As some of you know, I am leaving my position at the iCitizen. This is my last week at the Citizen after over 23 years here. I am beginning a new life as a Methodist Pastor in Springfield. Sue and I will move there shortly. There's one thing I've learned over the years while working in a newspaper office, sitting in a church pew and serving on the school board: Windom is a special place. It's not the houses and neighborhoods that make it special. Nor is it our parks, river or lake. It's not our school or pool. It's not BARC or Island Park. It's not the courthouse or square. It's not Toro, Fast or Prime Pork. Don't get me wrong, all of those are very good and something to be proud of. No, what makes Windom special are its people. We are a family. You and me. Us. We. We are what make Windom special. We are farmers. We own or work in a business or factory. We are doctors, lawyers, dentists and optometrists. We teach, provide daycare and nurse. We plow streets and hang powerlines. We are plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Yes, we have our differences. We are Republicans and Democrats. We are liberal, moderate and conservative. We voted for the elementary school and we voted against it. We like the fire hall and we don't. We come from different denominations and religions. The color of our skin is different. We are all immigrants who hail from different parts of the nation and globe, some of us more recent than others. We are young and we are old. Yet we all have something in common. We live here. We call Windom home. We are family. And as the old saying goes, you don't choose your family. We fight and bicker. We care for one another. We hold each other accountable. We live and learn. We laugh and love. It sounds a lot like my family. I guessing you can say the same as well. We are family. I have the unique opportunity to write to you about this family as I leave Windom and move to another special place. I'm certain I share the feelings of most who leave Windom. You are special. I'll miss you.
Rick Frederickson has served Citizen Publishing Company for 23 years, most recently as manager of the iCitizen department. He is leaving to become a Methodist Pastor at Springfield.