On Home

Orcas Island On Home cancer battle home away from home

"The Hardy Heart" monthly blog - July 2017

In the fall of 2009 I spent a semester of college living in my friend Rachel Safran's parent's basement up on the east bench of Salt Lake City. Mainly I was living with her father Howard, because her mother Cindy worked for the airlines and was traveling a lot. Howard and I were good roomies/buddies, because we both had our man caves: he would chill up in his den with his big screen and surround sound and I would chill down in the basement with my guitars, piano and recording equipment. On a cold Saturday morning, cozy with my coffee in the basement, I finished writing a song I had been working on for a couple of months called "On Home". It chronicled my "throw-everything-I-own-into-my-car" move from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles in 2004 to pursue acting full time, then my move out of the city of angels in 2006 up the coast to Orcas Island with my brother Judd, where several months after getting settled Judd was rushed back to Salt Lake City to receive treatment for an aggressive form of Leukemia. I followed Judd in my car with everything that I owned, making the move from Orcas Island back home to Salt Lake City to be with my brother. After a couple of years of surviving chemotherapy he was finally told his cancer had gone into remission. The song describes this full circle effect of leaving home in search of purpose and ultimately purpose leading one back home. This Friday, my partner in crime Sharon ("Shazzy" to those of you in social media land) and I will pack up the car with black lights, glow body paint, our camping gear, my guitar and a lot of good vibes and hit the road for Washington. We are going to take off early in the morning and drive straight to Spokane to visit Rachel and her amazing partner Dinesh, and run our glow yoga experience "Shaman Dreams" at the yoga, dance and aerial Coil Studio on Saturday August 5th at 7:00pm. Rachel has lived in Spokane for a number of years and I have only visited once, so this trip is definitely over due. We were able to see Rachel and Dinesh this winter in Salt Lake when we all gathered to say goodbye to her father Howard as he passed on from a battle with cancer. Rachel, Howard, Cindy and her sister Sarah have always been a home away from home for me (at times literally) and I cannot wait to see my friend, sit down with a glass of wine and be at home. From Spokane we need to catch a ferry that departs Anacortes for Orcas Island on Monday August 7th at 3:45pm. Rachel once caught this same ferry out to visit me on Orcas Island with our friend Ian Lonsdale in 2006 right before I moved home to be with my brother Judd. I wish her and Dinesh were coming out to Orcas, but as we say good bye to good friends we have more good friends to meet back up with on the island. When Judd and I arrived on Orcas in 2006 we had a place to stay with some family friends, but needed to find a way to make money. Our hosts told us about a hippie resort down the road called "Doe Bay" where everyone smelled like patchouli - sounded like the place for me! When we showed up at Doe Bay to meet with the management we were offered positions as house keepers. I took the job, but Judd turned it down for a personal assistant position he had landed with another woman on the island. One of the first people I met on the job was a kid named Mike Woodside aka "Kads Baker". Mike had a huge, bright green mohawk and brightly colored, punk rock clothing. Little did my shaggy haired, chaco wearing, twenty-one year old self know that I had just met one of my best friends. The fact that both of us could quote the film "Joe Versus the Volcano" from beginning to end was just the tip of the iceberg. Mikey and I were attached at the hip for the rest of my time on Orcas and then when I loaded up my car to head back home, gave ea