Beth grew up in the Middle East (Turkey and Lebanon) and moved to the States with her family in high school. Although she moved to a suburb of NYC, the two states she considered home were Maine and California:
Maine, because her family had a summer home here that they would come to while she was growing up, and her parents moved back to that home after she graduated from high school.
California, because after reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance her sophomore year of college, she dropped out of college, took a road trip to Berkeley, found a job in a bagel shop on Telegraph Avenue, and thus began 20 years in California.
The majority of her years in California were spent working with the California Conservation Corps (CCC). Her time with the CCC took her all over the state working on trails, construction projects, fires, and floods, doing energy audits and installing energy conservation measures. It was hard work, but she also had a lot of fun. Like Gary Snyder, she worked on the trail crew in Yosemite National Park and ran down the scree slopes of Matterhorn Peak at full speed (if you haven’t ever tried it, she highly recommends it—it doesn’t have to be Matterhorn, any good loose scree slope will do).
For a while she lived in a small cohousing community in Oakland, California. Thirty years later she is still in touch with the people living there (at last visit most of the same families were still there that had been there 30 years before—with a change of generation taking over the units for two of the families). She loved living there, and knew that if she ever had an opportunity to live in community in that way again, she would take it.
In recent years Beth has been taking care of both of her elderly parents. Her mother recently passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. Because she was often stuck at home and unable to participate in the wider community, she began writing a blog chronicling their journey together for the website www.incareofdad.com (a fantastic resource for issues on aging and care for the elderly).
Beth feels blessed to have been able to have her parents with her at this stage of their lives.
Dad (Arthur) is still with her, sharing their new home in Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage.