I learned of Shepherd Village at the same time my enthusiasm for maintaining our present home, property and gardens was waning. Getting rid of 40 years of stuff and moving away from Shepherdstown seemed a sad prospect. Shepherd Village offered a happy alternative with a community of new friends!
I grew up in (then) small town Bethesda, MD with endless woods and fields where I fished, hunted, sailed homemade boats, camped out, flew model airplanes and played football, basketball and baseball in season – and made money as a landscaper, milkman, and mailman. My happiest summer was in Idaho doing insect control, fire fighting and timber surveying with the Forest Service. At Penn State U, I studied bird navigation for an MA, and physical properties of polymers for a PhD. I married and had two sons while at Penn State. For 30 years I was a polymer researcher and manager at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST), in Gaithersburg, MD. A best friend and I bought cabins in the mountains north of Frederick, MD and rented them to churches and support groups for retreats and weekend meetings. I enjoyed motorcycling, skiing, bowling, painting and golf, and was a long-time member of the Unitarian Church of Rockville, MD, where, in the choir, I met and married Nan and gained a step son and daughter.
Now in my 80’s, I’ve kept all my original body parts. For physical exercise, I frequent the gym at Shepherd U, practice Tai Chi, garden (my most enduring hobby) and cut and split wood for our stove. For emotional and spiritual health, I drive for Good Shepherd Caregivers, host weekly Buddha Buddy meetings at our home, regularly attend 12 step meetings, attend Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church and a weekly non-duality sangha in Frederick, MD. Life is good!
After 20 rich years in Shepherdstown, Marty and I sadly realized that the maintenance of our dear home and gardens was becoming burdensome. It dawned on us that downsizing made sense, but the obvious options were unattractive. Miraculously we discovered the Shepherd Village project – right under our noses! Joining this group transformed the depressing chore of downsizing to an energizing adventure. The prospect of aging in a vibrant, caring community is both thrilling and comforting to us both.
I grew up in Bethesda, MD, alternately aspiring to be an artist or a nun. Delaying the convent for college was the death of my religious vocation. After my parents gave me a trip to Europe as a graduation present, I disappointed them yet again by getting married and staying 8 years in Paris and Brussels. I returned as a single mother of two toddlers. Although my first love was always art, I began a career in information technology and systems analysis to support the three of us. Meanwhile I met and eventually married my true love, Marty.
After being employed by IBM, U. of Oregon Medical School, Booze Allen, InterAmerican Development Bank, and the World Bank, I decided to reinvent myself as a freelance graphic designer and painter. I loved the art, but was miserable at business—always preferring to work for free or to barter. When our aging parent responsibilities let up, we fled the suburban DC congestion and settled in dear little Shepherdstown.
Since 2000 we have led a weekly Buddhist study group, affectionately known as Buddha Buddies. We volunteer for various service projects, especially supporting the homeless. As recent members, we enjoy the community and spiritual life of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. Our new Shepherd Village friends add a truly loving dimension to our lives.