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I have been giving this a lot of thought, and as much as I have enjoyed writing for the Winona Daily News for a little over 20 years, I think it’s time for me to take a break. I have some other projects that I wish to work on, and I am planning to take at least a six month break.

I want to thank all of you who have been so kind to tell me that you like my writing — whether it’s when I’m out and about, in a letter or in any other manner, it meant the world to me. There have been times when I thought about stopping and, invariably, someone would stop me somewhere and tell me to keep on writing. I am so very grateful to each of you.

I also want to thank the many editors who accepted my columns and helped me when I needed it: You have all had such patience and have been extremely helpful. When I first started writing columns for the Winona Daily News, I barely knew my way around a computer. There were times when I do know that Jim Galewski had to decipher what I had written, because I wasn’t managing the send feature on the desktop correctly. I don’t know how he did it, but he seemed to have the patience of Job and always helped me to get that column done correctly.

Chris Steinbach was the editor that invited me to write in the Neighbors’ section of the daily news. I was the only writer for a short time, and later more joined in that section of the newspaper. The next step was community columnist. That’s where I am today.

So with that little bit on my writing history for this newspaper, I will say farewell for now. I am hoping to continue this hobby sometime in the future, but I do have to take care of my bucket list of goals if I hope to get those things accomplished. Who am I kidding? Does anyone ever accomplish all they hope to do? But that’s OK, as long as one gives it a fair run, and those things are still important to that person.

Take care, folks; stay cool this summer and try to take some time to just relax and smell the roses or whatever your favorite scent happens to be. I wish you all the best and hope to “see” you again sometime in the Winona Daily News.

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Dixie Sokolik is a retired registered nurse who worked in the Student Health Service at Winona State University. Her writing has been published in two of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She has been writing columns for the Winona Daily News since 1999.

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