There's no easy way to start this story.
I'm moving on. There. I've said it.
After 2 1/2 years of covering everything from cupcakes to community garden controversy, here I am writing my last stories for Rochester Patch. My final words as editor will be typed Wednesday, March 27.
This is bittersweet news to report.
I've never truly understood that word — bittersweet — until now. You see, I've loved my time at Patch: I can't think of any better way for me to have become fully immersed in my city.
Ask my friends, who, while dining at the newest restaurant around town, have never complained when I've asked them to "take a photo of what you're eating" so I can post it on the Patch Facebook page.
Ask my neighbors, who have put up with me running over to their back deck at odd times because they have a picture-perfect vantage point of the rainbow up above.
Or ask my family, who have been dragged to ribbon-cuttings and city council meetings, not to mention a fire truck dedication ceremony, two Festival of the Hills celebrations and three .
I've enjoyed being a part of all that is Rochester and Rochester Hills, and I feel honored to have brought you all along with me on that journey.
But, for me, it's time for change.
I'm on to the next great adventure in my journalism career: next month I'll join the editing staff at Crain's Detroit Business, where I'll have an opportunity to help build an online news community like the one I've built here in Rochester.
Starting Thursday, the talented John McKay takes over as editor of Rochester Patch. John is already a Patch pro: for the past two years, he has been the editor of Plymouth-Canton Patch. John grew up in Fenton and has family ties to Rochester; he'll be moving to town soon, and I assured him you would all help make him feel at home. (You can reach John here.)
I'll miss all of the Patch readers that make this town great. I promise to drop in (via the comments section, reviews in the business directory, or maybe even the "Local Voices" area of Patch someday).
Thank you for letting me tell your stories.