How Beneath the Surface surfaced

Updated: Mar 25


Sara Vanden Berge

I like lemons. I like them in my water, on my oysters and in those mouth-watering bars my mother-in-law makes.

I don’t, however, care much for lemons when they are handed to me in a bushel.

After 14 years as the managing editor of the Empire-Tribune and three years as editor of the Glen Rose Reporter, my job was ripped out from under me with no warning.

I’m not too proud to say the shock and sadness was almost too much to bear when it first happened.

I had no time to properly say goodbye to my staff and co-workers or to the many readers and friends who have supported me during my more than 20-year career as a community journalist.

The move was a complete blindside.

I went home that afternoon in a daze, opened a bottle of wine and cried. Then I opened another bottle and cried some more.

It hurt. Bad. The grief I felt was similar to what I experienced when I lost my dad.

But after a 72-hour cry fest and zero sleep, my family and friends helped me work my way out of the darkness, and not to sound cliched, but into the light.

It was that “When one door closes, another opens” kind of thingy.

For the first time in many years, I had an unfamiliar sense of freedom and well-being. I was no longer tethered to a job that consumed me seven days a week. I was no longer swimming upstream with a team paddling in a different direction.

My vision began to clear and a new adventure started to take shape.

In the days that followed, The Husband and I lingered over our morning coffee. We went away on the weekends without my laptop. I had lunch with girlfriends, enjoyed a few shopping trips and stopped thinking about all the things on my to-do list.

I discovered that my new normal was something I loved.

It didn’t take long, however, for my fingers to start twitching.

I began thinking about all those stories I longed to tell – the stories that deserve to be told - and that’s when I made an important decision.

It was time to make some lemonade.

I wasn’t ready to give up my career in community journalism. I have more I want to accomplish; more I want to write.

I believe that Stephenville and Erath County are truly on the brink of something special and I want to be the person to tell the stories of new businesses, interesting people and all the things happening in this wonderful slice of North Texas we call home.

With help from my family and encouragement from so many of you, Beneath the Surface News was born.

This blog is the place I plan to share all the things I love most about Erath County.

Although the world of journalism continues to evolve, I believe the importance of all things local remain vitally important to our community.

I’m excited for the future and all of its possibilities and I hope you are too.

Local still matters. Don’t believe anything else.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Beneath the Surface News. sara@beneaththesurfacenews.com