In 2003 my husband Paul and I sadly left our island home [The Salt Cay Sunset House] & businesses [Sea One International and Sea One Construction] in Salt Cay, British West Indies, and returned to south Florida, taking residence in Punta Gorda for a spell. We loved it there, but it seemed that the twisted sisters of fate had other plans for us, and on August 13th [yes, on a Friday!] 2004, Hurricane Charlie ambushed the Port Charlotte harbor taking our humble home and belongings with it! 

It took over a month of dodging three more hurricanes [ Henry, Jeanne, and Ivan!] to evacuate and head west to Colorado Springs. The most heartbreaking traumatic event was not the loss of our home and belongings but the beloved fur family we fostered while there. We had to give up all 14 cats and kittens to the Suncoast Humane Society shelter, where I fostered kitties and our babies were flown to various shelters across the country during the next few months. Some of this fur family had been with me throughout my move to the islands and back again!  I still dream about them and pray that they found more happiness and good homes. We managed to recover only one feline -Mia- who I flew down to retrieve that fall, and in gratitude I volunteered painting a wall mural for the Sun-coast cat adoption room. It still can be seen upon visiting the Sun-coast Humane Society! [Also photos of it on my art pages here.]

Upon relocating and taking refuge with my brother in the Springs area, Paul decided to take on work overseas as a DoD contractor in the war zone.  We got married on October 9th 2004.  At the time we anticipated this would be a short stint being apart. Instead, Paul has spent the last 6 years overseas, from Baghdad, to Nicaragua, to Afghanistan, to Doha,Qatar and back! We are the only couple I know of who has managed to survive 6 + years of long distance married living! It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it has been necessary -simply because of the poor state of jobs and the economy in the US.  I was very fortunate to find entry level work here but it took over two years!  We’re grateful nonetheless because it’s paying for our dreams. We are debt free now except for our tractor and our mortgage! Maybe soon those will be paid off too!

As it turned out, we focused on the future and last summer, we found the home of our dreams, a 5 acre farm with a beautiful old house in the Arkansas River valley in a tiny town called Manzanola, east of Pueblo, Colorado. We hope that -fates willing!- we will be able to grow some fruit trees , raise some critters, and retire from the war zone work [and Wally world!] to be farmers and create & putter -and hopefully grow old -together- at last! May we simply live that long!

Right now, we are both concentrating on meeting the challenges life hands us, and living to tell the tales about our adventures and experiences-to anyone who cares to hear them.

Life and work in a war zone is certainly unique, risky and difficult, yet as Paul would attest, the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment-overcoming great difficulties on a daily basis, has its own rewards.  So, this page is a scrapbook of some of his stories and photos of his work and some of the incredible folks he had a chance to work with and befriend along the way. As he is fond of saying, He is glad to have been a small part of history and for accomplishing some good and making a small but positive impact- on his life and for others. We’ve both endured pain and made sacrifices and yet we’ve felt great joy as well - we only strive to make it all worthwhile. One human being to another. That’s all anyone can hope for. as with other life challenges, the journey is full of surprises and lessons. We may get tired and feel lonely at times, but we are never bored!

As for me I’m now finally able to commence writing stories which I plan to showcase here on this website -and on other pages and sites!  

                                      NAMASTE‘     Never give up!

Return to the Rockies & Iraq-i!