Staff members share insights into their personal and professional lives.
What makes you smile?
Well, there are three squirrels that have grown up between the woods next to my house and our deck. They play chase across the stair railings and that always makes me smile. Now they are nesting in the space between the deck and roof it sits on. I’ve never seen a squirrel with a mouth full of nest supplies before but now I have. That makes me smile more. We also have chipmunks that run around and I almost left them out of this but then I felt bad. And my guinea pig Chapo makes me smile when she wakes me up in the morning because she runs laps around her cage. It’s loud. Snoopy, Gato, Jack—smiles for you guineas too. You know what? All animals make me smile. And parks. And carnivals. And football (until it doesn’t).
What is your area of focus?
The interconnectedness between people and the natural world. However, I am constantly searching for a new way to frame that because I don’t like to think of them as separate entities. Are we not a part of the natural world? I focus on how to bring us back together through writing, environmentalism, and with whoever feels like spiraling into a multi-hour conversation with me about trees. I told someone the other day that I don’t care much for babies because we don’t understand each other; they can’t talk to me. Immediately before that, I was explaining my love for animals and plants—I guess we can talk. I focus on sharing their stories.
What do you do for fun?
Hostelling. That’s officially a word now, right? I love staying in hostels, and I love that I have Instagram posts in other languages on my feed. I love that I’ve sat on a couch for hours watching music from Slovenia and Iraq. I love that I’ve been introduced to pretty disgusting Australian drinking traditions. I love how full my heart gets every time a few days turn strangers into family, and I love being constantly reminded that there is limitless space in your heart to fill. New places are great, but it’s really the people that keep me moving—the way they challenge me to be more than I was before I met them. Pub crawls, hostel bars, and free dinners… those are fun too. Shoutout HostelOne—the best of the best; California Dreams & Drifter Jacks—I miss your couches.
Sam Cave is a sometimes writer but is more widely known for being a Rock, Paper, Scissors champion & freer of bugs that find their way indoors. She has one of those first/last name combos that can’t help but morph into one—so yes, her mom also calls her Sam Cave. She loves challenging norms & shifting perspectives, loves all that does the same—especially when it comes to writing—so she is never sure how to answer the question: what do you write? Whatever it is, there are usually weird nature facts and quite a lot of em dashes.