A baby. A book. A home of one’s own. Meaningful journeys and a few simple pleasures.
A select group of North Coast residents shared these goals and aspirations, all of which came to fruition in 2014 and will continue to impact their lives in 2015.
CALLIE AND SEAN HAYNES, Cloverdale
Having a child has always been on the radar of Callie and Sean Haynes, but after 15 years together — a little over five as man and wife — they weren’t optimistic about their chances.
Then along came Nicholas in Febru ary.
Callie Haynes was born with cerebral palsy, weighing less than 3 pounds, and at 35, she gets around with the help of a wheelchair. But that didn’t interfere with her desire to have a child or her ability to carry one.
When the couple found out she was pregnant, she said, they were “over the moon” with excitement.
Doctors had some concerns about her blood pressure, but her pregnancy was problem-free.
“We never stopped hoping,” Haynes said. “Now we look forward to giving Nicholas a little brother or sister.”
Mary Jo Winter
CHRISTOPHER WELSH, Cloverdale
Christopher Welsh is a disabled U.S. Navy veteran who has lived in Cloverdale for the past 33 years. Most of that time, he was homeless.
“I tried apartment living, but it never worked out,” said Welsh, 74.
For the past 11 years, he has been living in a big silver van packed with personal items, stashing the rest of his belongings in nine separate storage units.
Working with Cloverdale’s Wine Country Real Estate Network, he was able to purchase his first home shortly before Thanksgiving, although it wasn’t smooth sailing.
The bank needed his DD 214 discharge papers to seal the deal, but he wasn’t able to locate the box in which he had put them for safekeeping.
Fortunately, the Veterans Administration stepped in, promising to provide a new copy just in time and enabling Welsh to settle into his new digs.
“I have a place of my own to call home,” he said simply. “What more could a fellow ask?”
Mary Jo Winter
WALTER MURRAY, Healdsburg
Walter Murray, who turned 102 on Christmas Eve, has lived in the same Healdsburg home for all but two of those years. His bucket list is as steadfast as his address: travel, “look at the ladies” and eat good food, while continuing to add to the list.
Murray has traveled to Hawaii and cruised to South America and hopes to cruise the Florida Keys this year while visiting his cousin Ethel Murray.
Last year’s travel plans were curtailed by hip replacement surgery, but Murray said he had plenty of ladies to ogle at Healdsburg’s Tuesday Night Concert Series.
“Walter’s still engaged with life,” friend Gina Riner said. “He doesn’t sit around watching television.”
And when it comes time for a meal, Murray surrounds himself with family and friends as part of a “Monday Night Supper Club.” Good food abounds, particularly when friends Brenda Bacchi and Mary Pat Rowan or cousin Joan Murray cook.
“I like going out, but homemade food is the best,” Murray said with a smile.