Extract Junk, Inject Living


Our Quest

In the closing scene of The Muppet Movie, released way back in 1979, Kermit The Frog sings a song that contains a couple of sentences that are a model for living rivaling the teachings of the world’s great philosophers…. “Life’s like a mystery, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending, you’ve done just what you set out to do.” It is a line I’ve committed to memory and quoted many times in my life as I’ve attempted to make sense of where I’ve ended up or felt it necessary to explain the reasoning behind a change in direction. At no other point have the words been any more applicable to my (and Margaret’s) circumstances than now.

I am, as of this writing, 61 years old, and Margaret is a couple of years younger. While the actuarial tables suggest we could live into our early 90’s (as our financial planners remind us at every review), our family histories and medical realities suggest that our window of opportunity for high-quality living is, at best, half that duration. Therefore, we have embarked on a quest of sorts to capture as many memories as we can before our own movie ends.

Some might employ the term “bucket list” to describe such a quest, but in my thinking, one must know what they hope to experience or accomplish in order to list them in the first place. Margaret and I, on the other hand, don’t really even pretend to know what it is we’d like to do, or where we’d like to do it. We essentially know, only, that we want to keep exploring the infinite possibilities of what life offers until we’ve uncovered and experienced the unknown treasures we will end up cherishing.  

Sort of like embarking on an Easter egg hunt, without knowing what an egg is, or where one might possibly be found!

Our methodology will begin with a sincere attempt to simplify our lifestyle—mentally, physically, and financially—to create the headroom necessary for free exploration and comfortable experimentation. Then, over the coming months and years, we will concentrate on:

  • Eating local…eschewing chains and lackluster eateries in a quest for new tastes, the best flavors, the finest preparations, and the most enjoyable dining experiences,

  • Drinking local…avoiding national brands and boring, homogenized compromises in a quest for distinctive winery, distillery, and brewery creations by people who are passionate about their craft,

  • Shopping local…whenever possible, wearing, utilizing, and consuming the output of local artisans, manufacturers, and farmers,

  • Exploring alternate lifestyles…learning how and where other people live their lives, and how those choices enrich their existence, 

  • Embracing unfamiliar cultures…enjoying the art, music, and traditions of others to better frame and understand our own, personal interests and goals. 

We don’t know where this will take us, or what it will ultimately mean for us. Hardly a solid pitch for encouraging readers to follow us, but maybe this is simply the most pure form of quest one can launch, and the ultimate mystery? 

We sincerely hope you’ll join us as we attempt to discover what the future holds for us.

—Alan & Margaret