2017-08-31 / Life in Leelanau

Talk of the County

Having a conversation with Laura Elser


LAURA ELSER stands beside her mailbox at the end of the driveway to her family's beloved water-front home along Stony Point Rd., Suttons Bay. LAURA ELSER stands beside her mailbox at the end of the driveway to her family's beloved water-front home along Stony Point Rd., Suttons Bay. Name: Laura Elser

Town or township of residence: Back and forth between Suttons Bay township and Munich, Germany.

Resident since: 1966, my parents purchased the property here shortly after I was born. They had their first date in Suttons Bay and my father had previously stayed with his best friend, Carlisle Garthe, during the summers when he worked at Frigid Foods. Since my parents were both teachers, we spent every summer and all holidays on the lake here.

Age and birthplace: 51 and Jackson, MI.

Occupation: Freelance writer, although my duties as a wife and mother are always first. We live on two continents, so there’s a lot of work and planning to be done.

Marital status: Married since 1994 with five children. My son, Zacharias, graduated from T.C. Central in 2016.

You live in Leelanau County because: Our home has been in many ways passed down for generations, as it was purchased by my mother with seed capital from my great grandfather. Our most beautiful family memories were made here and I’ve always said that I’m not sure if my husband fell in love with me or Suttons Bay, since we came here a year after first meeting while I was studying abroad in France.

Last good movie you saw: The last interesting movie was “Captain Fantastic.” I checked it out of the Suttons Bay Library and watched it with my eldest children. It brought numerous important discussion topics to light that I think all parents should have conversations with their kids about.

Last good book you read: “A Man Named White,” the autobiography of Walter White, former head of the NAACP, whom I was doing research on for my book. He was a soft spoken man who worked his whole life to save the lives of colored people and put an end to lynching.

If you could trade places with one person for one day, it would be: The Apostle John, while Jesus was alive on Earth.

Things important to you that you’ve accomplished so far: 23 years of marriage. Marriage is a daily challenge and you have to be humble and forgiving - two things which don’t come naturally for anyone.

What you hope to be doing in 10 years: I hope to be honoring God with my life. That’s my full-time job, especially once my children have moved away from home.

Things you lose sleep over: Worrying about the choices of my children.

If you could change one thing in Leelanau County it would be: The potholes and quality of the roads. In Germany, the price of gas is twice what it is here, because it includes all road upkeep costs. And it’s worth it - the roads are perfect.

Favorite dessert: My blueberry rhubarb pie with crumble topping.

Are you a coffee drinker? I became one after radiation treatment and always take it black.

Favorite place in Leelanau County: My waterfront on Stony Point Rd. I swim every single day during the summer and - before I got old - I swam across the entire bay every summer, even at the age of 40.

If you had more time you would: I’d call the people I care about most and have long conversations with them every few days.

The words that best describe you are: Loud, opinionated, self-critical, and last but most importantly: redeemed.

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