ABOUT THE COLUMN
Rhonda is the author of the popular “Grounds for Insanity,” a weekly column that appears in The Goshen News Monday edition, page three. For 4-1/2 years, she's delighted thousands with her tales from the trenches; i.e., life as the mother of 4 sons, ages 22, 19, 13 and 6. The one dog the family ever had, a beagle named Copper, was also a boy. Given her avowed love of coffee and all those boys, “Grounds for Insanity,” she says, “summed up her life” and “just made sense.” The trademark lawyer she spoke with once, agreed.
“I didn’t know I was a writer.” That's what Rhonda says when asked. “I knew I could tell stories. I just didn’t know I was a writer.”
It was her husband, the blue-eyed Mr. Schrock, as he's affectionately known in the column, who first called her out. “You should write a book,” he’d say. To which she would cheekily reply, “If God would put the next Great American Novel in my head, I’d get it out for him.” Pause. “I checked. It's not there.”
Feeling, though, that there was something there, but uncertain of what or how or where, she did the one thing she knew to do. Every once in a really blue moon, she’d throw up an arrow prayer that went like this: “God, if you have something for me with this writing thing, You’ll have to open a path before my feet because it looks like a mountain from here.” And she’d walk away, shove it back and forget it.
Then came a “coincidental” meeting between her Mister and a Goshen News correspondent, Denise Fedorow, with an interesting exchange. Three days later, a wild day involving pre-bus craziness and a climbing, throwing-up baby and a mother who wrote it down. And laughed.
She sent it to the father of the throwing-up baby who laughed, too, and forwarded it to the correspondent. Who also laughed and said, “I think this is column material.” Two days after that, a letter appeared in the paper, introducing its brand-new publisher, Mr. James Kroemer, who invited reader contact. With fear and trembling, the mother attached the piece and hit “send.” To her astonishment, a message came that afternoon, “I think we can use this.” On November 5, 2007, the first column appeared in The Goshen News, Monday edition, page three.
Since then, Rhonda has had the privilege of being a guest columnist for The Hutch News, the paper she cut her teeth on as a child and the one that began her lifelong love affair with newspapers. The fact that her first work ever published appeared in her hometown paper is a gift she treasures deeply. Speaking to old friends, teachers and church and family members makes her “just that happy.” And when her old principal and former teacher told her mother, “Tell her she sounds like Erma Bombeck,” she tucked that in her treasure chest, too.
In “Grounds for Insanity,” Rhonda covers everything from family milestones to politics to sports to the ordinary events that take place in her back yard. She's paddled politicians, run for president, sent a son to college and collared Jacques Rogge, IOC Chairman with her insistence that “Diaper Changing Should Be an Olympic Sport.”
Through all of her work, she intertwines humor, family values and old-fashioned common sense with a strong, vibrant faith that brings readers back week after week. Her fan base includes an enthusiastic Amish following, stay-at-home moms, hard-working dads, grandparents, teenagers, single folks, married people, blue-collar workers, white-collar professionals, male and female, old and young as evidenced by the mail, phone calls and comments she receives.
“Grounds for Insanity” is posted every Tuesday on her blog, giving her print subscribers a chance to catch it in that Monday paper.