This is a story about an international couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic, self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes, Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.

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Our Tanegashima Story

The decision to move to Tanegashima was a bit of a surprise for family and friends, although they are pretty much used to me doing these kinds of "crazy" things. We went through a lot to get to this place, including four international moves. The moves, the island house, and getting set up, all proved to be very challenging but the benefits of being on this island are worth the difficulties. I decided to put our Tanegashima story online in order to provide additional information about the island (information in English is minimal at best) including small points which you cannot find elsewhere online. These small details might prove useful to those of you planning to visit Tanegashima or even to travelers to other places in Japan. I am hoping these pages might also serve as inspiration for those of you who are contemplating moving to a new place and a bit nervous. Hopefully you enjoy our story. Thank you for joining us on our ongoing island adventure.

Note: There are many gaps in our story during times I was simply too busy to be on the computer like our four international moves, when we purchased our present home, and when we purchased our mountain. I plan to fill in the gaps during 2024.
About My Story Pages - Hey look at this young picture of me from maybe around the year 2002. LOL. Anyway, these story pages are all about our ongoing family adventures. The pages are set up in reverse chronological order to make it easier for those of you only interested in our recent stuff, especially related to our agroforestry project up in our mountain. All the older stuff is basically for our kids to know what we went through over the years to get us to the present. This year I decided to go through tons of old computer files (mostly word files) and to delete all the old emails from my, basically unused Hotmail account. In the process, I found a whole lot of "interesting" stories about our past successes and difficulties. I originally thought about deleting much of it but then realized that most of my pictures where the old type, you know, the ones where you had to take the film roll to a photo shop to be processed. I realized keeping all the old information from my files would be important in order to know the dates of many of these old pictures, In addition, I asked my kids many times if they were interested in past stories and they said definitely. I realized this was a good way for them to learn that things don't always go the way you want but if you keep going, things will eventually work out....basically learning from my good and bad experiences or put another way, do as I say not as I do.

A couple of years ago, I decided social media was a tremendous waste of time and decided to get out. I would post comments about issues affecting the world, like politics or climate change, and would get almost no reaction from close to 2000 "friends" on Facebook. If I posted pictures of my kids and even food, I would get tons of likes and comments. I was fed up and decided to get out my social media accounts including twitter and others. I deleted almost all of my picutres from my Facebook account except for a few profile and cover pictures and decided not to post anymore. I kept the account though in order to stay in contact with friends from back in the day. In addition, I was able to download my entire Facebook account which contained posts and messages with dates and information about places I went to and things I did over the years. Anyway, throughout the story pages you might find text which reads "Facebook Post", Facebook Group Post, or "Email Message". These are simply posts or messages that I found while going through my files and contain information about my story like places, dates, and other stuff. These will be deleted eventually when the pictures are found and added to the information. Basically you can disregard these bits of information, um unless you wanna read them of course.

STORY - 2024
Story 2024
HAPPY NEW YEAR. Already a very busy year up at our mountain. A roof over the buses and an outside kitchen.

STORY - 2023
Story 2023
Another busy year up at our mountain with all of us working to make a healthy forest and comfortable living space.

STORY - 2022
Story 2022
Up at our mountain a few days after New Years. This was our first full year working on the forest.

STORY - 2021
Story 2021
We purchased our 4.5 acre forested mountain on this small island and the adventures began.

STORY - 2020
Story 2020
This was both an exciting year and a difficult year for us. We were happy to welcome our third son into the world.

STORY - 2019
Story 2019
A nice new years and then we were hit with a pretty strong earthquake with the epicenter only about ten kilometers from the house.

STORY - 2018
Story 2018
A new years ride on a train and the mystery bowl of ramen.

STORY - 2017
Story 2017
Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Years. A bit of traditional Japanese food.

STORY - 2016
Story 2016
This was a really good year for us. We were happy to welcome our second son into the world.

STORY - 2015
Story 2015
This was actually our first full year on the island. This years was incredible with parties, festivals, and rocket launches.

STORY - 2014
Story 2014
A really fun year and the beginning of our island adventures. Much of this year was spent setting up and getting used to this place.

STORY - 2013
Story 2013
The year began with a visit to America. We returned to Japan and ate a lot of conveyor belt sushi.

STORY - 2012
Story 2012
A few small house parties and then traveled to America for a three month vacation.

STORY - 2011
Story 2011
Many fun house parties. A strong earthquake hit Japan. A lot of trips to our favorite coffee shop.

STORY - 2010
Story 2010
Purchased the house in Nara and begin renovations. A bunch of parties, festivals, and camping.

STORY - 2009
Story 2009
A year of change. Almost bought a house in New York State. Then permanently moved to Japan.
Note: The following year pages shown in GRAY do not have posted information yet.
Archive - Welcome to my story archive pages. These pages were inspired by my kids who consistently let me know how much they are interested in my past, and made possible thanks to a lot of raining days and time in the house. These pages are basically chunks of information that were too cumbersome to split up and put on my individual story pages. My kids wanted to know about places I lived, my education and work background, and of course, old and interesting stories. Although this information is mostly for them, all of you are welcome to read these pages as well.
An Interview with Country Music Star Cowboy Jack
This is an interview from waaaay back in the day with country star Cowboy Jack and my friend Alicia Wszelaki who handled the photography.