About Us …
From John, about John …
I’m Midwestern born and raised, with all the good qualities and hang ups that come with that upbringing. I was educated in a conservative Midwestern community, followed by an education at a Midwestern university to become an engineer specializing in computer design. I had a wonderful engineering and marketing career, starting out in the western states and ending up back in the Midwest where I met Jane.
As a young man I remember becoming infatuated with stories in the National Geographic about Captain Irving Johnson and the world voyaging adventures of the brigantine Yankee. This led to the adventures of Joshua Slocum, Francis Chichester, Robin Knox Johnson, and, my personal hero, Bernard Moitessier. And who can forget the TV episodes of James A. Michener’s, “Adventures in Paradise“? However, dreams of such adventures are foolhardy for a young man living in the middle of cornfields! Once my engineering career took hold of my life, dreams of sailing over the horizon to the South Pacific soon faded.
I guess I’ve always gravitated towards those activities that are a little different. I spent thirty-five years very actively involved in the sport of skydiving, a period of my life that gave me great joy and probably most closely represents to me who I am today. I retired from skydiving with a little over 3,000 jumps. I truly miss the sport and the wonderful friendships that came from it.
I was a beekeeper for ten years.
I like to think of myself as a pretty good woodworker, but most real woodworkers would chuckle at my results.
There have been dozens and dozens of interests that I’ve pursued, somewhat mastered, become bored, and then abandoned. However, the whole sailing/cruising adventure thing has always lingered in the back of my mind.
So, when Jane and I began talking about downsizing from our large home outside St. Louis, I thought it the ideal time to broach the subject of cruising (and RVing) as a retirement lifestyle.
Of course there’s more to my life story, good and bad. The good provides me with too many cherished memories to count, and the bad really isn’t that relevant any longer. After seventy years, I finally understand that true happiness isn’t derived from a list of possessions, but from family, friendships and a gratefulness for the sum total of life’s experiences – all of them … the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m grateful for the terrific friendships that continue to surround me and the life experiences that have brought me to this happy point in my life where pursuing new adventures is still a real possibility. I’m hopeful that my life will continue to be as exciting as it was when I was a young boy reading about the adventures of the brigantine Yankee.
From Jane, about Jane …
Daughter of Louise and Ronny, sister of three siblings, wife, MOM, grandmother, aunt, friend, citizen, student of life – all blessings.
Through and because of these loving and challenging relationships, I’ve also been a clerk at Famous Barr, an elementary school teacher, college instructor, management training manager, student of life – mostly, all a blast.
Born in Arkansas, my younger sister and I were whisked away early to Missouri, and with a younger sister and brother grew up in Ferguson (yep, that one). Our Dad owned a business there, our Mom stayed home with four kids; they both worked like crazy. We took month-long camping vacations north, west, east, and into Canada, progressing from one to two tents, and finally to the luxury of a pop-up camper. It was our 60’s -70’s version of Mayberry (Andy, Opie, Barney…). Really good schools (I was classroom-fluent in Latin), churches, scout troops, library, theater, drugstore (with a counter), shopping area, parks, and that new invention, fast food (Chuck-a-Burger, Steak ‘n Shake, even an early walk-up McDonald).
Thank you, Mom and Dad. I was lucky and I know it.
Things I love: kids, history, England, plants (especially herbs), animals (not snakes), reading, The Beatles, Merrells, vegetarianism (almost vegan but can’t let go of cheese and salmon), travel vehicles, Frank Lloyd Wright (not him, he was icky, but his work), strong coffee, sweets, yoga, learning about life, etc, etc, but enough for now.
And here, in my seventh decade, I’m a student of life again. Though I’ve always traveled with family and work, I’m REALLY travelling now as in full time.
Our big house of twenty-three years is now in (other) good hands, most consumer items are gone (except for treasures in the storage unit), and now we’re living surprisingly and happily in two hundred square feet!
How did ALL this happen in just a few years? As Michael Jordan said, “I don’t know how to accomplish something except one step at a time.”