Gee, I like it here!

Editorial from Nov. 2 2017 by: Emma Johnston
One early April morning in the year – 1999, I knocked on the front door of 115 King Street, in downtown Burford. The door overlooks the main street of my little village and for almost 15 years I had walked past that door and wondered whether it led to a house or a secret, magical passage way that would transport me to The Burford Times office.
I was nervous and excited and kept brushing imaginary wisps of hair away from my face. I had applied an ample amount of Lip Smackers lip gloss and had polished my Doc Martins till they shone (these were things teenagers did in the 90’s). I had barely a moment to take a breath, when Betty swung the front door open and I was met by the smiling mother of the good-looking boy from my youth group.
Betty brought me into the kitchen and plied me with sumptuous home made goodies and a decadent whipped cream topped hot chocolate, and as I stuffed my face and waited for David, I thought to myself “Gee, I like it here!”
From that morning in April, 18 years ago, the Johnston family and all that it entails has been a solid and joyfully unwavering part of my life — I’ve heard myself saying time and time again “Gee, I like it here.” I said it when the Johnstons accepted me as the loud and somewhat colourful girlfriend of their middle son. I said it when I married into the family and they took me in as a beloved daughter and surprisingly well accepted sister-in-law. I said it when I saw the smile on their faces as they met each of my children on the day they were born. And I say it now, with this brand-new adventure underfoot. Bill and Betty have taken me under their wing; taught me, guided me through the process of publishing a weekly newspaper, passed along their wisdom and three decades worth of trade secrets. And so, I continue to think “Gee, I like it here.”
And I don’t just say it in the home and office on King Street.
I say it when I walk down the Midway at the fair each year and talk and laugh with all those people I grew up with. I say it when I pick up sausage rolls from the bakery or order meat from the butcher or stand outside of the elementary school picking up my kids – I think “Gee, I like it here.”
I say it when I walk through Lions Park, or chase after my children at the local splash pad. I say it when I watch the community movies at the Ag Hall, and when pizza is delivered to my front door. I say it when I buy pie from the community bake sales, or when I cheer at the local soccer games or when I hear the church bells ring on Sunday morning. I think, “Gee, I like it here.”
The Johnston family has spent the last 34 years loving Burford, sharing its stories, promoting its businesses, attending its events and helping to bring the community together. They have actively loved the things I love. Because of this, I am awed and gratefully humbled that I get to be a part of both. That I am part of the Johnston family, the group of people who have embraced both me and this town, and that, from this point forward I get to spend my days showing our community, through The Burford Advance, how very much “I like it here!”

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