Sunday, July 18, 2010

The NY Times Reporter and The Park Wife

I love my life. I could not ask for more. But, there are times when things get a little shaken up. I have posted about my identity crisis here, here, and yep, here and how I have dealt with it. It seems that it is a battle I am destined to fight and overcome many times. Well, maybe not a full out battle, but a little skirmish here and there. I was programmed at an early age of the pitfalls of using the wrong fork, the faux pas of wearing linen after Labor Day, and how charm will get you only so far. You know, what was expected of me (thanks Grandma and Emily Post), not who I truly am. I do not blame my family for this, I embrace it and build upon it. The good news (especially for Big Buckaroo who has to endure as I go through this) is that each time I learn a little more about myself and in the end find a new appreciation for the authenticity of my being.

Last week, I was contacted by a food writer from The New York Times who will be in my state doing an article on a highly-recognized and respected garden design expert and would like to come to my town for the day. She wants to learn more about one of our highly celebrated crops (meaning we have a festival) in our area. So, I put my public relations practitioner hat back on, with a kid on my hip, and hopped on board to arrange everything. As you all know, I am passionate about promoting eating local and our farmers, so I got a little excited (understatement).

I called Big Buckaroo at work, relayed my exuberance, and then I freaked out. Did I tell you that she is from The New York Times???? For a Journalism major that is a little intimidating, ya think? My simple life living self almost hyperventilated thinking about the opportunity to actually spend time with and have a conversation with a New York Times Reporter. She has three books out, won four James Beard awards for food writing, and won the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Intimidated? In awe? Um, well yea.

And then….she and I began emailing frequently about the logistics of her visit. She is friendly, kind and funny; completely down to Earth. I Googled so I could read some of her articles to be prepared on angles for her story, to see her writing style. Amazing writer, of course. Then, I read an overview of her latest book and KABOOM! Identity crisis over. Her latest book is a food memoir, a personal story filled with, well, the stuff of life — and not all of it great, easy, or pretty. It is a testament to struggling to discover your sense of self. What? I am not the only one that has gone through this, even a NEW YORK TIMES reporter. She has been where I have been?

I am so excited about meeting her and being me, just me. A wife, homeschool mom, local food advocate, community builder, and friend who is fine with the woman I have become and am thankful for the immense blessings in my life.

Oh, and don’t worry, I will post more about her visit. I am going to the city this week so it is possible I can pick up a copy of her book to get signed and give out to one of you guys. Hey, maybe she can wrangle me a visit to The Pioneer Woman’s lodge where she can talk with Ree about her cookbook and life and I can sit back and EAT!

Living faithfully to my authentic self,
The Park Wife


Life with the Akin Clan said...

How exciting! Before we know it, those of us who read your blog will be able to say, "I've been reading the Park Wife's blog since before she became internationally known!" We will be using your name right up there with the Pioneer Woman's!

How inspiring to read that this woman that so many of us would put on a pedastool is just like the rest of us. I love how God uses our insecure moments to teach us.

I can't wait to hear about her visit! I may have to read the NY Times!

Oh, and I am passing this along to all my readers. If you could please send everyone to and PLEASE pray for this family.

Gina said...

Can't wait to hear about how her visit goes. When the article is published you will let us know, right?! And, hmmm....highly recognized and respected garden design expert wouldn't happen to be the one I used to live down the street from, would it? ;) (cracks me up about him - the brother who does all the back-breaking work at The Garden Home was a classmate and elementary school boyfriend of mine)

Dawn said...

How exciting!

Just remember those of us who were reading you "back in the day!" Ha ha!

(Can I go to PW's with you???)

Strawberry CAKE said...

So so exciting for you. I am sure you are every bit as talented as her, God just had a different path for your life..
Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Anonymous said...

As I've said on Facebook and Twitter, I'm jealous, jealous, jealous! ;) (Did I know you're also a former PR person-now-home-mommy-foodie?)

I've followed this writer's work since I delved into the semi-wannabe professional food writer niche. Too bad I'll be in Ghana on Wednesday, or I'd come up with some lame reason to visit! :)

I know you'll do fine and she'll come away with great words for Arkansas and the people within.

Leanna said...

How exciting is that?! Can't wait to hear more details!