A fond farewell

Cropp, Avery

Dear Stillwater,
So folks, it’s time to clue you in. The right people have been informed, acknowledgements have been sent, and now it’s time to tell you, my readers: Today is my last day at The Stillwater Gazette.
It’s a bittersweet goodbye. Over the past year and a half I have had the honor and privilege of telling your stories. Thank you so much for giving me that opportunity.
Honestly, when I started here, I didn’t know a lot about this amazing city, but that quickly changed as people in the community started to welcome this west metro girl with no connections into their lives, and for that I thank you.
What’s next for me is the opportunity to fulfill a longtime dream of mine to return to Europe and visit friends I made while interning and studying abroad in college. I’ll be visiting eight different countries and travelling 4,800 miles over the next couple of months. I’ll return to the U.S. in mid-June and will begin searching for the next chapter in my career. If you’d like to keep up with me, feel free to follow my blog at averystravels.blogspot.com, or find me on twitter @avery_cropp. I would love to share my adventures with you.
This decision was not made lightly. I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time actually, but what has made it most difficult is knowing that I’ll be leaving this wonderful gem of a community on the St. Croix River. I may not be a Pony convert (I’ll always bleed blue and gold), but Stillwater, like all of the places I’ve been lucky enough to live in, will always be part of my heart.
I’ll definitely be back to visit. You can bet I’m not missing Log Jam this summer. And in what other city do pumpkin regattas during Harvest Fest happen, ever? But the river, like life, keeps moving, and I’ve got to keep following the current. I may not know where it will lead, but I know it will always take me to where I’m meant to be.
So, thank you once more for the honor and privilege of sharing your stories. Thank you to ECM Publishers and The Gazette for taking a chance on this fresh-out-of-college rookie. I’ve grown so much with your help and guidance as I’ve fulfilled a career dream of mine. This experience has made a difference in my life, and I can only hope that somehow I’ve made a difference in yours.

With love from the reporter’s desk,
Avery Cropp