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Happy Holidays and Highlights of 2018

December 25, 2018

Season’s Greetings from the beach in Ventura California!

Merry Grinchmas from Universal Studios!

Or as Santa Weir would say,
Grateful Deadmas!

I hope you’re having a fantastic day! We went for a walk on the beach on Christmas eve then enjoyed tamales with mole sauce from Maria Bonita, a restaurant in downtown Ventura that specializes in mole sauce. YUM!

And of course we all got new pajamas — and mine are covered in images of sweets — and I’m still wearing them even thought it is afternoon!

I will be changing soon — we’re going to the Ventura Botanical Garden and then to the beach where it’s a super low tide… and maybe we’ll find some beach glass.

Below you’ll find our 2018 Christmas letter with some highlights and photos from our adventures in 2018.

May 2019 be epic! 

Gwendolyn here with just a quick note about the past 14 months… which began and ended with the Thomas Fire.

While we did not have to evacuate and the fires didn’t take the house my grandfather built on the hill, these events hit our communities hard.

As a poet and ecopsychologist, I received a grant to write about and perform at Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theater “What Does Thomas Teach Us” — a piece co-created with Rasika Mathur with Rosel Weedn on wash tub bass.

And speaking of my grandfather’s house, my siblings sold it in 2017. To deal with the grief of this loss, and to escape Trump and his destruction of what I care for, I made a “to do” list of pilgrimages, roughly in this order, that I’d like to accomplish while I can:

  • walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain,
  • hike the Inca Trail in Peru (I’ve already done part of it!),
  • climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania,
  • circumnavigate Mount Kailash in Asia,
  • visit the Galapagos and Antarctica.

(You may note that these are rather ambitious goals; keep in mind I’ve already backpacked the 2700 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada). My mom didn’t get to travel as much as she would have liked to and my grandpa loved to travel and in his retirement went to China and Europe so this seems like a good use of the money.

So in mid-July, Reed and I loaded our backpacks and headed for Europe! We spent a day in Dublin several in the London area with Stonehenge

(Isn’t that shaft of light incredible?)

and Harry Potter World were highlights…

We then visited Wales and the Liverpool region with our gracious host Nancy Callero Boyle, my buddy form my days at UC Santa Cruz; we were even neighbors in the trailer park there.

We fell in love with Wales and decided to backpack 96 miles of the Wales Coastal Path around Anglesey Island instead walking for two weeks on the Camino de Santiago — we’ll save that for another year!

We started at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch where my great grandfather Bowen Matthews was from and we walked past the churchyard where his sister, my namesake, is buried.

It really felt like my homeland: so many words like my name, and I understood how and why Bowen came to Ventura County.

After Wales, we went to Champagne staying with Caroline Henry…

then ran around Paris for a few days,

with Tony Fletcher and his son visiting the sites, and then just with my son we saw a LOT including a lovely afternoon and lunch at the Renoir Museum. After a month away traveling by backpack, we headed back to California.

And what’s next? Looks like Mount Kilimanjaro with our friend Tony Fletcher!

Live music (including BRUCE — as in Springsteen– and the amazing David Byrne plus festivals like Live Oak) and hitting the slopes continue to be passions for us; we’ve had season passes for Mammoth in the Sierras for a few years, and the new Ikon Pass lets us on mountains all over the world.

A favorite mode of travel continues to be by VW van but our engine went up in smoke in September. We’re replacing it so we can enjoy trips to music festivals, Refugio State Beach for kayaking, to the mountains for fishing, and maybe we’ll drive to visit YOU!

May 2019 be full of adventures for you!
With love from the Sheridans–

Marshall, Gwendolyn, Reed, Cisco Dog, Ginger Kitty

PS Keep up with us by subscribing here to &/or to!


PS Let me know about your 2018 highlights and what you’re looking forward to in 2019!

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