Happy to be back at home newspaper

Published 9:51 pm Monday, December 21, 2015

Yep, I’m back.

I’ve answered that question a dozen or so times since I returned to the Suffolk News-Herald’s news staff last month. So, just to make it official, I am the same Allison T. Williams who worked at this paper a few years back, and I’m delighted to be here again.

After all, Suffolk is home. I grew up in Chuckatuck and even when I was working in Newport News or even further outside Hampton Roads, I almost always lived in Suffolk. Even when I did leave for perceived greener pastures right after college, I always gravitated back toward home.

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So, here I am. I’m excited that this opportunity will have me spending more time covering North Suffolk, with a few opportunities to stray toward Carrollton and Western Branch. The idea is for me to spend much of my covering North Suffolk, writing news, features, education and business stories about the city’s fastest-growing corridor.

I’m looking forward to seeing things through a “reporter’s lens” again. Although I technically never moved out of Suffolk, my “reporter’s lens” was usually focused on the development and politics of the localities I covered as a reporter. Looking at things through a “reporter’s lens” forces you to ask questions, understand how things work, ask more questions, to look at multiple perspectives and yes, to ask more of those incessant questions. I am newly refocused on Suffolk and welcome any suggestions for stories. Feel free to call or email ideas, suggestions and criticisms — I appreciate all feedback. I can be reached at allison.williams@suffolknewsherald.com.

Now, on to more timely and important issues, the holidays are here. Christmas is just three short days away and like many people, I’ve procrastinated and put off that dreaded shopping until the last minute. I spent Sunday afternoon in a frenzy, zoned in on my list of targeted stores and gifts.

I didn’t get to every store — and frankly, I probably won’t get them before Christmas. The Christmas tree is beautiful, all decked out with festive lights. But the bins that hold the ornaments are cluttering the living room, the Sunday paper is still spread out — and there’s so much I still need to do to get ready.

I have to remind myself that it’s Christmas. It’s not about the perfect gift, glittering trees or baking the delectable Christmas cookie for the cookie exchange. (For the record, my cookies have progressively improved.)

So breathe. Slow down. Enjoy the season, the reason for the season. Celebrate the time spent with friends and family (even the ones who stress you out the most). Love the moment.

There will be plenty of time to freak out about the house in 2016.

Merry Christmas to all!