I won’t go so far as to say this is definitely my final column, but let’s just say I’m getting prepared. I didn’t want anyone else to tell you the news; I wanted it to come from me. It’s only fair. After all, I’ve been writing and some of you have been reading for nearly 20 years. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to just sail off into the sunset without at least giving you some kind of notice.
Like I said, it’s not 100 percent a sure thing, but I’ve just got this feeling. Some might call me a bit crazy — even a tad bit delusional. Nevertheless, there are times in one’s life where you just know change is inevitable. For me — now is that time.
It all started several months ago via the U.S. Postal Service. I was notified my name — Terri L. Simon — was being considered for the dream of a lifetime. Actually, they sent me letter after letter, and while I’ve received these notifications before ... well, this time something started eating at me, and the dollar signs started to appear before my very eyes. While the notifications from years gone by went immediately into the trash, this time something about how they said “Terri L. Simon from Sheffield” made me take notice. We took the task of sorting through all the paperwork very seriously — finding this stamp, that sticker, another stamp placed just so, another sticker put in the just the right place ... It was a daunting task, but they promised it would be so worth it in the end.
The final envelope got mailed back a few weeks ago. Right before I dropped it into the mailbox, I kissed the envelope. I really did! I seriously thought about writing a small note on the back of the envelope too but decided against it. After all, appearing too eager might just offend someone. No ... a kiss for luck, and it was on its way.
I don’t mind telling you the past few weeks have been so much fun, as I began planning this next column-less phase of my life. Indeed, I’ve been preparing for that magical Nov. 7 date ...
I’ve gone through my closet and removed anything that was a marginal piece of clothing, since I knew a shopping trip would soon be on my agenda. Shoes and purses too. There would be plenty of leisurely, deadline-free afternoons to spend in the stores — browsing, buying and browsing some more. I decided to delay the oil change my vehicle needs, since I’ll surely be trading in my Nissan for that two-seater Mercedes I’ve had my eye on. I put aside all those monetary requests for donations that keep coming in the mail. Surely after Nov. 7, I would be able to write a much larger check. The leaves falling from the trees on my lawn would have to wait too, right along with the fall cleaning, fall gardening, etc., since I would now be able to hire that work done. A personal gardener, chef, housekeeper dance in my dreams.
Did I mention I thought I saw the Prize Patrol limousine in Sheffield the other day? I can’t be 100 percent sure, but I think I caught a glimpse of it turning the corner down the street — I’m assuming they were scouting out my home for the big surprise. I even thought about calling Julia Cain at Flowers by Julia in Princeton to see if huge bouquets of balloons had been ordered for me for Nov. 7, but decided against it. Some things are better left as a surprise.
So, my dear friends, this might very well be the end. It’s been fun. It really has. On Nov. 7 when the Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol knocks on my door to tell me I’ve won $7,000 a week for the rest of my life ... well ... let’s just say life will be different. I’ll stay in touch. You stay in touch too, OK?
And in the remote chance the Prize Patrol passes me by ... well ... I’ll see you next week.
BCR Editor Terri Simon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bcrnews.tsimon.