A year ago next week, the news staff that puts together the Pasco Times edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times sat at a table at Sweet Tomatoes. A few weeks earlier, I had announced my impending resignation: After five and a half years, I would leave the paper to work full time as a counselor — a requirement for graduating with my master’s degree. The meal, my “farewell lunch,” would be our last together before I packed my desk and turned in my badge.

Next week, I’ll honor the anniversary in an unexpected way:

By gettin’ my badge back.

It is with gratitude and excitement that I’ll return to the Times after what turned out to be an intermission. Same gig, same newsroom, same desk, so pumped. And so grateful for the chance — thanks be to God — to do what I wasn’t sure I would ever get to:

go back home.


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