Cass Comes Home

Cass serving lunchSince retiring and leaving the beautiful Ranch in March, 2019, a lot of things have changed. We moved to the quasi-country in Penngrove and bought a property with two homes on it: a smaller one-bedroom home and a larger four-bedroom house where our oldest daughter and her family of five live. We have enough property to share it with goats and chickens and have an enviable vegetable garden to help sustain us. My life and days are much different now than when I Iived and worked at the Ranch. My daily to do list is shorter, I don’t have meetings or guests to attend to, I have more time to read and reflect and I am available for my grandkids. Yes, everything is different. Yet, when I come back to the Ranch to be with friends and family, many things feel the same or better. I appreciate the Ranch more than ever: the diversity, the people, the environment, the food and the history. I feel connected and part of the history that has helped to transform it. As I write this article, I am sitting in Harrison House during the early morning being enveloped with its beauty and transformative nature.

When I lived here, I came to realize and appreciate what a special place it is where guests can find company and solitude, rest and opportunities for exercise, quiet times and quality discussions. Now, I have the same opportunity as a guest to come and utilize this sacred space. Coming back I feel a real sense of familiarity and homeyness that my almost ten years of living here had provided. So, as the name of the Ranch newsletter is Coming Home, how appropriate for me to come home every time I visit it.

As anyone who has been here is aware, the Ranch is also an institution with a rich history that needs to be available for many years to come for all to enjoy and appreciate. This year, due to COVID-19, there have had to be significant changes in the uses of the Ranch. A virtual summer camp had to replace the “real” camp experience this year. The business of the Ranch has slowed way down, yet there is much to do to maintain its beauty and workings.

We as guests, retreatants, and long time supporters are needed to assist the Ranch to regain its footing. We must be willing to help however we can to ensure that this beautiful place of rest, retreat and renewal is available for future generations so that everyone has the opportunity to come home to the Ranch.