Needless to say, this was not part of the plan.
Over the course of the last year I’ve had a hard time reconciling my faith in power of the the human body to heal, with the reality of a personal situation that has proved thus far unresponsive to that sentiment. Staying positive while living with disabling pain levels, dwindling finances, big changes in my living circumstances, and the inability to do almost everything I formerly enjoyed is beyond challenging. I’ve always believed that with enough positivity and determination that anything is possible, I don't think I'll ever stop believing that, but you can imagine just how difficult it is to be proven wrong day after day. It's a complicated existence, and one I'm still struggling to find my footing in. On a more positive note, it inspired me to get a cool new tattoo. :)
Still, if I had to choose any city to live in it will always be Portland, Oregon, so I count myself fortunate. Bookstores, good parks, great food, and a general warmth that is missing from most large cities. I try to focus on the good things.
"Hell, it's not like I have anything else to do, so I'll just keep driving."
...and so I did, circling the country and finally ending up in my beloved Moab, Utah, albeit a bit later in the year than is comfortable. While indulging my thirst for adventure along roads marked 4wd only, I caused a bit of damage to the van! (this is why we can’t have nice things.) My health was in rough shape at that point from too many consecutive long frozen nights, and with the van starting to feel more like a coffin than an RV I headed home to make repairs to both man and machine.
While larger classes remain mostly off the menu for now, I am making one BIG exception! For years now I’ve talked about making videos and kayak plans available, in fact I actually started this last fall only to realize after a day of filming that it makes no sense to put that kind of energy into a project and not do it with quality camera equipment, and also a well lit professional quality shop space. In searching for a space I got talking with Sam Johnson the executive director of the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon, and he invited me out to visit their Barbey Maritime Center which is most perfect small boat building space I’ve ever seen.
Finally, I'm not the kind of person who has an easy time reaching out for support, (to put it mildly) but I welcome prayers, advice, friendship, and material assistance from anyone with the means to offer it. It's especially helpful to hear from other people who have been through or are going through similar difficulties. A sincere thank you to everyone who has supported me through these difficult times, I hope there is a brighter future ahead!