When my boyfriend (now husband) and I moved from Paris to New York City in 2006, we were invited upstate by a close friend from college for the weekend. We were enamored by the bucolic rolling hills and farmland stretching for miles on the drive from the Wassaic train station up to his house in Columbia County. When at the end of the weekend he offered, ”anytime you need to get out of the city, just call and let me know,” I don't think that he expected us to take him up on the offer so regularly! I grew up in Portland, Oregon and my husband in Rennes, France, and there was something about the area that drew me in and reminded me of childhood memories picking berries, cutting down Christmas trees, and going to pumpkin patches. Before long we were house hunting and, in 2009, we purchased our home in Amenia. Two summers later at a wine tasting, I approached Jeff and Bowie and introduced myself. My husband and I began regularly attending Wassaic Project events and volunteering at the benefits and festivals.
Since then, Wassaic and the surrounding area have become our home and the community members as close as family. In 2018, we left New York to live and work in Southeast Asia for eighteen months and returned early because of the COVID crisis. When we arrived after over thirty hours of travel with three young kids, the Wassaic Project staff and board members welcomed us with a roof over our head to isolate, bags of groceries, and a big bottle of wine.