Expect the unexpected on the job

Published 8:01pm Friday, May 17, 2013

Some days when I wake up in the morning I know what to expect from my work day. Ribbon cutting at noon, school board meeting late afternoon and an award ceremony that night — there’s always something. But some days, I wake up and I have no idea what my day holds. Friday was one of those days.

When I woke up Friday morning I had no idea that a few hours later I’d be ankle deep in mud at Paul Grist State Park shouting for help only to be immersed in the savory smells of Pat Labbe’s shop in Valley Grande hours later.

Let me back up. After walking into the office Friday morning, I grabbed a camera bag, notebook and recorder and jumped in the car with a fellow reporter and headed to Paul Grist State Park. We knew we were going to get a story on geocaching for Selma The Magazine, but other than that, we didn’t know what to expect.

When we arrived at the park, we were greeted by three friendly faces of the park’s staff, and after figuring out what geocaching is all about, we set out on the trails. Geocaching is basically worldwide treasure hunting that uses GPS tracking devices — and after experiencing it first hand, I have to say it is pretty awesome. It’s an activity literally anyone can do and can take five minutes or five hours, it’s all up to you.

When the park crew showed us around, we asked them to take us to where some of the coolest, most interesting caches are hidden. We hiked up hills, dodged low lying limbs and watched for snakes in our quest for interesting hidden treasures, but nothing compared to the trek we made to the cache known as “Gilligan’s Island.”

Thursday night’s rain did little to help our quest; in fact, it created trouble in the form of massive mud puddles that simply could not be avoided. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a country girl and in this situation it meant I did not have, let alone bring proper hiking footwear.

So yes, on our quest, I wore flip-flops through deep mud, which is why I found myself moments later shouting for help. And even though I was a complete mess, I couldn’t help but think how cool my job is. When else could I spend my morning deep in mud searching for treasures?

After washing off with the nearby hose, I headed out to my next assignment, which was with local caterer Pat Labbe. Walking into her shop was like walking into heaven as I took my first breath of delicious yeast roll infused air.

Being a journalist at The Selma Times-Journal, I get to experience a slice of different people’s lives each day, even for just an hour at a time, and it’s the greatest thing in the world. So whether it’s expected or unexpected, thank you for letting me step into your lives each week.

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