Michele Grgas Thomas The Triplicate

If you pay attention to small details, you'll notice a change in the Triplicate publisher's name before the end of this year. In last week's column I wrote about how some things happen fast. This change is the total opposite. It's been a long time coming.

Sometimes we find ourselves in comfortable situations, reluctant to make a move or rock the boat. How many times have you heard someone say, "Why mess with a good thing?"

I first met Rick in the summer of 1998. He came calling at the newspaper in Grants Pass where I was marketing director. I was summoned to the lobby to "speak to a gentleman in a suit who is requesting free advertising."

Richard Postal introduced himself as a volunteer for the Josephine County Boys and Girls Club. He explained that he needed to get the word out about an upcoming community event, a workshop for parents and teachers who, in the wake of the shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., the month before, were meeting to discuss ways to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring at a Grants Pass school.

The school district was partnering with other agencies that worked with children to host the event, but they had no budget for promotion.

Mr. Postal, so handsome in his suit and with a very convincing argument, persuaded me to donate all the advertising he needed..

A few months later I found myself working side by side with Rick at Josephine County's annual Christmas Basket program that served over 4,000 families that year. His generosity impressed me. Before long we went on our first "date" - an excursion to Jackson and Perkins in Medford followed by lunch at McGrath's Fish House.

It's been 14 years since that Christmas of 1998. You could call ours an extremely long courtship, but, friends, let me tell you, it's been a very short engagement.

A couple of weeks ago in Honolulu Rick purchased our wedding bands. In a few days 10 people - family and friends - will join us in our living room while Judge Follett conducts a simple marriage ceremony in front of our fireplace.

I've been asked why we're finally getting married after all these years. I can only speak for myself, and I don't know if I can put my answer into words that will make sense to you, but I will try.

I have no doubt in my mind or heart that Rick and I are in it for the long haul. Till death do us part. I trust him completely. He has never let me down. The high road is the only road he travels. He calms me. He makes me a better person. He loves me.

And he loves my children and my granddaughter Kayla like his own and is looking forward to our next grandchild, due in June, as much as I am (well, maybe that's stretching it - Rick's not big on changing diapers!). He treats people, pets and Mother Nature's gifts with respect. He is someone I learn from.

Now is the right time, the perfect time, to make our commitment formal and deliberate. In a few days the publisher of the Del Norte Triplicate will be Michele Grgas Postal. Wish us well.

Merry Christmas.

Reach Michele Thomas, the Del Norte Triplicate's publisher, at mt-ho-mas-@triplicate.com, 464-2141, or stop by 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.