Our town on Patch

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

Like friendship, community building takes care and effort — and modern life typically conspires against it. Thanks to a troubled economy, people move around a lot more now.

And even if we try to set down roots, it’s not easy to connect with neighbors. If we’re not multi-tasking at the office, we’re all cloistered at home in communion with the TV or our laptops. Building a stronger, safer, cozier, cooler, and friendlier neighborhood involves moving outside our comfort zones to talk to each other, just for starters.

My community always tops my gratitude list. I’ve lived here in Royal Oak for 28 years, and I’m thankful to be surrounded by folks who’ve bothered to read my weekly newspapers columns for ages and, bless them, even purchased my books. So I’m more than a little excited to be a part of Royal Oak Patch, a hyper-local and interactive online news service.

I’ll be contributing a weekly Sunday column starting November 21st. I’ll be on my usual “beat” — sharing thoughts from the home front on issues that many of us wrestle with, no matter where we live: the new empty nest, aging parents, career changes and semi-retirement, difficult relationships, and the challenge of finding balance in a world intent on driving us all a bit crazy. From the perspective of my front porch and home office, I’ll talk about places close to home and people dear to my heart.

Half the fun of this new venture is that I’m working with veteran journalists I met through other newspaper gigs in my hometown. And one of my neighbors, author Gerry Boylan, is a fellow columnist. In his inaugural Patch column today, Gerry offers the best description I’ve ever read about Royal Oak: “It’s apple pie ala mode, a drive right down the middle of the fairway, a strike over the middle of the plate, someplace that feels like home the day you move in and that’s why you don’t move out.”

Even if you don’t live in our town, you’re always welcome to visit Royal Oak Patch. Drop by and see what we’re up to. — CL