In 2005 Patty and I moved with our two kids from Underhill, Vermont, USA, to Hong Kong. At that point, Hong Kong had been only eight years under Chinese rule, and was a very different place than it is now (or will become, it seems). Governments aside, it has always been very different to Underhill.
That was only the first of a series of shocks that Patty and I put the kids through, as when we moved to Beijing in 2007, when Carl left for the US Naval Academy in 2014, and when Nellie, Patty and I moved to Tokyo in 2015. Each of these relocations and the many other changes between jobs, studios, apartments, schools, languages were embraced with grit, acceptance, and enthusiasm by all the tribe. We have had an unpredictable, fascinating, lucky, and mostly fun 12 years in Asia.
But it’s time to return. With Nellie headed to college this fall, at University College Dublin (as part of the Northeastern University program she’s entering), Patty and I will have an empty nest for the first time – actually, two nests, one each in New York and Vermont. Patty will continue to paint and draw, and if the success and progress she’s had in Asia are any indication the Vermont studio and NYC “sales office” will lead to great things.
As for me, I’m going to catch my breath for a bit. The last twenty-something years have seen four companies, eight homes, four tier-one cities and a tiny town, and hundreds of acquaintances – many of whom have become close friends. I’m going to take a few months to figure out what the next step should be, and I’ll write about that process here.