Take A Chance Tuesday

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When I was considering accepting my current position as field editor of an agricultural newspaper, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. I’m from a rural area in northern Indiana and am familiar with agriculture, but I have never been a farm kid.

Although corn and beans fields surrounded the house I grew up in, my family didn’t farm. I even considered joining 4-H when I was in school but when it came down to only having the time to do athletics or 4-H, I chose athletics. I also considered joining FFA but at the time the organization mostly consisted of farm kids and I didn’t feel like I would fit in.

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I wondered if I would be able to keep up writing about something that I wasn’t overly familiar with. I thought there is no way I’m going to be able to talk with farmers, political leaders as well as business professionals and educators who live and breathe agriculture.

After a few days trying to decide what to do, I decided I would take a leap of faith and accept the position. I realized that, yes, I was scared about asking a stupid question about the industry or writing in a way that showed I was learning, but more than that, I was scared of moving for a job and finding out I didn’t like it. And I didn’t want that to stop me.

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Fast forward five months and I can tell you everything has worked out. I am incredibly happy in my position and have been pleasantly surprised at how kind everyone in the industry is. I can ask questions and those farmers and political leaders I was nervous to talk to and they will not only answer them but they’ll go above and beyond to give me the background of the subject.

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Along with, the overwhelming kindness I have received from coworkers, interviewees and everyone in between, I am happy that I took a chance.

By taking the position I have been given opportunities that I never would have had if I said no. I’ve been able to travel around the state and meet different kinds of people including a Colts football player, a Nascar driver and a Nascar team owner. I’ve experienced a historic barn tour as well as a boat tour of the Ohio River. I’ve also attended a wine festival and a restaurant opening where I got to sample different food dishes and then write about them. These are just a few of the experiences I never would have had without taking this opportunity.

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I never would have been paid to do these things without saying yes to the position and I am beyond thankful I did. I hope that others considering taking a chance on something will do so!

Have you had a similar situation? If so, tell me about it!

Soul revived

I have been MIA for several days, but I have a good excuse – promise. I spent the past week soaking up the sun while laying on the beach, wandering around Tampa Bay, Fla. and snapping photographs with my cousin.

We celebrated her 26th birthday by visiting Anna Maria Island, Treasure Island, a fun winery featuring several different types of fruit-based wine, Kate Spade outlet (I found love in a purse), participated in a pub crawl and how could I forget the food. I had some of the best food I’ve ever had through Datz, Dough, Bella’s, Holy Hog and Colonnade while overlooking Bayshore Drive.

Not to mention this was my first paid vacation from work. I knew I was going to have a great time visiting with family but the experience was relaxing, fun and quite literally soul-reviving.

Here’s a look at some of the photographs. I hope to add more as I continue to travel in 2013.

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Worst day of my life relived

On Jan. 31,  2012 I woke up to a text message telling me my father was going into surgery.

He got into a car accident. A semi ran a red light, hitting his Pontiac Vibe. My dad was airlifted to a hospital a few hours away.

At this time I was in college, three hours away from the hospital he was undergoing surgery. I had four classes that day and didn’t make one of them. I went home and shortly after went to the hospital.

When I saw my brother and mother I could tell the outlook was grim. They didn’t know if he would live. He fractured his neck, had several face lacerations, hurt his knee, ankle and they didn’t know if he was internally bleeding.

I can confidently say that day was the worst of my life thus far. My father lived, and spent weeks at the hospital recovering and then that recovery moved home. Months after the wreck, he was still having surgeries and they didn’t stop until recently.

I can also confidently say few people are happier to see 2012 is in the past. I am so thankful my father survived the wreck and had the determination to move through recovery and I’m thankful he is still around for me to annoy him.

He still has pain in his knee occasionally but he is walking, driving, seeing, working…living.

On Jan. 31, 2013 (today) I drove home from work to eat Tortas Oscar (one of our favorite places to get take-out) at the dinner table with my parents and brother.

I hope my family never goes through something like that again, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t understand how blessed we are. My family is still here, alive, well and enjoying mexican food.

Now it’s time to get back to my family and Leroy Gibbs on NCIS.

“Not all those who wander are lost”

After ten or more hours of driving my mother and I made it to Hazleton, Pennsylvania. It took two atlases, a GPS we sometimes listened to, numerous cups of coffee/coke/diet coke, a cooler full of snacks, and many stops along the way- but I loved every minute of it. Here are some of the pictures that I snapped along the way, and yes some are blurry- I blame the caffeine overload.

Note from my mother, it reads:

“To: A.E. Sites
RE: Travel
Per our agreement, we shall continue our journey. Please provide coffee soon.

J. Sites, Head Cheese”

And coffee she received! Image

Mountains in the distance…getting closer.

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Before we realized they were just tucked in we thought they gave us two small pillows

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One of the stops we made for food: Dutch Pantry

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We finally made it. “Smile. You’re in Pennsylvania. State of Independence.”

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