New dreams, new look, new website and a “so long” …



photo © Bradley Striebig Photography

To be alive is to dream, to have hopes for the future. Spring leaning into summer is a typical time for those hopes to soar: hope for a better garden, nicer lawn, great vacation or holidays coming up, the dreams we have for our teens graduating from high school and young adults from a trade, college or grad school.

It is also natural and part of the human condition to long for a better life for yourself and your family. The Shenandoah Valley families featured in this edition of Living have followed the universal desire to find a better life or a safer and more secure future.

Viktor Sokolyuk came to the U.S. in 1990 from Ukraine. Rasheed Qambari came in 1991 from Iraq, and his wife Samira and children followed a year later—all as refugees with reasonable cause to fear for their safety in their home countries. Don’t miss their stories on p. 6, where Viktor and Rasheed’s paths crossed early on in Harrisonburg and continue to this day. You’ll learn how they strengthen our community and country by their commitment to work hard here making it a better place for all.

A somewhat different dream propels Randy Inman and his wife Lynette, including their children and spouses. They seek to have a secure and stable farm income from the classic dream of raising their children on a family farm, and along the way, improve our whole valley’s opportunity to consume milk and milk products that are healthier and come from a local source. We trust you’ll enjoy the feature about the families who created the Shenandoah Family Farm Cooperative on p. 10.

We hope you notice some other things about this issue of Living that represent the dreams we as a board, staff and advertisers have as we grow this 20+ year enterprise for the future. That dream continues to be publishing a local magazine—in print and online—dedicated to the interests of families and encouraging strong connections as a way to “light a candle” in our community, as founder Eugene Souder put it. Thanks to Estland Design, we have a new logo, along with a newly redesigned and developed website making our materials available online in more accessible ways.

In the future, we plan to include local individuals or families on each cover of the magazine which we hope you will enjoy as a way of drawing even stronger associations to our valley base. I am grateful to Lauree Purcell who, while writing the cover stories for our last two issues, has also graciously volunteered much additional time to helping with details behind the scenes.

We also said “so long” to Dorothy Hartman, office and production manager for 12 years with a farewell board reception and recognition. Dorothy kept us on track and held together many aspects of this operation, which isn’t easy with all part-time staff (and many volunteer hours from the Board and others).

Gratefully we have welcomed Lindsey Shantz as our new production and finance manager replacing Dorothy. Lindsey had extensive experience working in a similar capacity earlier as an advertising adviser for The Breeze at JMU. More recently she had taken a break as she and her husband Tim began raising their two children, Clay and Hope, now ages 7 and 5. She says she is “happy to be back in the world of print and advertising—I don’t think it ever really left me.” She is glad to have part time work so she can continue spending as much time as possible with her family.

We must also salute, and sincerely thank, the advertisers who support the mission of Living with their ad dollars. Finally, a hat tip to you loyal readers who are all part of what makes this small publication work. You help us as you support the advertisers with your patronage—and let them know.

What a community! Many of us come from diverse backgrounds but our lives intersect in amazing and interesting ways. Understanding those histories can help us live in a strong and connected community.

Melodie Davis, editor


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