It takes a Village...

We say our farewells to Salli's wonderful parents, people who inspired us with their many journeys around the world.

I know, I know. People are sick of that phrase. But in our case, it really has taken a village, or a "karass", as Kurt Vonnegut wrote, to get us off. I was sitting in Sheila's (our accountant) office, with Allen and Paul our web managers, and Francis, our business manager and I nearly broke down in tears as I realized that they were all there to help us on our way. That's all. They weren't being paid (or in the case of Sheila, being paid, but not enough for all that she is doing); they weren't getting famous, they were there taking their time, talents and energies just to help us on our way. They were weaving the life-line for our journey.

Now Sheila has been "Mom" for us for a long time. Siging up with her was my birthday present just after Cassidy was born (Outlook Financial Services, for those of you in Alaska looking for a break from the complexities of monthly finances). She took control, and got the emotion out and the disipline into finances. And now here was Sheila saying, "It's about time you guys did something... you've been restless for so long." And offering to help.

Francis is a partner of George's in "Response Net"--an Internet emergency response system. He had an interesting life, in Japan, India and in Alaska. He pops in and out of the project to offer encouragement and to offer to be our business manager.

Allen and Paul came into our lives during our last garage sale. Allen stopped by to buy a couple of bookcases, and picked up one of our flyers about our upcoming adventure and homepage. He went home to take a

look at the site, and came back a short time later with a subscription. A few hours later he called to say that he and his partner, Paul, of Denali Sites (later 7X Group) wanted to offer to redesign and manage our site while we were on the road.

And there were many other kindnesses too: Vivian who loaned us her car after ours were sold, even though that meant arranging a ride to work (and elsewhere) herself; Ed & Molly, Susan & Mallory, who took our animals Banshee (the wolf), Bob (the rabbit) and Buzzard (the cat); Jane and Vic who gave us tons of encouragement, advice and travel gadgets from their year-long Russian adventure; Jamie and Pat who offered to feed us with two hours notice when we had enough of pizza and hamburgers; Sandy, who arranged endless charity pickups; Jim who gave us many travel books and encourgement; Brett and Kelley who kept some last minute discoveries that were left out of storage; Fred who took us to the airport at 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night, and Ellstun and Jenny who came to sit with us in the airport at midnight and kept us awake long enought to make the flight. And at my work, my boss, Marty, for doing so much to make a sabbitical possible; and my staff and others for encouragement and a great send-off.

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