Happy Anniversary Irene

Two years ago today, we awoke in our beachside neighborhood of Indian Neck, Branford, just in time to watch Long Island Sound flood past our doors.

A neighborhood filled with some of the most unique, passionate and generous people I have ever known was shaken to its core. A year later, Sandy uprooted their lives again.

This day marks the day we lost our tiny rental beach cottage; the day our first son Joseph began his life journey; the day we grew as a family from one chapter to the next; the day I personally realized how dangerous and detrimental our world is to the environment; the day I met Mother Nature in all her glory.

"But we don't have a waterfront cottage."

“But we don’t have a waterfront cottage.”

The video says what we experienced best.

Thanks to my husband Joe for sticking by me while I covered this epic moment for Branford Patch. Without him we would have lost our brand new car and, well, pretty much everything we owned.

Hello Irene.

Hello Irene.

Glad I am dry as I am looking back on this day.

"But we don't have a dock."

“But we don’t have a dock.”

A Letter to My Patch Friends

Jeff Williams Mans the Patch booth at the Branford Festival when no one knew what "Patch" was. Thanks Jeff!

Jeff Williams Mans the Patch booth at the Branford Festival when no one knew what “Patch” was. Thanks Jeff!

Ugh. I should be working and here I am thinking about you guys again. Thinking about my former Patch colleagues and trying to understand my feelings about last week’s devastating news that as many as 500 of you would lose your jobs this week in a massive layoff. Is it 501 if you count Able Lenz, the poster child of this epically poor un-Patching?

I’m not going to go into how horribly the media covered the news of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong firing Lenz, Patch’s former creative director though I’m pretty sure Fox & Friends’ coverage was the worst; I am going to say briefly that you, my friends in Green, must stop #waiting.

Former fellow Patchers, you are not lying in wait for the axe… whether it comes today, tomorrow or Friday. You’re not some helpless ants waiting to be crushed by the hurried and clumsy feet of over zealous toddlers. You are wonderful and strong writers. You are journalists and artists and reporters and researchers and mothers and fathers and husbands and wives. Before Patch you were you and after Patch you will continue to be. And you will be so much better.

Life began a new when I left the company in January not only because I was finding my way in new motherhood but I realized I could breath again. I realized that every time a siren sounded, I was not the ONLY person responsible for heeding the call. For rising to action. The job model of one-person-does-it-all was not and is not sustainable. Take a group of over ambitious people and try to make them NOT work when called to? Journalism is a vocation and your devotion to the practice has been abused. Even doctors go on rotation; no one person can work every waking moment.

Even as some of you receive news of a layoff, I know in my heart if breaking news were to occur at the same time, you’d follow the story and deal with your layoff after. It’s completely illogical but then again you have to be to be a journalist. Sometimes anyway.

If you’re one to get a pink slip I promise you, you won’t regret the leave. You are so much smarter today than so many of your peers who have not had the opportunity to work at Patch. You had a chance to attend the boot camp of new journalism and that makes you valuable in any job you take next. I can’t tell you how many skills I use from my Patch days every single day in all the different jobs I do… including being a mom!

It’s hard to see when you’re in the thick of it, but I promise my friends, the ones who have given up so much in the past few years, you’re going to be OK regardless of the outcome. Either way you are better today than yesterday. To quote an old Editor: “Onward.”

Seeing as Patch 2.0 (or whatever it’s called) never

transferred our videos, here’s some #vintagepatch