Taking a long, needed break to enjoy life

Photographing Virginia State championship tournament games in 2013. (Photo by Chelsa Yoder).
Shooting a state championship basketball game in Richmond
(Photo by Chelsa Yoder)

Time to step back, take stock and reconsider what to do with the remaining years of my life.

Covering the midterm elections in this volatile election year took more out of my psyche than at any other point of such activity in more than half a century of covering elections or working inside the system as an operative.

I head into a courtroom today to cover actions of the Floyd County Circuit Court for our local paper in what is the primary focus of my journalistic activities.

Middle school boys and girls Floyd County High School basketball teams take the court Wednesday afternoon and night to play Carroll County in a matchup that should give photographic action.

Next week, the school’s varsity ladies basketball team takes on Lord Botetourt in a varsity benefit game.

When Amy and I left the National Capital Region of Washington in 2004 in a move to Floyd that was a return for me, I had hoped to hang up my hat as a political journalist and concentrate on local news and sports.

Didn’t happen.  The pull to mix it up in the political chaos proved too strong.  The political arena’s nastiness and change of the election landscape in Virginia provided too many opportunities.

However, a mistake and lapse of judgement in the wee hours of the morning after a midterm election that has reshaped Congress and brought more change both nationally and in Virginia convinces me that I need to pull back and spend more time doing what I love — covering local matters here in Floyd County and photographing fun events like sports and music.

Coverage of, and participation in, our nation’s governmental and political landscape has been part of my life for more than 50 years but it is time to pull back and enjoy life a bit more and stick to local matters that, in the end, affects all of us a lot more.

From this point forward, Blue Ridge Muse will focus on the lifestyle and happenings in Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia.  My journalistic endeavors are stories and photos for The Floyd Press for as long as editor Wanda Combs will put up with me.

As for elections, be them national or local, my wife and I will vote but I will no longer offer commentary on matters political.

Why threaten my blood pressure?  There’s too much life to celebrate here in our part of the world and, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn about what happens elsewhere.

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