We’re lucky to be able to announce a new addition to our stable of “Active Seniors” writers, Pat Lyon-Surrey. A fellow adventurer with Barbara Thomke, Pat is one of those people who will, at the drop of a hat, grab a backpack/kayak/canoe/pair of skis/whatever she can get hold of and head out for some sort of fun.
Pat’s background is as wildly varied as her current pursuits are. Growing up in a Slovak community in Binghamton, NY with nine brothers and sisters, she ended up following her husband’s career to Vermont in 1969. While working as a community librarian there and raising her sons, her world, like Barbara’s, was rocked by the unexpected death of her husband. Recognizing the need to change her work world, she headed to college, ultimately getting both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Vermont. As a mental health counselor, she’s an expert on the value of getting outdoors to reduce stress and keep your mental and emotional balance.
Upon becoming an empty nester in 1989, when her youngest son graduated from high school at the same time she was graduating with her MS, she proved her taste for adventure by selling her house (one sure-fire way to avoid “boomerang children”!), putting all her belongings in storage, and starting a solo trip across the United States. Prominent in that trip was hiking in national parks…more proof of her natural inclination to spend as much time outdoors as possible! After finishing that trip, her wanderlust wasn’t entirely satisfied…so, off to New Zealand she went, carrying only what would fit in her backpack. Four months later, her trip was over, but she had a significant problem; souvenirs. With a full backpack, it’s hard to find room to carry them back, especially when one is the man you met who turns out to be your future partner. But, Pat’s a resourceful sort, and managed to find a way around the problem…and Roger remains her partner to this day.
Now, if it seems that Pat pretty much is a gypsy, that’s not quite true. As a psychotherapist with a 20 plus year career, all in Vermont, she proved that she can settle down…some. Admittedly, during that career she also took on stints working in bookstores, and did a pile of freelance writing for a range of newspapers, magazines, and journals, but she did manage to stay mostly put. Unfortunately for her, EasternSlopes.com entered her orbit, and is now providing her with more excuses to get out and try crazy things.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Pat finds to entertain us all, and hope you’ll enjoy her adventures along with us. And, of course, we hope that reading about her exploits will inspire you to get out there and try some yourself; after all, that’s what being an Active Senior is all about!