A Grateful Goodbye

Hey dear Tumbleweeds readers,

After 27 wonderful years, I have come to the end of my last issue as Tumbleweeds editor.

Last May, just a few days before Mother’s Day, I sold Tumbleweeds to Jen and Justin Schroer. They kept me onboard as editor for a year, and I now leave “my baby” in their loving hands. 

The years tend to blur as so many tick by, but I can always mark time by milestones in my family’s life. I started Tumbleweeds when my son, Ariel, was 6 years old and entering first grade. (I remember walking him home from school one day with his best friend, who was holding a copy of Tumbleweeds that their teacher handed out in the classroom. “My mom makes that publication,” Ariel boasted. I felt like I’d just won a Pulitzer.) He is now a financial analyst here in Santa Fe and engaged to a wonderful woman. The spot in our yard that used to hold his trampoline is now a flower garden. 

I can mark time by the arrivals and departures of loved ones. Five cats, two dogs, a snake, several lizards and a turtle have passed through our lives (as have my dear parents), but they are all flourishing in my heart. Our sweet cat Misty (short for “Miss Trouble”), who gained fame in my editor’s column over the years, died last winter at 21 years old. Thelma and Louise, the foster kittens we adopted this winter, are living up to their name.

I mark time by techno-milestones. Back in Tumbleweeds’ early days, desktop publishing was new. At first, I received articles by hard-copy – sometimes hand-written! My graphic designer scanned photos from prints. I pasted up the ads on his proofs. Anyone else remember light tables and non-repro blue pencils? 

I mark time by the changes I’ve seen for families in Santa Fe: so many new and upgraded playgrounds, new preschools and public schools (and closings of cherished ones), the Southside Library, Genoveva Chavez Community Center, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Rail Trail and a flowering of art, sport, education and nature programs. 

I will miss sharing stories of organizations and people helping families in Santa Fe. I will miss the joy of taking a writer, especially a new or young one, from brainstorming an idea to creating writing that brings them pride. I will miss collecting the children’s artwork for each issue! 

I will not miss deadline pressure, for which I never found much love, though I did enjoy the sweet relief that followed publication dates, sometimes with a hot tub or margarita.

What’s next? I am hard at work on my second book. I just started a freelance editing business, Claudette’s Editorial Services, to help people bring family stories to the page, the material that gives me joy as a reader, writer and editor. And I am looking forward to doing less: less multitasking, less digital overloading, less rushing. More naps with the kitties, more hikes with my hubby, who obliged my deadline crazies and served as grist for my columns.

I am beyond grateful to Santa Fe for letting me follow this dream all these years. I started The Tot’s Hot News (Tumbleweeds’ predecessor) on a whim, out of love for children, eccentric journalistic experience, and a need (like the one Jen expresses in her column) to find more community as a parent. 

So many of the people I hold dear have come into my life through Tumbleweeds. Please keep in touch. You can reach me through claudettesutton@yahoo.com or claudettesutton.com

Thank you, Justin and Jen, for shepherding Tumbleweeds Magazine to a new generation of parents and local businesses. Thank you, readers, for giving them a supportive welcome and continuing to read, write for and advertise in Tumbleweeds – still your family magazine!

For one last, sweet time,

C

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