Welcome to Families First Monthly
From The Heart
The April/May issue of Families First Monthly begins our twentieth year of publishing. There have been many changes since that first issue in May of 2000. Personally, I went from having three teen sons at home to being a Gram to two grandsons and soon a granddaughter. From living in Acme, then Suttons Bay, to my Northport hometown village home. From failed attempts to have the loving family life I knew was attainable to finding the best-ever partner in all ways, Joe Thatcher. Joe is instrumental to the production of our paper as it is now. He is the copy editor, calendar of events coordinator, and he produces columns and feature stories. He took over a few delivery routes that before were solely mine. He is a patient sounding board. Everything with the paper runs smoother because of him.
And from the beginning some things remain the same: Colleen Zanotti does our graphic design, marketing materials, and layout. She is a remarkable talent. She’s also a staunch supporter of all things Families First Monthly and that includes me. She is a wonderful friend and ally. The paper would not be the same with out her and I don’t have enough words to express this to you or her. I am grateful for her. Julie Chai had an “In This Moment” column in the very first issue and here she is with her column on page 24 in this one. Her column with poems, artwork, fresh and bold ideas, and honest thoughts shared is a favorite of many readers. Julie’s honest feedback has helped me many times over the years, and her spiritual support is a blessing. Carrie Craig Murphy was with us from the first issue too—a “Little Sprouts” column she created and that eventually changed to her current column, “Wet Paint,” in which she shares art and painting instructions. Her creativity and array of topics amaze me. I keep telling her she should produce a book. Carrie’s column is also a readers’ favorite.
Thanks to Heather Johnson, our black-and-white ads and calendar designer, who has been with us for almost all 20 years. She is an inspiration for me and she may not know that (she does now). A nod of thanks to Liz Berger who has delivered the paper to Old Mission Peninsula sites for too many years to count, and I can always count on her.
There have been so many writers and designers along the way that I am not able to mention them all—a resounding thanks to each of them. Wherever they are on their journey now, I know they helped shape Families First Monthly into the publication it is today. The people connected to the stories and columns had a way of finding us at the perfect time.
Over the years I have aged and grown in many ways, and I returned to my youth in others. I am enjoying my hobbies—gardening and making miniatures for my collection of dollhouses and shops. I am very much enjoying being Gram and Mom. Families First Monthly will continue to be one of my life’s greatest pleasures (after my family of course).
Thank you for reading,
Laura Lee Kalchik
THANKS TO EACH OF OUR PRESENT AND PAST ADVERTISERS – WE COULDN’T HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU.