Wandering but not Lost

Sarah Hodges Stalls

Since I was about 17 years old, it seems like there has been a Bob Seger song for most portions of my life.

Although the meanings are different, the soundtrack for this portion seems to be his 1973 release, “Turn the Page.” And that’s what I am preparing to do.

It has been both a pleasure and a challenge – which I love – to cover my Martin County as a reporter. But soon I will be writing the final lines of this scene and preparing for a new one.

I have considered my role as a reporter a way to serve our community. And my next chapter will be doing this same, just in a different way.

Soon I will be joining the staff of Martin County Schools, but more on that later.

I can not remember enjoying any job as much as I have writing for The Enterprise and serving my community for the past few years. I have truly loved telling the stories of my neighbors and, from time to time, helping facilitate change where it may be needed.

The highlights for me have been telling the stories that may not have been told otherwise - like the solider from Hamilton killed years ago and his friend who has never forgotten him or the love story not even dementia and death could end. And the story of Skewarkee Cemetery's quiet caretaker.

There were a couple of awards won I will take with me, but they paled in comparison to the thank you calls, emails and conversations had in the grocery store line and the parking lot after a meeting.

Someone placing their trust in me is the greatest complement I can be given. During the past few years, so many of you have done just that and I am forever grateful.

My first newspaper editor, Mr. Ashley Futrell Sr., once told me “it is a privilege to tell other people’s stories.”

I did my best to never lose sight of his words. And I hope that fact was apparent in the way your stories were told.

I will miss so much of this, but I have come to a fork in the road and on the advice of Yogi Berra, I’ve gotta take it.

Still an opportunity to serve, just from a different address within our Martin County.

Author Rachel Hollis said, “"Moving doesn't change who you are. It only changes the view outside your window."

I’ll be around and I hope to see you in Eastern Living.

But for now, it’s time to turn the page.

Sarah Hodges Stalls is a Staff Writer for The Enterprise. She can be reached via email at shstalls@ncweeklies.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.