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Appreciation, love as column celebrates its first full year
Appreciation, love as column celebrates its first full year

Appreciation, love as column celebrates its first full year

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Dear Readers, Happy columnversary to us! We’ve made it through an entire year together, and I am just over the (new) moon about our relationship. I’m pretty sure the traditional gift is paper, so this fits! Here we are, enjoying our newspaper together. Yay for us!

I began receiving messages from you on the very first day the San Marcos Record printed “Introducing Kelly Stone” on May 28, 2023, and last week, I was incredibly overwhelmed by your responses as you shared stories of your European adventures. The richness of your experiences not only humbled me, but some of them brought me to full-on tears as you regaled me with the meaningfulness of your travels. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I strongly believe in the power of our village and our collective conscience. The blessings bestowed through this column have only amplified these beliefs. When I pitched this idea, I wanted to will my goal of becoming a nationally syndicated columnist into existence. It seemed to make the most sense to incubate from my small hometown newspaper, and it’s been through your support that my confidence, skills and voice have grown stronger and louder.

As a middle schooler, I wrote an advice column for the school newspaper. However, it was such a fledgling publication that I actually fabricated the request letters myself before also serving up my wisest preteen answers to them. You can probably imagine my delight each and every time one of you sends me a real, honest-to-goodness message. It feels as though fireworks burst every single time!

Your input has been invaluable, and I encourage you to keep sharing your thoughts, stories, and suggestions. Some of you have even been steadfast in sending me photos and clippings of this column, and it truly feels like Christmas morning each time I open your emails and envelopes. Muito obrigada, y’all!

Moving forward, I hope that we are able to engage with each other even more. I aim to share more of your letters and provide lengthier versions of my writings through my website and blog. Offering “behind the scenes” insights and photos seems like the next logical step, and I am eager to hear your ideas for ways to strengthen our relationship as we move into our second year together. That’s cotton, right?

I am also publishing my third book this year, another illustrated children’s book. It is based on my experiences with the Texas Water Safari, which is taking place as you read this, and it’s called “Get Back in the Boat!” I believe it will have broader appeal than “Goodnight San Marcos,” and I cannot wait for you to read it. It’s a Seussical motivational book, and I am inspired every time I read it. I hope it will inspire you as well.

I am offering all the wellness wishes, good juju and the glassiest of bays to this year’s safari racers and the warmest of hugs and cheesiest of grins to the readers of this column. You help me more than you could possibly know, and I can’t wait to hear more of your stories soon.

Be well. Get back in the boat. Keep asking questions and remember to take care of your friends in the river.


Kelly Stone is an educator, comedian, mother, and author who loves the heck outta the river. She welcomes e-letters at or and adores handwritten notes and postcards via good ol’ snail mail.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666