Cashton Record - An Independent Wisconsin Newspaper... Serving The Cashton Area For Over 120 Years!

Fanning Files


November 6, 2019

By Me

It’s been just over one year since I started the journey down a new path. It has been one that has offered some new opportunities and some difficult challenges.

In December of 1998 Mrs. Me and Me took over ownership of the Cashton Record. We knew then that it would require some sacrifices and that I would continue to work my regular hours outside of Cashton. But, in order to keep ownership of the paper local, it was just going to be the way it worked, and would have to be.

There have been many changes over the years, and our current staff consists of Mrs. Me, a part-time salesperson, Kay, and me. We have always managed to adapt to changes to my hours, the number of people on our staff and running to catch as many of our own children’s sporting, music, and other school events as possible. We missed some stuff along the way, some of it we would have loved to attend but couldn’t. That’s the way it is for most parents, I suppose.

But last September I made the decision to accept a second-shift position at a new job, leaving the one I had held for 26 years, and people I had known and worked with for over half my life. It was going to be challenging, and I knew the hardest part of the new schedule was going to be not being home at night for dinner. For the past 30 years I had spent evenings at home with Mrs. Me. At first, I was pretty sure it was going to kill us both. But, like in the past, we started to figure out a schedule. And having three-day weekends helped.

At first, Sundays were a day of depression, both of us knowing the next day would start the new week with Me being gone at night. But as Mrs. Me became more comfortable with a camera at sporting events, and we got used to working with one another in the morning at the Record office, things started to take on a sense of normal.

Over the course of the past year I think our system is working about as well as can be expected. I am in bed by 1:30 a.m. and set my alarm for 8:30 a.m. so I can go to work with Mrs. Me. I leave for work in Onalaska after lunch and start the whole routine over again, Monday through Thursday. I don’t point this out for anyone to feel sorry for us, just to highlight how important our three-day weekends are. Sometimes they are partially taken up by work, but we try to keep them for ourselves as much a possible. It still isn’t the same as being home every night. But it still isn’t perfect.

Last Friday we had planned to get some things done around the house, including a repair to my car. One that, according to the internet, was only going to take about 15 minutes. While I was suspicious about the videos I watched, none had shown the actual removal of the part, only the part already removed with no footage of it being removed or replaced, I did see what needed to be done. It looked fairly routine, and with the school play on our schedule for the evening I was sure I had time to complete the task. Four hours later and with opening curtain fast approaching I was not still not done. “This is why nobody actually showed the part being removed,” I thought to myself and I was beginning to feel the heat of anger steaming out through the top of my coat.

Three days… We have three days in a week to spend together when neither of us are working and this is how I spend half of one of them?

As I lay on the creeper on the garage floor, beneath my car, I started to feel the sadness start to mix in with the anger when Mrs. Me left for the play alone. Then the cold started to penetrate my body. My left leg cramped, and I thought to myself, “Great, I’m going to end up stuck here and nobody is home to help Me up off the floor.” All I could think of were those commercials on TV, “HELP! I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP!” They seem so quirky when you see them, until you are exposed to a real-life circumstance where that could actually apply. I slid out from under the car and got up to walk, dragging my leg behind Me until I could start to feel it again.

I eventually got the job done and went inside to clean up, take a hot bath and warm up a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup that had gotten cold on the counter.

I used to like working on cars when I had time to do it (and I was a bit younger). It also helps when it’s warmer outside. Now, with the new schedule, many of the things I used to get done after work, or on weekends just seem to be in the way of the time I get to spend with the person who has been my best friend for the past 30 years.

Eventually, I hope to be back on a day schedule outside of Cashton. That will bring with it more adapting to yet another change. But as much as I like being able to work for part of the day with Mrs. Me in Cashton, I miss attending school and community events. But the time together with Mrs. Me at the end of the day is what I miss the most.

One day, hopefully, I will not have to leave Cashton to go to work and the Cashton Record will be the only job I have. It is the one I enjoy most.


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