Monday, December 5, 2011
I had worked all summer to buy a horse. I made an arrangement with my parents to buy the feed, but I didn't have any of the things that a horse owner needs to have... until one Christmas.
My knees were pink for months after picking strawberries for 35 cents a pint. I had sold my bicycle for $50 to my neighbor. And, I took a babysitting job. By fall, I had raised $500 and I bought my first horse when I was 13-years-old. He was a seven-month-old registered Morgan and his name was Buck. But I had a huge problem. I had no currycomb, hoof pick, brush, blanket, boots, tack box, or halter. I was a girl with a horse, but no way to care for the horse and I no idea where I was going to get the money for the other stuff. Then Christmas happened. It had been years since I had believed in Santa Claus and I was pretty sure my parents didn't have a ton of money that Christmas. My dad, who worked as an engineer for the telephone company, …
Friday, November 4, 2011
Caledonia has some beautiful places, and wonderful people. I thought I'd create a place where we could share that with one another.
I'm going to keep this space open and as a main feature because sometimes we need to be reminded of the beauty that exists in our backyards -- a beautiful tree or flowers, a cute picture of your kid, a breathtaking view. When we share these moments (and yeah I'm a little sappy that way), we become connected with one another. And sometimes, in the process of sharing our views we often become divided in our beliefs. I don't believe we should stay that way. So, I thought this might connect us a little more. So feel free to contribute and enjoy! Denise Lockwood Editor of the Caledonia Patch
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The economy made some major revisions on my dreams, but that's why I'm here.
If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me. -Shakespeare I blame my demented dream of wanting to be a writer on Shakespeare and my mother. When I was 10-years-old my mom took me on a two-week trip to Ireland and England where I stood in the door at Shakespeare’s house in Stratford-Upon-Avon and I looked up. I realized how short he was and I, being short as well, had decided that my fate would also include becoming a writer. I remember thumbing through the little red Shakespeare-quotation-a-day book my mom bought me. I will be a writer, I thought. And when I die, they will preserve my house too. Doesn’t 10-year-old logic rock? Since then, my dream of what kind of writer I’d be has changed from novelist to poet, novelist to newspaper …
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Yeah, I know a lot of people don't think very highly of President Obama's stimulus package. But for me, I wouldn't be here without it.
His name is Antwain and I believe his last name may be Williams (it's actually McIntosh). I never remember who he is until he reminds me and our conversations only last a few minutes. Prior to Antwain, the guy who regularly checked in on me, was Mark Leemkuil. And both of them work for the Department of Workforce Development Center as caseworkers. They are – in my mind – on the front line for those of us who had become job-seeking warriors. We are/were a motley bunch because in one day we became instantly transformed to the heartbroken, the devastated, the shocked beyond belief and the angry. Dealing with us on a daily basis was/is not an easy task. And this Labor Day, I’d like to give a huge thank you to each and everyone of you who have …
Friday, May 27, 2011
And I'm pretty happy about that, but I couldn't have done it without you and my freelance writers.
Over the past five months Caledonia Patch has offered readers over a 1,000 stories, videos and photo galleries since we emerged on December 21. Thousands of you keep coming back to read and comment. So how awesome is that? And I think that's something to celebrate. We've talked politics, community development, education and crime. One of the things that is different about writing for the web versus a traditional news source (something I had done for 11 years prior to coming to Patch) is that you get to have conversations about the news. And it's an active process. And I just have to say how honored I am to have been a part of this news conversation with you. You respond almost instantly to our content. You spot areas we haven't even …
Monday, April 18, 2011
I say get to.
Taxes are funny things. We hate paying them with a passion. We get angry with people for making us pay more on top of what we already pay. We applaud politicians for their ability to save us from paying them. And we dread the day we have to pay them. Taxes cause us angst. Taxes cause us financial instability. And they cause a whole lot of heartburn if you have no means to pay them. They are also the only requirement on the “must” list along with dying. But I argue that we need to stop looking at taxes as a burden. Well, maybe they are more of a burden for some more so than others, but they are a blessing to those who receive them in the form of social programs. When I think of taxes, I think of how my grandmother was able to live in her …
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I poke at both sides, and challenge politicians and bureaucrats to do better.
I have an idea… let’s talk about how we talk about the economy. Many Republicans say the country has a spending and debt problem, and this problem has resulted in an unsustainable model for funding social programs. And many Democrats frame the problem in terms of class warfare, and say we have a problem with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, meanwhile the middle class carries the burden. I’m not arguing if we do or we don’t have a spending problem or if we have a class warfare problem, but I find how we speak about our problems is interesting from a rhetorical standpoint. I argue that the way we speak about our economy is the root cause of our country’s inability to form viable solutions. And to communicate effectively …
Thursday, December 30, 2010
What's important to you? What's relevant? What would help you be a better citizen?
I know everyone is probably out rushing around getting ready for the New Year, but I thought I'd pitch a few ideas out to you. My goal, which is really Patch's goal, is to engage the community in a news conversation. What does that mean really? Well, let me give you an example. I recently went to a regional editors meeting (our region has launched six of 12 websites over the past three weeks), and I was asked how I was going to handle sports coverage. And my initial thought was, I don't know the answer to that. So, I'm going to ask you – the user – what sports do you want covered? Little league, prep sports, that adult softball league—what's important? Now, I can assure you that I will not be writing these sports stories (primarily …
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Oh Obama, even your plate is polarizing.
So, my family and I headed over to my fiancés grandmother's house on Christmas day. We have a tradition of giving gag gifts, which has at times bordered on torture, but we all have a great deal of love for one another and we see fit to continue the tradition. These exchanges – at times – are not for the thin-skinned gift recipient. One year my daughter received a purple creamer cow, my fiancé dumped an old water ski suit and flippers, and a cousin served up 50 small wrenches. And there was a horse statue that had a hole in its head for toothpicks, which has made the rounds over the years. Some of my family members have even collected gifts throughout the year, just for that special someone. But things were a little different – this year …
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I'm not new to Caledonia, but I may be new to you.
I am used to being the 'new reporter' in town, but covering Caledonia is different for me because I call Caledonia home. Over the past 10 years, I've covered South Milwaukee, West Allis, Greenfield, West Milwaukee, Franklin, Oak Creek and Muskego – all for the same news organization. I've also covered Union Grove, Yorkville, Raymond, and Dover – for another news organization. And I covered Kenosha. So, learning about a new community is pretty much old hat for me, but this time I don't have to learn everything from scratch. And I can't tell you how good that feels. Caledonia is a second home for me. I say second because I'm from Ohio and you are really never disconnected from the place where you grew up. Still, I've lived in Wisconsin for…