At 6 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2010, I sat in front of my computer, refreshing the Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch home page, waiting for that magic moment when this site went "live".
Oh, how far we've come since then.
Now, I hear, "I love The Patch!" more often than, "Patch? What's that?".
Now, instead of sending me press releases, people have taken charge and started posting their own news, photos, videos and events.
But the coolest thing I've seen over these past few years has been how you have all reached out to one another, with Patch playing the role of intermediary.
There have been countless spirited arguments over politics, shared memories of gone-but-not-forgotten businesses, encouraging words for accomplished kids and an outpouring of grief over tragedies that touched us all.
While I was finishing off a vacation week, you all kept each other appraised on Facebook about a black helicopter hovering over neighborhoods in Farmington Hills
That last experience lit a megawatt bulb for me. Instead of just pouring news into a vessel for mass consumption, I'm having conversations, daily conversations, with friends and neighbors in my community. Instead of being just the informer, I am also the informed.
And as much as I know about Farmington and Farmington Hills, you know far more.
So I just wanted to say thanks for giving us your time and attention, for sharing what you know, for sharing Patch with your friends, family and neighbors.
Happy birthday to us!