I count myself among the very fortunate.
I have the blessings of a wonderful family at home and a best-in-class employer at work. I’ve had the unique opportunity to call the majestic Champlain Valley home not once, but twice.
I’ve also been lucky to live in some of the far-reaches of our country during my career. My employer, Hearst Television, has allowed me to work in four wonderfully different areas: Monterey and Sacramento, California; West Palm Beach, Florida; and twice here in Plattsburgh/Burlington.
These four very different locations were all home to my family and me for a period of time, yet they are all very different in their own ways. Monterey and Sacramento boasted Northern California’s finest attractions and landscapes. West Palm Beach was the land of sunshine, beaches, and festivals: there was always something to do in South Florida.
And calling the Champlain Valley home twice has been a unique experience. Each time here, our experiences have been unique as well from the where we chose to live to the day-to-day details of my life. My life has taken the usual turns that many people experience: the birth of children, the progression of my career, and the cycle of life continuing.
Common in all of these experiences, however, was the process of joining community and growing roots. It was easier in some places than in others. Some places you just fit better than others, I suppose.
When people learn that I lived in West Palm Beach and then moved back to the Champlain Valley, quite often the response is raised eyebrows: “Why would you leave that weather?” I’ll admit, it’s March 1, and today the temperature reached into the 40s. I flirted with the idea that spring could be lurking just around the corner.
But I’ve lived in the Champlain Valley. I know what’s coming again, probably several times, before we see that final thaw. And on days like that, I will probably miss the sunshine and the opportunity to put my bare feet in the Atlantic Ocean and to take the dog for a good run on the beach.
What brought me back here was community and roots, both of which I got a good taste of the first time around. For me, this place just fits. For my family, it fits.
Those travels have also afforded me a unique perspective on our region, the good work that’s being done here and the potential that rests on the shores of our lake and at the feet of our mountains.
I have the opportunity to live in a place that has a small-town feel but which continues to progress. There is real pride in living in the heart of the North Country. I am part of various professional and service groups that show me every day the collaborative spirit that’s alive and well here.
We’re fortunate to have a nice blend of new and experienced voices. When those energies can fuse together and find common goals our region benefits. You can see that in both formal government and in less structured community leadership.
When I returned to the Champlain Valley in 2012, I was impressed at the growth this community had made in just four short years.
And we continue to grow. Every day it seems like something new is popping up or morphing into a new idea or experience here. It’s wonderful to see.
And, fortunately for me, my family can grow roots in a wonderful place. A place we can truly call home.
Kyle Grimes is the President & General Manager of WPTZ-TV and a new member of the V2A Steering Committee. WPTZ-TV provides news, weather, sports, community service and entertainment on multiple platforms including WPTZ 5.1 (NBC), The Valley CW – WPTZ 5.2, The Valley’s MeTV – WPTZ 5.3, wptz.com, as well as dedicated news and weather applications for smartphones and tablets.