“Laura Fahrenthold tackles grief and loss in the most American of ways, hitting the road in a camper, with two kids, a dog, and her dead husband’s ashes. Courageous, brutally honest, and observant, “The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles” is a classic road story of love and healing. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny.” Barbara Barker, Newsday
What drew me in?
It was the RV on the cover that immediately caught my attention on the Facebook post.
Bonus that it was an RV named “HaRVey The RV.”
Once I began reading the book, I couldn’t put it down. It helped that Laura is funny.
Even though she tells a deeply traumatic story.
You’ll fall in love with her too. And you’ll be surprised at her coping skills…
Another reason I was drawn to Laura is that we had something in common. We each coped with the loss by getting out of our “normal” surroundings. Hers was death, mine was divorce.
(Read https://grettytheunlikelyrver.com/the-reason-i-write/ to read my coping story.)
I wanted to know more about Laura, her late husband Mark, and her incredible journey.
So I asked.
Gretty: Tell me more about yourself and your background.
Laura: I got a lucky career break in landing a job as a crime/police beat reporter for the New York Daily News. From there, I worked at another newspaper on Sunday features and then became an editor at Woman’s World magazine, where we have 1.6 million weekly readers throughout the US and Canada.
I have interviewed more than 60,000 women over the course of my career at Woman’s World. I’m not a news junkie. More like a human-interest story junkie. That’s why I love my job so much. I get to interview and write the stories of women’s lives. We are incredibly resilient! It is that resilience that drove me through grief.
Gretty: I loved reading the pages where you describe how you and Mark met. Can you share a bit of your love story with my readers?
Laura: Let’s put it this way. I called my mother after meeting Mark in the newsroom of a new job and told her I was in love with one of my editors. She said I was crazy (in the nicest of ways.) How could that be possible? Mark and I moved in together a week later! I never believed in love at first sight, but I saw home in his eyes the second we met. We were together and married for 15 years.
Gretty: What advice would you give to other couples who find themselves facing health concerns? Or even the death of a loved one, a divorce or a lingering personal crisis?
Laura: I wish I had the perfect answer. No one does. Each of us has to come to our own place of acceptance in life. We can lean on friends and family. We can go to shrinks. We could even fly the Dali Lama in to give us private meditation classes and pedicures. But at the end of the day, everything just takes time… lots of time… All I can say is be kind to yourself.
Laura: It’s crazy because after traveling all those miles, I found the answers at home through a lone sunflower and the discovery of his journals.
Gretty: Since I live in an RV fulltime, I am naturally fascinated by all things RVing. Your decision to travel the country in an old RV was impulsive and hilarious. Can you share what ran through your mind in that decision process?
Laura: It was all about the price. $4,200 seemed totally worth it to ditch the tents and hit the road.
Laura: You are the only person who has ever asked me that. It honestly often makes me feel uncomfortable like look at me, look at me. It’s not like that at all. I wished there were a book like this when Mark died. Then I could have lived vicariously through another person’s life!
Hugs from your Unlikely RVer,
Please let me know if you’ve read Laura’s book already or if you are planning to.
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