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From the Publisher's Desk


Dear Readers,

Today, I'm veering off the usual "From the Publisher's Desk" trail. With Thanksgiving just behind us, I thought, why not share a story? A bit of a throwback to my childhood days — you know, those memories that stick with you like gum on a shoe.

So, picture this: I'm about 9 or 10, living in a home where the oven was more of a storage space than a culinary battleground. My mom wasn't exactly a fan of cooking. And hey, no judgment there. Cooking isn't everyone's jam, and that's totally fine.

But this one Thanksgiving, we were all set to gather at my cousins' place. Big family shindig, you know? And for some reason, my mom and I caught the baking bug. Maybe it was the holiday spirit, or maybe we just wanted to try something new.

We're up at the crack of dawn, baking pies from scratch. And I mean, from scratch. We're talking flour flying, sugar sprinkling — the works. We even tackled lattice top crusts. Let me tell you, those pies were a work of art. We were like proud parents showing off our pie babies.

Armed with our blue ribbon-worthy pies, we strut into my cousin's house, expecting to be the Thanksgiving heroes. The pie-bringers! The dessert dynamos! You get the gist.

But, plot twist. We walk in, and it's like stepping into a fiesta. No turkey, no stuffing – we're talking a full-on Mexican feast. Tacos, enchiladas, you name it. And our pies? Relegated to some forgotten corner of the kitchen because they weren't "on theme." Talk about a pie in the face, right?

Here's the kicker, the part that's stuck with me through the years. It's not about the pies (delicious as they were) or the unexpected fiesta. It's about expectations and the curveballs life throws at you.

That Thanksgiving taught me a few things. First, it's okay to step out of your comfort zone. My mom and I, we weren't bakers. But we tried, and for a few glorious hours, we were the queens of pie-making.

Second, it's about rolling with the punches. Life's gonna throw you off-theme moments. Sometimes, you just gotta laugh it off and grab a taco instead.

And lastly, it's about the memories we make and the lessons we learn, often in the most unexpected ways. Those pies might not have made it to the buffet table, but they made it into my treasure trove of memories — a reminder that sometimes, it's not about fitting in. It's about standing out, even if you're standing in the corner with a couple of off-theme pies.

So, as we all recover from our turkey comas and navigate life's fiestas and fiascos, let's remember to embrace the unexpected. To find joy in the little things, even if it's just a pie on a back counter.

Until next time, keep baking, keep laughing, and maybe, just maybe, check the theme before you bring the dessert.

Warm Regards,
Chris Herbolsheimer
West Plains Daily Quill and West Plains Gazette