Hi Everybody, this is Tom posting for the first time, grateful that Jolie has set this blog up and gotten the ball rolling. We’ve been talking about doing this blog together for some time and hope to keep it going, now that we have, for many years to come.

We were just talking, downstairs in our living room, about plans. Plans for the coming weekend. Plans for the summer road trip we are taking to the Midwest (and specifically, my old stomping ground of Madtown, aka Madison, WI). Plans for the Jersey shore in a few weeks (my mom lives there, three blocks from the beach; lucky us to have a regular beach destination :-)). Plans for possible pizza excursions around the Northeast, lol. And we were mentioning, as Jolie has already written, how happy we are to be here, in Beacon, NY, a place at the crossroads of wide ranging natural beauty and some very unique artistic developments. So, allow me to just offer a paragraph about Beacon. We’ve been here since early 2006, and Beacon is now as comfortable to me as a favorite pair of well worn shoes.

Beacon is the home for a lot of things. The Dia Beacon – a refurbished, large scale Nabisco factory which is now the home for works by such prominent modern artists like Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Agnes Martin, and Gerhard Richter, and is just an interesting place to walk around and think about art – is here, close to the Hudson River and to the Metro North train tracks, which is the way we first came up here. And with the Dia as something of a high profile anchor, Beacon has become a home for an extensive community of creative types – artists, sculptors, photographers, graphic designers, writers, musicians, architects, chefs, landscape designers, etc.  I’ve gotten to know quite a few of them, and they, too, inspire me to embrace creativity. Folk music legend Pete Seeger, while technically living in nearby Dutchess Junction, is widely thought of as a Beaconite, as he  seems to be here performing music on behalf of various causes on a fairly regular basis, including with the Beacon schools, where he is a volunteer; in fact, he and the schoolkids recently won a Grammy! And Pete Seeger, through his work starting up the Clearwater organization and the Beacon Sloop Club, has been a major catalyst in the effort to clean up the Hudson River.  Having grown up in Jersey City, NJ where the Hudson River was widely viewed as a dirty, murky, badly smelling barrier between NY and NJ, my orientation to and appreciation of this river, and its history, has been reversed since moving here.  And with that, so too has my orientation to nature.  And with this, my orientation to local community life – also altered.  Jolie and I, for example, became shareholders of a local share farm last year and are hoping to do it again this year. While certainly hard work, the experience last year of harvesting and washing leeks, one of our more plentiful crops, and getting them ready for distribution, was deeply satisfying.

So, onto this blog! Our plans to share our “explorations” here, along with the places and experiences that we do encounter, are in many ways yet to be decided. Time will tell where our curiosity takes us. Some of our explorations may take us halfway around the world, but in other instances, they may take us just a few blocks away from our house. In any case, we hope to share what we have experienced and what these experiences mean to us.