My early life started in the mean streets of Butte, MT, where I spent the first five months of my life jumping on people and devouring the siding off of the trailer home that I lived in…Mmmmm siiiding. After my fifth month birthday, my first dad threatened to send me to a nice home out in the country, which sounded pretty good to me, but for some reason my grandpa interceded and instead sent me to a nice lady named Barbara who worked for the Golden Retriever Rescue shelter.
It was there that I met my new parents, Katie and Mark, who are kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules and shuttle me all over the country to search out different species of squirrels to chase. Sometimes we canoe the river and look for squirrels, and sometimes we shoot ducks and dad makes me retrieve them, I think in order to train me for the spring squirrel season. I loved my home on the boat, but I’m settling in nicely to my routine of duck hunting, beach combing for dead crabs and running amok in the Cascade mountains, but I’m really excited to get our farm going.
I’m a Texan, and for twelve years now an immigrant in the cold north woods of Montana. It’s in Montana that I began my naturalist studies, examining the ecology of the mountains and how life interacts with environment. I’ve hunted the deer and the ducks, gardened the soil, and I’ve learned the names of plants and birds. It’s there I learned to canoe a river. It’s there I honed my craft as a woodworker, trying to understand the material as living creature, artistic medium, and structural pragmatism. Someday I’ll build a boat from wood. Someday I’ll write a book. Soon I’ll return to the lands of Spanish.
For now I’m consumed with exploring the natural world, learning all that I can about the complexity and the wonders of our collective ecology. Sailboats and canoes and rowboats will get me there, as my passion for wild waters and beautiful crafts that float atop them, still runs deep. The urge to grow food runs strong as well, and our new homestead will keep us busy for years to come. Perhaps I’ll grow the wood, cut and dry it, and from the soil in my own backyard, build a boat…
How does a Montana girl end up with a passion for the ocean and water? One way is to grow up reading way too many Jacques Cousteau books. That, combined with supportive and encouraging parents. Most importantly, my father raised us kids with this saying:
“It’s okay to live your life regretting some of the things you’ve done, but never, ever have regrets of the things you DIDN’T do. Don’t live your life saying: I wish I would have…”
I’m sure he’s regretted telling us kids those words… They’ve resonated within me throughout life as I attended school and traveled throughout the west, the Florida Keys, Australia, Alaska and Hawai’i. My varied careers have included:
– Marine biologist in Homer, Alaska – Horse wrangler on a cattle ranch in Hawai’i
– Commercial diver on Oahu, Hawai’i – Deckhand on a halibut charter boat in Homer, Alaska
– Sailboat Captain in Hawai’i – Water Rights / GIS Analyst in Missoula, MT
Life changed when my path eventually crossed with Mark’s back in Montana. That missing half that I had been searching for all over the world was right here in my home state. In addition to being my best friend, he’s my partner in crime that is willing and excited to jump into this adventure of life holding my hand and with his eyes wide open. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m the luckiest woman alive.