- Southwest Deserts
- Yosemite & Sierras
- Pacific Northwest
- Pacific Northwest
- Final Family XC Trip
- Northern California
- Colorado Rockies
- 1 Week in Quebec
- Southeast Coast
- Graduates' XC Trip
- NH Backpacking
- Martha's Vineyard
- Yosemite & Nevada
- Southern Alaska
- Colorado & Utah
- Canadian Maritimes
- Best of Utah
- Southern Loop
- Pacific Northwest
- Midwest & Rockies
- Los Angeles to NYC
- East Coast Trips
- RV Rentals
About Lolo and Herb
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 by Herb
Greetings from Herb. Lolo, (nickname for my wife Lorry), is busy trying to document the last years trip, so I thought I would see what I could do to provide some context to this web site, and maybe answer some questions as to how these adventures came to pass.
The Early Years
Lorry and I have known each other since third grade when I moved to her hometown of Ridgefield, NJ. I liked her even then, since she was the smartest girl in my grade. An abbreviated chronology follows:
- Graduated high school together in 1974 - Lorry was class Valedictorian
- Graduated College in 1978 - I was an Electrical Engineer, while Lorry got a BA
- Graduate MBA's in the early 80's - I took Finance while Lorry took Computer Science
- We worked at corporate positions in NY and Northern NJ.
- We got married on Martha's Vineyard in 1985 - (The day after hurricane Gloria)
- Lorry gave birth to 2 great boys born in 1989 and 1991 - (I helped start the process)
"Plan" was to retire at 55
Lorry and I have always liked being active in the outdoors, and would take our vacations backpacking in Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. (See sidebar photo circa 1987) Our tastes were more towards experiencing the natural beauty of the world, and less of accumulating material possessions.
As a result of our ability to live relatively simply, along with regular investments in Vanguard Indexed mutual funds I calculated that it would be feasible to retire "early" somewhere around 55 when the kids were through college. We were tracking to this plan when we got sent a curve.
Breast Cancer revises the "Plan"
In December of 1993, at the age of 37, with 4 and 2 year old boys, we learned that Lorry had fairly advanced breast cancer. This was definitely not part of the original plan. Lorry was physically active, in great shape, and had no family history of disease. We went from a planning horizon of 20 years, to one of possibly 6 months.
Lorry endured the treatment with her usual grace and good humor, despite the potentially disastrous consequences. Our timeframe for planning any activity became one of weeks - yet we managed to have some good times throughout the ordeal as I can verify by the video footage of our vacations that I invariably shot.
After 9 months of high-dose chemotherapy, her hair slowly began to grow back, and we could momentarily forget about her condition until it was time for the next medical examination.
A cancer diagnosis either personally, or with one you love, can be one of life's most challenging, and potentially rewarding experiences - (if it doesn't kill you first). We were forced to consider what really was important to us and to truly live each day as if it might be the last.
As a result, after 5 years from Lorry's diagnosis, we both left our professional corporate careers - bought a Lazy Daze motorhome - and set off to show our children the beauty of the nation's National Parks. We feel we have taken a "trip of a lifetime" every summer - and have done it with our offspring at an age where they can truly begin to appreciate it.
During the off season we have traded the security of a corporate paycheck for the flexibility and lifestyle of management consultants.
Looking back, I don't think we would have changed a thing - and we have no regrets. Somewhat perversely, I think we are grateful for the "wake-up call" that changed our lives forever and for the better.
We would like to continue our travels around the world. I'd like to coax Lorry onto a sailboat and travel by water as well and continue to pursue photography and website development on a more serious level. Lorry would like to continue to nurture her young till they hit male menopause.