I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Saltwater and sea air are good for the soul.
I spent three full days at Jekyll Island last week, and spent most of those three days standing on the shore and casting a line.
I caught plenty of fish, but sharks, rays and whiting were not my most significant haul. I also reeled in plenty of solitude.
For a brain that was overwhelmed by the last few months, which were filled with graduations, concerts and various other community events, the break couldn't have come at a better time.
We all need a respite from reality from time to time. Of course, I couldn't escape the heat or the high price of gas, but I was able to get just out of cell phone signal range. I think that may have been as cathartic as the salty air. And it certainly added to both the peace and the quiet.
Now if I could only add a dead zone over my house.
This week is a little bittersweet for those of us around The Mirror.
We have much to celebrate. There's a stack of new awards from the Georgia Press Association honoring the stories we write, the ads we design for our customers and the overall paper we publish each week.
The hardware is certainly not the reason we put The Mirror together each week, but it is nice to see how we stack up against similarl newspapers from across the state.
At the same time, we will be passing along our Small Business of the Year award to another deserving business in McDuffie County on Thursday evening. (No, I don't know who it is. They don't tell me these kinds of things for fear it will end up in the newspaper beforehand. Go figure.)
Being named the Small Business of the Year marked one of the proudest moments in The Mirror's history - just behind being named legal organ for McDuffie County two years ago.
I still shake my head in disbelief every time I see the Small Business of the Year sign. I'll be forever humbled to think that someone honored us for doing our job, and doing that job with a simple concept in mind: We are not here to cover a community; we are here to serve a community.
So please allow me a paragraph of indulgence to repeat the words I used last year shortly after we were named Small Business of the Year: "I'm very proud of the newspaper that the McDuffie County community has helped us create. The accolades, awards and recognition we receive should be shared by each of you."
Thanks to each of you again.
And congratulations to the 2008 Small Business of the Year.
Whoever it may be.