It’s Been Awhile; Time for an Update!


The Zooklets!  Eli, Ellie, and Ezra.

Dear friends, it’s been awhile since I dusted off this blog, and put a few words on a page.  Suffice to say, we’ve been busy.  I’m going to attempt to bring you up to date a bit here, and I’m also going to make it goal to write more in the next year.

When last we spoke, it was May 2016 and we were still living in Richmond.  I’m happy to say that we’ve since moved out of Richmond, and moved back to the Shenandoah Valley.  We currently live in a little town called Broadway, which is about 10 miles north of Harrisonburg.  It’s a little town of 2,300 souls, with more cows and turkeys surrounding the town than actual people.  It’s a great change of pace after living on Church Hill in Richmond.


A snowy day on the Shenandoah River

Perhaps you remember that a little over five years ago, Mel and I set off for Richmond because I had been hired as an EMT.  This past June, I decided to pursue some different opportunities, and decided to see if I could support the family without being employed full-time by one employer.  So far, I’ve been successful.  I call myself “The Roving Paramedic-Educator.”  Basically, I spend about half of any given month on an ambulance as a paramedic.  The other half of my month is spent teaching.  The goal is to get back into guiding climbing trips in a more meaningful way in the next several years.


Exploring Spruce Knob, West Virginia

Teaching what, you ask?  After several years of resume building, I was given the opportunity this fall by NOLS Wilderness Medicine, based in Lander WY, and Landmark Learning, based in Sylva NC, to become a wilderness medicine instructor.  I spent two weeks in western NC in October teaching an EMT course; I then spent 12 intense but rewarding days at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus in Lander, Wyoming this past November.  During the Instructor Training Course (ITC), I was surrounded by incredible people, both in my prospective instructor cohort and in the NOLS/LL instructors running the course.  Since the end of my ITC, I’ve taught two WFR courses, one in the deep December cold of Sylva, NC and a second in the balmy, alligator-infested sub-tropical paradise (?) that is Apopka, Florida.

On the personal front, I believe the last time we spoke we had two kids, Eli and Ezra.  Surprise, we added a third; a girl named Elizabeth Rose, born in September 2016.  We call her Ellie.  She’s added quite the dimension to our little family, and is more than a match for her brothers.  The three of them have adjusted well to the valley, and particularly enjoy being closer to grandparents!

So, take this post as my commitment to you to be better at blogging and writing.  If you’re curious, take a moment and check out my more professional blog The Mountain Medic!