friday, September 28, 2007

Feeling at home in the azaleas

A bunny has moved into my azaleas. I discovered that Chaucer, as I have named him (I name all my pets after literary figures), is a Desert Cottontail rabbit (according to Wikipedia) and lives in an above ground nest in my flower bed.

I have caught myself completely engrossed with Chaucer, and the two of us have had several staring contests. If course, I don’t think he has any eyelids, so he is always going to win. He is also fearless – smirking at my leashed dogs as they lunge at him.

A friend told me to go to the co-op and buy rabbit food to domesticate Chaucer some. Of course, this same friend informed me that rabbits are “good eatin’” so I am a little scared of domesticating him too much. He might end up in someone’s oven (Got to love these Mississippi boys!).

I want to keep Chaucer as he is. I like watching him hop around the yard, snacking on clover and checking things out. If I domesticate him, he won’t be able to survive outside anymore – and the last thing I need is another critter living in my house! I will probably get some rabbit food, and sprinkle it near the azaleas. But as for him eating out of my hand, that would not be the best thing for him. I don’t want Chaucer to become accustomed to my way of life when it will make him vulnerable in his.

As a newspaper publisher, I am a lot like Chaucer. I have moved into a new space, built a nest, and am trying to learn my surroundings. I am learning friend and foe, and I am determining my comfort zone.

In the three weeks since I moved to Montgomery County, I have done my best to learn the community, its routine, and its people while becoming accustomed with a new home and missing the one I left. I am still learning, and I am certain it will take some time to become completely integrated into life here.

I am not infallible. I am certain I will have a misstep every now and then, but one thing is for sure, I am dedicated to this community and service to it.
I am asking that the community help with my transition by sending me news-worthy stories, story ideas and must-go events, but remember, I am only one person. I may need your help in gathering information or taking a few photographs, and I will do my best in publishing what is submitted based on available space in the newspaper.

If perhaps something is omitted, let me say up front, it is not because the newspaper is not supportive of a particular event or not interested in covering a particular story. It is merely an oversight or the result of a small staff.

I want to thank those who have been so supportive of me during my first few weeks. Thank you so much for the learning curve – I am touched by your kindness and understanding. I especially want to thank the staff of The Winona Times and The Conservative. I have been blessed with an amazing team.

Like Chaucer, I am fearless and willing to embrace any challenge. I am easygoing, and I don’t get frazzled by the proverbial barking dog. I might not eat out of anyone’s hand, but I am very comfortable co-existing in the same azaleas.

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