I have landed

(Phoenix, Arizona) — Somewhere new, that is. It’s been so long since I’ve written, I know, and I don’t blame you if you haven’t stopped by in a while. But I’m crawling out of my skin to write something that is entirely my own. I never thought that would be the byproduct of no longer working in newspapers, but it is. For me.

After nearly eight years in print, I’ve moved to radio, you see. I love my job — love it — as a senior field correspondent (read: reporter who gets to do in-depth stories) at KJZZ, the NPR affiliate for Phoenix. My position is a mixture of observation, explanation and performance, and it feels so right. I have great editors, too, who are very hands-on, which is fabulous.

I must confess, though, that I miss the South, more than I thought I could. I quaintly believed when I started writing this five minutes ago that I missed newspapers, that I missed the Wild West attitude of the daily deadlines and dicey forays into small-town politics. There’s beauty in all of that, but that’s not really it. I miss Waynesville, North Carolina, the last town I lived before here. I spent two and a half years in those mountains, and it was not all puppy dogs and rainbows. But it was deeply satisfying and continually sweet, and I made more friends there than I’ve made anywhere in my life. I miss the potlucks, the contra dancing, the kind words from people who read my stories but had never met me. I felt embraced, and now as that feeling slowly leaves me, I’m reminded how potent it was.

Anyway, Phoenix is a melting pot, a vibrant place with more stories and people and food options than I could ever hope for. I’m as lucky as all get out to live here, and in my heart I always knew I couldn’t stay in North Carolina forever. Oh, but I miss it. I really do, and I carry it with me every day.

These are just words, though. Hopefully, the work I did there every day means more than this slim summing up. Like most things good, you just kind of had to be there.

OK, Phoenix. I’m here, and I’m ready.

2 comments to I have landed

  • Joanne Meyer

    I am so happy for you, Stina. I expect you will make a great impression on Phoenix, as you did to us folks in Haywood County. We all miss you and wish you well. Write on!

  • Isa Main-Theis

    Being an expat myself, I know exactly how you feel, Stina. Some say it takes two years to adjust. I’ve been living in this country since 1968…and I am still homesick for the “Old World” with all its imperfections, annoyances, rudeness sometimes. Perhaps I make it worse by having practically a foot here and a foot in Europe.
    At 72 (this month) I have attempted to explore the world, see how people with entirely different backgrounds live. I saw how fortunate I was to have the freedom from material worries I have, but I also saw the happy smiles on the faces of the poorest of them all, their friendliness with no strings attached (of course I saw quite a few with LOTS of strings attached such as requests for $$$$, but even those sometimes had the greatest sense of humor!)
    Have no fear. I saw in you last night the kind of woman who’s always going to make friends wherever she goes, and who will keep the old ones, especially with the technological advances the world has gone thru since I first came and exchanged a letter from France once a week with my wonderful Mother. I have these letters. Always will. She’d be 105 now! I will always miss her, but she’s much better wherever she is.
    Go forward, bon vent, as my grandnephew says, who’s traveled around the world for 5 years, not taking a single plane. He’s a sailor with a geography major from the Uni of Bordeaux.
    Bon vent!

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