Words simply cannot describe how blessed I feel to report on the news in my own hometown.
Sometimes the planets align and everything hits at once – I just feel an overabundance of joy.
While I stood at the ribbon cutting of the new I-44 interchange just miles from my parents new family farm, surrounded by people who have quite literally watched me grow up, I felt it all at once. There are few places in this world that can hold their own with the little town of Marshfield, Missouri.
I remember my latter years at Marshfield High School; friends anticipating "finally getting out" while I cringed at the idea of living anywhere besides my daddy's house. The excitement of a big city, having things to do and opportunities to see and meet new people seemed nice — but I've always been a small town girl.
Commuting my first few years of college, I began to crack out of my shell and explored the city for the first time in my life. Only then was I finally comfortable enough to move out of Marshfield and onto campus. Sure, I’ve done some neat things and met some cool people over the years, but I never lost my love or appreciation for my tiny hometown or the connections within it. Though we are small, we have so much to be proud of.
Mayor McNish hit the nail on the head at Monday's groundbreaking when she said Marshfield is incomparable to any other city in Missouri. Out of all the cities I've seen, I love Marshfield the most. I’m so excited to watch our town grow and thrive, especially on a side of town where commerce once thrived from interstate traffic.
I found myself thinking about my great grandma Letha's restaurant, Garbage Can Cafe, which would have been conveniently located a few miles down the highway and the history of Marshfield. Those who know me know of my more recent appreciation for local history. Amid my nostalgia journey, I found a painting to hang in my office and had to know more about the person who painted it.
"Hometown Pride" is such an excellent phrase to describe this piece of art. I urge you to read the feature story about Jerry Rice and his legacy of painting and take a look at the print. Art is meant to make you feel something, and I don't know a single Marshfieldian who could look at this piece and not feel a sense of pride.
The planets aligned when I struck a friendship with Mr. Rice… and when it hits you, it often hits hard. In my conversation with Mr. Rice, he mentioned my great grandmother and her cafe, he remembered my papa Bob and papa Leon. My papa Bob and great-grandfather Leon are the main reasons I take pride in being a journalist.
I don't know if I would be at the Marshfield Mail, typing this column without their influence in my life. While it has never been my dream job, it's proven time and time again to be my calling. I am so proud to be here. I am so thankful for those small moments that make me feel it all at once.