It’s great to be back in Grantsville with my new bride. I even went to the Grantsville Sociable in March for the third time in my life.
I thoroughly enjoyed the program that looked back nostalgically at the fabulous people — past and present — who hail from the town I grew up in.
The past two-and-half years for me have once again revealed my flaky personality. It’s been unnecessarily stressful, illogical, ill-advised, but also fun, exciting and adventurous.
I got married for the first time at the ripe age of 58 on Nov. 19, 2014, and that’s been wonderful. My wife, Mary, is about as crazy and laid back as I am. The marriage is a bit late in life for me, but it’s important not to rush into things.
About one month earlier, I started a new job as an editor/reporter at the Vernal Express and Uintah Basin Standard in Vernal and Roosevelt, respectively. That move was illogical because I had a great job at the Transcript Bulletin. I have no good answers as to why I left, except for a bit more pay and a chance to live in the beautiful Flaming Gorge area.
The first winter there was surprisingly mild; the second was frigid. Summers are nice.
I saw plenty of wildlife and gorgeous sunsets. I did a story on the first day of the deer hunt, and rode around with a Utah Division of Wildlife officer. That was a fantastic experience.
We also took a rafting trip through Dinosaur National Monument while there and enjoyed a few excursions in Colorado.
The people I worked with were tremendous.
From the beginning, I only planned to stay for 18 months in Vernal and then take my bride to Australia, where I served a mission for the LDS Church about 40 years ago.
Over the years, I developed a close friendship with a gentleman who lives in Wollongong, New South Wales. He had visited the United States about 20 times since I first met him when I was 19. Wollongong was my first area on my mission.
Mary and I left for a two-week visit to the Land Down Under about one year ago in April 2016.
My friend said we could stay at his house for two weeks before he would kick us out. He was a great tour guide and we visited Sydney for a few days with a trip to the Opera House, a walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens and a ride on the Sydney Harbor Ferry.
We also trekked down the beautiful New South Wales coastline to the country’s capital of Canberra for a visit.
We enjoyed swimming in the ocean and salt water pools. We liked playing with kangaroos and looking at koala bears and other wild animals at Symbio Wildlife Park near Wollongong. We would have preferred to have seen kangaroos in the wild, but didn’t during our brief stay.
We were back on American soil and back in Grantsville in mid-April 2016. We had a great time working in our yard and doing things with family.
Then I learned from a former colleague that there was a job for a reporter in Millard County. I confess I didn’t know Millard County had a newspaper. I talked to the publisher, and was on the staff for 4.5 months while looking to reconnect jobwise in Tooele or Salt Lake county.
For a guy who experiences some social anxiety (cathartic confession), Millard County was surprisingly fun and relaxing — except on Mondays, which are newspaper production days there.
About 99 percent of the people in Millard County are fabulous, and they love their quiet county.
I saw Delta football edge Grantsville in the playoffs and then make it to the state championship game at Southern Utah University in Cedar City where they lost to Juan Diego.
A job opened at the Transcript Bulletin four months ago. The people here know me and I didn’t know whether that was good or bad, based on my flakiness.
Regardless, I started here Dec. 17, 2016, and I’m still here after three months.
In the words of singer-songwriter Paul Simon. “Gee, but it’s great to be back home.”