An old show business saying states that "It's not over until the fat lady sings." There can be a few different interpretations of that statement, but the one I choose to use is this: This fat lady is singing. My time as a newspaper columnist is over.

Yes, I tried everything to keep writing. No, it hasn't worked. The Dragon works a little, but it has become increasingly difficult for me to correct words using the program. I have knocked out entire columns after meticulously preparing them for publication.

After all, I have been lucky enough to write a column for more than 20 years. When I started, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. Hearing from my readers was wonderful. Even the complainers and critics gave me something special to deliberate.

I will soon be 75 years old. I have come to terms with the aging process and realize that life changes. My memory isn't what it used to be. I have tremors that affect my daily life, and I have lost the ability to do many enjoyable hobbies.

My writing was always something to savor. I enjoyed telling stories about experiences I had as a wife, teacher, principal, librarian, aunt, sister, mother, grandmother and friend. But, lately I have been finding it difficult to come up with new tales.

No one wants to hear about the aches and pains of old age. No one wants to read about the musings of an old woman. And, most important, I don't want to shortchange my loyal readers.

My thanks go out to the management and staff of the Times News. You have supported and encouraged me from the beginning. I will miss working with you.

So, this fat lady is singing. I will miss our weekly "chats." My email address is still jsmith1313@cfl.rr.com - in case you want to say "hello."

Take care. Keep reading the great columnists in the Times News. And remember it takes courage to make life changes.

Love to all.

Ginny