By Emily Stonehouse
HELLO, MINDEN. I think I know most of you. If not, my name is Emily, and I am pleased to be stepping into the role as editor for the Minden Times. I am mostly local. I moved to Haliburton County with my family at the age of four, so I know for many of you, that means I am a visitor, but I can assure you, I am here to stay.
I grew up in the highlands, down a dirt driveway on the Harburn Road, where I caught fireflies on late August evenings, cut down a spindly Christmas tree in the backyard, and became accustomed to walking up icy hills when even the four-wheel-drive didn’t cut it. My heart beats in the highlands.
When I was 16, before leaving for the allure of the bright lights in the big city, I was a co-op student at the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times. Each day, I would walk from Haliburton Highlands Secondary School, to a little corner desk at the Echo offices. I shared an office with Greg Hoekstra, Matt James, and Jenn Watt, with Martha Perkins in the room beside us. This group of people inspired me. They didn’t see the small town I grew up in as just another small town; they saw it for the stories, the celebrations, the people. They saw the heart and soul of the Haliburton Highlands, and they shared that through their words.
I left the community when I was freshly 18, and spent a decade learning new things, meeting new people, and living in new places and spaces. Through each endeavour, my heart ached for the highlands. I do not regret a single step I took though, because each and every one of them subconsciously had me walking back towards my home.
I returned five years ago, and have spent that time exploring a variety of jobs, creating a family, and settling into a little farmhouse in the heart of Minden.
And now, it’s my turn to hear your stories. To share in your joy, to feel in your pain. I am deeply honoured that I can act as a conduit for content; a vessel for your voices. Because that’s what a newspaper does. It’s not all about the news and timely updates. A good newspaper listens to people, it speaks to people, it honours people. A good newspaper holds the heart of a community.
And wow, does this community ever have heart. Minden steps up. That heart comes in the form of sandbagging a neighbour’s yard during a flood, and flooding a backyard rink for local kids to skate. It comes in the form of a week-long Pride celebration, and waving to your friends as they float down the Gull River. It’s smiling at an elementary school teacher in the grocery store, and when the coffee shop knows your order every morning. These are the stories worth telling. Stories of people, of passions, of pride.
If we haven’t met yet, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to meet you.
Thank you again for being here. I can’t wait to hear your story.