and a happy new year
Christmas is right
around the corner. I’m thinking of all the good things that happen
during this time of year. Most of all, I am thinking about our family
coming home to share the Christmas.
As I write, my thoughts
flash back to the many Christmas seasons I have enjoyed during my 65 years
on this good Earth. Within those recollections, I think about how lonely
I was when I served a hitch in the Navy and couldn’t get home. It
means so much for families to be together during Christmas time. We don’t
know how much it means until we can’t make the trip.
As I put this piece
together, I also face the realization that this will be my last column
for a December issue of Rural Missouri. I will retire soon. Fortunately,
I get to write a few more pieces before the process of choosing my successor
is complete. The plan is to have my replacement on board by July 1 of
All of this is good.
I look forward to what I will call my “retirement career.”
Now that the decision has been firmly and finally made, I will enter the
next chapter of my life with eager anticipation and great exuberance.
The realization that
my years in rural electrification will end soon makes me think about what
a fulfilling career it has been. I was very lucky to be accepted into
our family of rural electrification as I held minimum credentials when
invited. The good people that gave me my first job out of college and
than tutored me until I could make a small contribution are very special
to me and my family.
I think also about
the thousands of good people I have worked with all across this great
land. It has been a special and rewarding experience indeed.
One regret I have
in looking back is that I did not save the many letters I received from
our readers since I began writing this column in the 1970s. After submitting
my piece each month, I eagerly awaited letters, phone calls or e-mail
from readers even if they were critical of what I wrote.
My promise to the
editor was to respond to each of them personally. I’m thinking I
did pretty well at that and sincerely hope I didn’t forget anyone.
Thanks a million times
for letting me come into your home through Rural Missouri. On
the behalf of each of us on your association staff and all the good people
that serve you through electric cooperatives, we wish you a merry Christmas
and a happy new year.
Stork was executive
vice president of the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives and a member of Three Rivers Electric Co-op.