Regaining My Online Voice


First and foremost, thanks to all of your who have asked about my lack of social media presence over the last couple of months.  How does an online loudmouth with 2,000+ tweets and nearly daily blog posts stumble on to radio silence?

It’s simple, but with a happy ending:  sheer exhaustion.

For those of you who know me, especially my Georgetown peeps, you know that I always have to be juggling several things at once;  I lack the ability to sit still, and often, sleep.   There’s a good reason for this one, though.

For the better part of the last 15 years in Washington, I have been dreaming of a place of serenity, kind of a Walden Pond contrasting with the Concrete Jungle of Washington, DC.  Don’t get me wrong;  I have been fortunate enough to have jobs of increasing responsibility in the DC area, but the game of “mine is bigger than yours” is fatiguing.

So last Father’s Day, my family and I were renting a mountain oasis in the hamlet of Great Cacapon, West Virginia (outside of Berkeley Springs) and to make a very long story short, the Hand of Divine Providence led me to purchasing a cabin home on three acres of very quiet land.


I have been blessed not only with the opportunity to purchase a second, wonderful, completely wooded big ol’ batch of serenity, but am also acutely aware that I am purchasing a SECOND home at a time in which many Americans are losing their primary homes.  So I have kind of kept this one quiet.

How does this tie into my online disappeance?  I don’t want to say too much because of my primary employer, but let’s just say that I have picked up a little side, consulting work that resulted in 80-hour work weeks.  So when I am at the computer, I am working – not blogging or writing.  And in the process, I sort of lost my online voice.

I am breaking my sort of online silence this morning because I am happy to report that the Story family became very proud owners of this brand-new house yesterday morning.  I am sitting at the dining room table (windows open) watching a full buck deer wander through my property and thinking just how damn lucky I am.  I have a ton of furniture to assemble (DAMN YOU, IKEA!), but am as happy as a clam.

So thank you all who have inquired about my well-being.  I am fine, thank you.  Just a little tired, but let’s just say that that fatigue paid for the peace of mind and wonder that I am experiencing, waking up in a slice of paradise that I have dreamed of for so many years.

I’ll be back online soon.  And my usual snarky self.


P.S. – the view above is outside of my bedroom window.



  1. Mark — I’m so happy for you. It’s not so much the house as the wisdom to know that there’s more there than meets the job requirements (work to live, not live to work and other Zen wisdoms). Now, if you can get a great log cabin in the middle of nowhere — bonus.

    I also appreciate your sensitivity to those who are struggling to make a payment on their primary digs.

    Sorry for the long-winded “congrats”…I’m just so happy for the Story’s story.

  2. Mark – Glad to hear you are well and enjoying the hills of West Virginia. The cabin sounds fantastic and very relaxing. Best wishes!

  3. Lindsey Says: July 24, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Mark – This is fantastic news! You surely deserve a place to unwind and relax (when you have time, haha). My family bought a second home in the middle of nowhere in Beaufort, SC. It is on a dirt road, no cell phone reception, Internet, etc. It makes a difference and is a great place to, well, do nothing!! Congrats congrats congrats:)

  4. Raquel Fuentes Says: July 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Great view! You are a lucky man. Enjoy it.

  5. Sunaina Says: July 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Congrats again! Enjoy the new place. Good to see you back on my RSS Feed. 😉

  6. congrats on the new digs. Trees are nice, huh?

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