In 879, when she was 19 years old, Laura left home to join the settlers of Kimrin, where she would live for the next 25 years. She made a decent living as an apothecary. In 888, she married a carver named Carmine. The two of them were quite friendly with many of their fellow villagers, as well as various Rats. However, when Carmine died of pneumonia in 904, Laura lost the heart to be around people, and decided to become a hermit.
She moved to Dragon Wood, and had a house built at the tip of Dragon Cape, in a spot she dubbed "Three Waters." (The tip of Dragon Cape borders First Sea, Port Sea, and East Ocean.) In spite of her new life of isolation, she did occasionally make trips back to Kimrin, as well as staying in touch with a few old friends via t-mail. When she heard that the first Census-takers had come to Kimrin, in 905, she made a trip there to report her information. Her village of residence is officially listed as Kimrin. For her surname, she chose 'Woodrat,' in spite of not technically being a 'rat, herself.
Not long after moving to Three Waters, she discovered sunflowers, which were not previously known to exist on the Land (though they are known to exist on Earth, which is where their name originated). Their seeds contain kernels which are edible, and on a trip back to Kimrin, she shared some with various friends, including Taryn Hillrat and her brother Josh. The two of them would thereafter make occasional trips to visit Laura, at which times they would trade goods to her for sunflower seeds, which they would then sell in Kimrin and Near Port. While some seeds have made their way to Port as well, the snack is not generally known outside the Northern Alliance.