Thursday will be my last day as editor of the Montville Patch.
As many of you know, and many others have no doubt surmised from seeing me around town in my paint-splattered clothes, in addition to running the Montville Patch website, I make and sell paintings.
My painting business is doing well. Remarkably, even in this time of economic weakness, it’s doing better and better.
My work is selling in galleries and through my blog, The Accidental Artist. And I am getting into some of the best shows in New England and across the country. This weekend, I’m in the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, MA, which is ranked No. 3 in the country by American Style magazine. (Going to the show? I’m Booth 837, in the main building).
So I’m taking the big leap. Peter and I are selling our home here, and moving to Wachapreague, VA, a tiny village on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
It’s an area we adore, and a place where life is pretty simple and decidedly less expensive than here in Connecticut.
And I am going to make our living by making and selling art.
IN THE YEAR AND A HALF that I’ve been writing about Montville for Patch, I’ve come to love the town and the people in it.
At the beginning, I wasn’t so sure. No one had heard of Patch. No one trusted it or me. Former Mayor Joe Jaskiewicz spent most of a week contemplating whether I should be allowed to talk to people in town hall, and whether they should be allowed to talk to me.
When other Patchers and I began to build the directory, businesses were suspicious. Pretty nearly everyone thought we were trying to sell them something, trying to get something from them, trying to pull something over on them. A few told us to get out.
But then, here and there, as time went on, I began to find people who had heard of Patch. It was a few weeks after the site had launched that I ran into the first person who had seen the Montville Patch. What a thrill!
In the months since November 2010, when we launched with a story about artist , the Montville Patch has brought you 4,799 stories about Montville. I’ve written 3,088 of them. This one makes 3,089.
They’ve not all been ground-breaking. They’ve not all been big. But with some minor exceptions, they have all been about Montville.
And those stories have found their mark. Thousands and thousands and thousands of you have come to the Montville Patch. You’ve read the stories, you’ve posted events and announcements, you’ve become bloggers. You’ve written letters to the editor, you’ve made comments and remarks, and you’ve let me and Patch in to your community.
In fact, you’ve welcomed me, and made me feel at home, and for that, I will always be grateful.
WHEN I TOLD ONE FRIEND what I was doing, leaving a steady job to go out and make my living unprotected by the corporate shield, he shook his head at me and told me I have “the guts of a burglar.”
Maybe I do. But often, it doesn’t feel like it. What I’m doing is pretty terrifying, if I stop to look at it.
So I don’t stop. I’m 56. Life is short. I love to paint. It is the song of my soul and it’s the longing of my heart. It’s what I was placed on this Earth to do.
THERE ARE a couple days left, and a bunch more stories to write!
On Wednesday, come back to the Montville Patch for a selection of my favorite stories.
And on Thursday, the Daily 5 will be Five Reasons I Love Montville.
Start thinking now about what you want to add to that list!
And Montville, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.