“I was raised Wheatland, Wyo., a big metropolis of 2,500 people. I went to high school there and graduated from there. The University of Wyoming decided that I was wonderful and competent and gave me a scholarship to go there. I got my degree from there. I tried to find myself here in the United States and decided that really wasn’t going to happen, and decided to go back to graduate school.
“While back at school, there was a flyer up for the Peace Corps and since I had a degree in French, I signed up. I went away for two years in the Peace Corps and then came back after that tour was over with and decided I wanted to go back. I left again and was over there another two years as a private contractor with the government teaching English.
“Teaching English was a fantastic experience. I encourage everyone that can to go do something outside of America. I think Americans should broaden their horizon and get out of the norm that we have here in the United States. I was able to find out how other people live elsewhere. One of the things that it helped me produce was a greater empathy and maybe a greater compassion for others.
“When I came back for good, I decided I wanted to run away from Wyoming and ended up in California for 17 years in a lovely place called Santa Cruz. I got out of there
about a year before the big earthquake hit that changed the area dramatically.
“After I got out of there I moved up into the state of Washington for 10 years, Florida for about a year, Virginia for a little over a year, Michigan for about two years, and finally Rhode Island for about 14 months. Finally, my sister, who I had been talking to periodically through all the years, said I should just come home.
“Traveling, I thought, allowed me to avoid getting back into a past that I didn’t like. The definition that I had on me was not a particularly self-worthy approach. I didn’t think enough of myself to create a better picture from the inside, so I looked outside. So, in order to do that, I felt I had to go to a lot of places and look at a lot more people to find that. When I stopped messing around for all the answers out in the world, I found out what I wanted.
“Although I promised I wouldn’t spend any more winters in the Rocky Mountains, this is where (my sister) is, so this is where I am. I discovered that the biggest thing and most important thing to me after all the running around was wherever your heart resonates is where you call home.
“I’ve been here for almost 10 years and we opened the shop up about five years ago. The community of Craig and the surrounding areas has been really receptive of the store and what we are doing and allow us to stay in business even through the economic downturn.
“After living a different lifestyle in California, I decided I needed to work on my health. I did a significant amount of drinking while I was there because I didn’t really get to where I was from. There were a lot more than 2,500 people in California. I just liked to go out and meet a lot of new people, but I ended up with some health issues. That’s when I decided to work toward a healthier lifestyle.
“Health is an enterprise I have been in since I got back to America. I opened a healthy restaurant in California when I was out there. In the other states I lived in, I worked with health food and the health food industry. I have people come in here that want to be more responsible for their own health. So, we try to the best of our ability to figure out what they need so they can accomplish that goal.”