Dear Friends and Family,
As 2010 dawns, we want to begin by expressing our gratitude for all of you. Friends and family are what give life it’s richness and diversity, and your presence in our lives---both individually and collectively---brings us great joy, comfort and peace of mind. We look forward to staying in touch with you in the New Year, and deepening our connections.
2009 was a remarkable year of change for us, and the significance of those changes will make 2009 one of the most memorable years in our history.
During the summer of 2009, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and Rene’s 26th birthday in July, Keith’s 45th birthday in August, followed by Mary’s 50th birthday in September.
As proud parents, we are thrilled that Rene and Bevin chose to get married this past August, and we welcome the expansion of our family to include Bevin, her parents Mike and Pat, her brother Rick, and their many relatives. Following their wedding, Rene and Bevin moved to Taos, New Mexico to begin a new life together, and we are pleased that they are happily ensconced in a region of the country that feeds their souls and brings them joy.
Finally, all of you are aware by now that we took an enormous leap of faith during this past year, at a time when most people are hunkering down during the current economic climate. Due to a number of health challenges---including Keith’s chronic pain and our mutual Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)---we decided to sell our house, quit our jobs, jettison the majority of our possessions, buy a mobile home, and hit the open road in search of a new life. After 20 years in Massachusetts, this was a difficult and painful decision to make, but one that eventually seemed both necessary and prudent. Luckily, we received unanimous support from our friends and family---despite the losses and distance that our departure from New England and the East Coast entail---and the pieces just fell into place (with some very difficult wrenches thrown into the works in order to test our resolve).
Despite the challenges of selling our home, relinquishing our belongings, saying goodbye to New England, leaving our jobs and simply letting go of life as we knew it, we are thrilled to now be on the road as 2010 begins, pursuing the dream of a new life, hopefully involving some form of intentional community. Many of you may remember that we were married on an intentional community in Southern Maryland in 1989, and it has been our desire to return to community life in pursuit of a healthier and economically sustainable lifestyle (in a warmer climate).
Since we left Amherst on October 30th, we have visited 14 intentional communities, 10 states (plus Washington, DC), and visited with family, friends, and many new friends and acquaintances along the way. It has taken us 8 weeks to travel from Massachusetts to Georgia! This luxury of time and lack of a tight itinerary is allowing us the flexibility to take our time, keep an open mind, and make decisions based on how we feel rather than on a pre-determined schedule. What we are doing is certainly not for the faint of heart, and we do experience occasional “road weariness” and a touch of homesickness. Thankfully, friends, family and intentional communities along the way have provided us with some wonderful company, and we are grateful to everyone who has housed us, fed us, adored Tina the dog, and otherwise supported us on our journey.
We also pause to remember our dear friend David Semon, who took his own life in mid-November after years of chronic pain and depression. May his spirit be free from suffering, and may he now know the peace that he could not manifest in this life.
As we complete our sojourn down the East Coast, we will turn “right”, so to speak, heading west along the Gulf Coast, making our way to Texas, the Southwest and the West Coast, eventually landing at Rene and Bevin’s lovely home near Taos. We have no idea where---or when---we will settle down, but please know that once we do, we will be more than happy to welcome (fragrance-free!) visitors to our new abode.
The New Year began with a “blue moon”, an auspicious beginning that shines a light on the possibility that the world will come to know peace, and that everyone may be fed, housed, clothed, healed, and cared for. We wish you and your loved ones health, prosperity, love, connection, and all good things, now and always.
With love and gratitude,
Mary and Keith