Paul

paul01Alicia is married to her soulmate, Paul, an all-around good man, who gives the world's best hugs. His special talent is hilarious distortions of the English language (as in 'Alicia sure can wordify purty'). He doesn't take himself too seriously, but he's a hard and dedicated worker. Inexplicably (at least to me), Paul likes to get up early, a good thing since he drives a hundred miles or so to work each morning. He's a heavy-equipment operator for a Northern Virginia road builder, fulfilling his boyhood dream of playing with Tonka toys. Paul and Alicia met while working in Yellowstone National Park. They were married in the company of family and friends on a spot overlooking Yellowstone Lake.

Their jobs in Yellowstone entailed supervising a bunch of kids who worked as housekeepers for guest quarters. After hours, Paul and Alicia would walk to the employee cafeteria for dinner, often seeing their subordinates along the way. Paul's favorite prank on the kids was to call to them, "Hey! Come over here!" When they dutifully arrived, Paul's face grew somber and he asked, "How far would you have gotten if you hadn't come back here?" Oh, you funny, funny man.

Paul and Alicia laughed constantly, making up hysterical scenarios launched from plots in movies, quoting lines from Monty Python movies ("Good one, Centurion"), and making monkey noises. If you want good party entertainment, they're your people.

9/19/09 - Paul and Alicia's house sits on a high bank overlooking Lodge Creek, a backwater on the Virginia shore of the Potomac River. The route by which they got there is an interesting one and speaks to a magical ability Alicia has to attract exactly what she needs.

In Yellowstone, the most elite and trusted summer employees are invited back for winter work. Paul and Alicia were hired for the Old Faithful Snow Lodge during the winter of 1991. It's a remarkable experience for everybody who goes there, whether to vacation or work. Travel into the park is strictly by snow coach, so you experience the snow-laden silence of a Yellowstone winter, when the noise and odors of the thousands of cars that ply the park in summer are absent. The snow gets so deep that you can sink in over your head if you step off the packed trails. You can ski cross-country and watch bison as they probe for a meal, while the vapor from their breath hangs in the still air or wafts through the steam of fumeroles that vent from deep under the drifts.