As each of us moseys down this road called life, certain dates become important landmarks. There are, of course, the dates associated with historical events we all experienced together like the national tragedy of 9/11.
And there are the personal highlights that mark our individual calendars - wedding anniversaries, the birth dates of our children, college graduations.
For me, one of the outstanding dates on my own calendar will always be June 22, 1989. That red-letter day was when you and I first set out on our weekly Moseyin' Along visits. With today's piece, I mark the beginning of my 24th year of sharing my life and my thoughts with you.
Way back in 1989, in that long-ago first column, I explained how I came to give my weekly articles the title of "Moseyin' Along."
One day, a short time before I wrote that first piece, I happened to see my longtime pal, the late Mary Ann Magoon - later Roache - coming out of the post office.
When I asked how things were with her, Mary Ann gave me one of her sweet smiles and said, "Oh, I'm just moseyin' along, as usual."
Something about that phrase, "moseyin' along," seemed to sum up the speed of life in our corner of Chautauqua County. As I've explained to folks through the years, "Moseyin' Along is fast enough to keep the dust from settling, but slow enough to smell the roses along the way."
Since the beginning, these visits have reflected that relaxed rate of forward movement.
Through the past 23 years, you and I have touched on such widely diverse topics as the therapy of blowing bubbles and the enjoyment of a bed and breakfast, the need for pencils to have erasers and the growing interest in body piercing, the three stages of "stuff," and the search for the perfect purse.
Along the way, I managed to gather two collections of these Moseyin' Along pieces into book forms.
"I've Become My Mother ... and Other Observations," came out in 2001. The second book, "I'm Worrying as Fast as I Can," was published in 2009. I was thrilled recently to learn that both have now been converted into electronic form and are available on such reading devices as the Kindle.
Through the years I've shared with you so many of both the high and low spots in my life. From the period in early 2000 when I was learning to adjust to a new pair of artificial knees to living through the trauma of Hurricane Charley, which blew away both our house and my husband's job in August of 2004, you were always there to listen.
Whenever such life-changing events occurred, I was humbled by the response I received from you, my dear readers. Your priceless notes of support and encouragement were like lifelines keeping me safely tied to the promise of a brighter tomorrow. For that outpouring, I can never thank you enough.
As we enter year number 24 together, I pledge to meet you right here every week to continue our relaxed stroll. There's no telling where these pieces will lead us in the weeks, months and years to come. But I can only hope that each and every one of you will continue to join me. Moseyin' Along wouldn't be the same without you by my side.