North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


March 20, 2013

Danielle Cater: Here’s to many more columns for you

COMMENTARY — Next month I will be celebrating my ninth year with the North Jefferson News, and that means I have been writing this column for almost that same amount of time.

When I was first hired on at the newspaper, I was given the title of office manager. That sounds fancy enough, although the only person I was manager over was myself. The first few weeks felt like I had dropped right into the lower belly of hell, in my mind. It seemed that there was way too much work than could possibly be done in an eight-hour period, and my co-workers were less than accepting to the “new girl.”

After a few months, things really started to settle down. We had a turnover in the office and the new employees were much nicer, I was no longer the new girl, and I started getting the hang of all of the jobs I was hired to do.

I guess I made my job look pretty easy, because one day my editor asked me to fill in and write a column because he couldn’t come up with anything. At that point, I had only written one thing for the paper, and even correcting the language in an obituary made me so tense that I shook in my chair. I accepted his challenge, and to his surprise (and mine) people seemed to like it.

Most reporters aren’t big fans of writing columns because they aren’t actually news; they are just opinions, and that’s not what they like to spin their wheels on. So as the years have come and gone and I’ve watched editor after editor walk through the doors, I still write this little column and I absolutely love it.

In nine years, I have gone from being the office manager over no one, to office manager and sales at the same time, and now I am the general manager, but I still do all of the office work and some sales. But one of my favorite parts of the job would have to be this column.

Over the years, I’ve written about everything from sports, politics, marriage, parenthood, hardships, vacations, holidays, food, faith and community events thanks to this little spot of the newspaper.

 Some people absolutely hate this column, and to those readers, I apologize for keeping it running for so long. The good news is that there is an editorial and another columnist in every edition, so you aren’t forced to read this little section of the paper if it doesn’t suit your fancy.

But surprisingly, there are people who like to read this column, and to those folks I say thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to laugh or cry or make fun of my writing. I try not to make them too serious, and most of the time I try to leave you with something to think about or laugh about.

If you can’t tell, I love my job, love my family, love my friends and I love the life that has been given to me.

It’s not always easy to come up with things to write about every week, but it does keep me on my toes. I look at most of the circumstances in my life and wonder how I can apply them to this column and use them to touch other people’s lives. So whether you love this column or you hate it, thank you for reading it. And I hope that in the next nine years I will be writing another column reflecting back on the last 18 years that I’ve been blessed to share my thoughts with our readers.

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  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014