River Valley Cheese: Handmade Cheese and Happiness
How did I start my career in handmade cheese? For starters, I am a great cheese eater! But, let’s start at the beginning…
Well, I am going to tell you a secret I don’t share with many people: I grew up in Bremerton. Now, my fellow Bremertonians, I am certain you are happy to live there (it is the cosmopolitan center of the Peninsula…and home to Sir Mixalot and MXPX and former home of the USS Missouri). However, I was infected with the “small town” virus present in Footloose. I wanted to experience Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
As soon as I graduated high school, I trekked all over the west. Living in cities like Los Angeles and Dallas gave me the metropolitan flavor I longed to experience. (And, by virtue of living in Dallas, I can now use “y’all” unabashedly!) But, living in those cities also highlighted something missing. However, every time I would fly into Sea-Tac, a lump would form in my throat while we soared over the Puget Sound and tipped a wing at Mt. Rainier. And it was done. I decided the big lights of Seattle from Alki Beach suited me just fine. And as a result, I moved back and my love affair with the PNW flourished.
But, one day, I looked up from my computer and realized I had forgotten. Something. Something from a long time ago. So long ago I could only see the shadows, like cloudy images cast on a dark screen. So, I went on a journey. Not a “burn it all” journey where I packed up my bags and hiked a mountain trail. Not an adventure where I traveled the world in a whirlwind of spices and prayer. Nothing so bold and exciting as that.
I went on a journey, so quiet and so slow, a snail could have been my valet.
I simply became curious. I devoured books. I bought clever web domains. I binged on Netflix. I walked my dog, took pictures and drank Bailey’s on Saturday mornings. I spent the entire day outside planting in the rain. Until, one day, I realized I had been practicing. Training. Gaining strength. For three years.
I was learning how to play. I realized how critical play and creativity is to bringing humanity together. Finally, in that moment, I decided to climb off the corporate ladder.
And that I was ready for a mountain.
And I here I climb and play
…welcome to River Valley Cheese: A School of Curiosity.