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Fish out of water

Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

First, a little about me: I’m a Brooklyn girl from Winfield, Missouri, who has had a twenty-year career in book publishing in Manhattan, but often seeks refuge deep in the Missouri countryside. As a native Show-Me gal—born in Springfield—I possess an in-the-bones kinship to the land and people of the Great Middle State. But as a transplant to the Big Apple, I have a visceral reaction each time I see the shimmering New York City skyline as I fly from LaGuardia toward Brooklyn in the back of a taxicab, or whenever I find myself wandering through the Village during those beautifully elusive, almost-silent moments that can be found only during the first winks of dawn. Both the Country and the City are in my blood, my heart, my dreams.

No stranger to swimming against the current, I keep my head above water (odd for a fish, I know!) as I journey back and forth between a wee farm in Missouri and the shark-infested waters of New York City. Truth be told, I often find myself torn between these two very different locales because of the good people and unique aspects about each that I dearly love and greatly miss when I am away. Not that either place is without its quirks and…let’s call them characters, shall we?

So, as long as the fine folks at the Elsberry Democrat allow, I plan to write each month about some of the funny, sad, crazy, bizarre, excellent, terrible, and otherwise interesting (hopefully) things that occur as I continue to swim upstream in my quest for what we all seek: happiness, true love, understanding, and all the other mushy stuff that makes our toes curl with delight and leads us to the place we each truly want to be…home.



“Spoiler Alert”


Spoilers are those people we encounter who refuse to see the possibilities and fullness of a glass. Spoilers are generally very vocal with their opinions: a glass is always half empty, the liquid within is probably rancid, picking up said glass is a bad idea because it will most likely spill or the glass will break—and then who is going to pay for that? Yeah, I’m talking about those charming people…

Case in point: Last Friday morning I posted this entry to my Facebook page…


Boss (as I arrive at my office door): “Lara, I have an idea and I really want you to say yes.”

Me: “Yes.”

Boss: “No, really. You know how we have that meeting of yours scheduled for this afternoon? I’d like to move it from the conference room to the park a couple of blocks away—I’ll even buy everyone ice cream.”

Me: “Um…Yes!!!”

It’s a beautiful sunshine-filled day in NYC, heading toward 77 degrees. Suddenly, a meeting that no one was particularly excited about (especially Yours Truly) is now highly anticipated. And Boss has promised us ice cream if the truck is around.

So glad we never really grow up!

What a nice way to start a workday! And Boss was as excited to do this for our crew of hardworking people as a kid with a dollar who has just caught Mister Softee’s truck.

First comment from a relative “friend”: Hope you don’t get ice cream that’s old and tastes disgusting. Spoiler!

I spent longer looking at that Spoiler’s negative nonsense than I should have, but ultimately dealt with it as I always try to when someone attempts to suck the happy out of something positive: I delete them. Well, on Facebook, at least. Face-to-face encounters with Spoilers are higher hurdles. But since we can’t change the Spoilers of this world, all we can do is remove ourselves from their toxicity. For me, that usually means getting away from them just as fast as my car can go (within the legal limits, of course)!

Shouldn’t our journey through life be about finding the good, the surprising, and the joyful? How amazing it can be to step out of the ordinary and do something extraordinary, fun, or just plain silly—especially if it means you get ice cream!

For more on this and other stories pick up your copy of The Elsberry Democrat today  from one of our several locations.  You can also sign up for the online edition by visiting and clicking on Subscribe …