About Your Hosts at Ash Mountain Cabin

Stephen L. & Regina Gilchrist Ash

Steve & Regina at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in April 2007

Steve & I have been married for 28 years as of October 2, 2009. I have no doubts that he's the only man on the planet who could stand me for that long, and I KNOW that he's the only male of the species with whom I would choose to spend my life :) We have one daughter, Tory, one very large dog named Stoner (since our other large & wonderful puppy of 12+ years had to be euthanized in summer of 2007,) one orange kitty named Joplin, and one black kitty left here by Tory, named Sasquatch.

As his main job, Steve is a masonry foreman, primarily (hence the gorgeous stone work on our cabin and home,) but he can do and fix anything. He's almost always mellow, but is such a perfectionist about building that he would try the patience of Job.  He also has a penchant for gadgets of all kinds, but especially loves the techie toys.

I (Regina) am a local to the Swain County/western North Carolina area. My great-grandfather moved here from Scotland. (My great-grandparents lived through being forced from jobs in logging camps in what is now the the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and were moved away from land that is now under Fontana Lake when the Tennessee Valley Authority exercised its power. While I am very sorry that happened to the folks here back then, I am very happy that the Great Smokies are now preserved for generations to come. They are spectacular, and the reason the Smokies are our most visited national park.)
 
Steve is a native to Florida, having been born and raised in Broward County, Dania in his early years. He grew up a surfer, loved the beach.

Most of my adult life has been spent in and about public education. I am passionate about improving it and getting great teachers in every classroom. I don't like to compromise on this issue since our students deserve no less, and sometimes the traditions of the bureaucracy (and tenure!) get in the way. Some educators don't agree with me on this, but the good ones do. (That's just my opinion, of course :) I work for Swain County Schools and am VERY proud of what we're doing to improve education for the students in our county. My less serious side is that I love superhero comics, but my favorite character of all time, and I am STILL a huge fan of that "strange visitor from another planet," is Superman. I also have to drive a lot, enjoy a car with a bit of pickup :) but when gas prices went through the roof, found I could still have the best of both worlds with a Mini Cooper S! It's my favorite car of ALL time!!!

Steve & I also enjoy sci-fi: books, tv,

movies...you name it, and if it's science fiction, chances are, we like it!

You now know more than enough about us. We hope to meet you.

 

 

 

 More about Steve's cancer, if you're interested: On September 21, 2007, our world crumbled when we found out that Steve had a very unusual (was referred to as "rare" 30+ years ago, but is diagnosed more frequently, and more correctly now) type of cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP.) The journey that has led us on has been one that we would never have wished for, but during which we have received numerous blessings and have learned much. It has also helped us to spread the word about this kind of cancer, and to tell others that IF they find out they have any type of cancer, they MUST find a physician who specializes in THAT specific cancer - WHATEVER it is, there is a doctor who is an expert in that somewhere in the world. Go to that person. You will dramatically increase your odds of survival and your family's odds of finding peace. God gave us brains...we're supposed to use them! Steve had surgery on November 12, and received a residual score of "0" from Dr. Levine at Wake Forest. (That's the BEST score to have! They think they got it all.) To say that we are grateful and have received the most wonderful Christmas gift we could ever hope for is an understatement. If you're interested, see www.caringbridge.org/visit/ash (for more of the story than you'll want to know.) Dr. Levine and the folks at Wake are remarkable and are some of the world experts on cytoreductive surgery with intraperintoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy for peritoneal carcinomatosis (or peritoneal adenocarcinomatosis - not sure what the difference is.) This is also often misdiagnosed as ovarian cancer in females. This is too much information for this website and far too many long words, but maybe if someone else is searching the net for information on this cancer, they will come across this info and it will benefit them, so I apologize to the rest of you and ask your forgiveness, but it's worth it if it helps someone else. (Contact Dr. Levine through: this link. Find out more about PMP here.)
 
Note: Jan, 2010-watch Grey's Anatomy- intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy is the surgery Bailey performed on last week's ep, although it took about 15 seconds on the show, but Steve's was 9 1/2 hours - and his was considerded SHORT!!!...and the cancer abbreviated as PMP is what Audrey Hepburn died from, so it is getting more press.

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Steve will go for his 2 year checkup in December 2009 and he is still cancer-free. Read bottom, left, or link below for more info:

We've received the greatest gift we could have, but the cancer has a high rate of recurrence, and we have tests every 3-6 months, so the caringbridge site is updated after those test results are in.

 Ash Mountain Cabin

home/office/fax:

(828) 488-1575

Please phone before 9 PM

cell: (828) 736-2532

Email: rashtchr@verizon.net

 In memory of Diogy (pronounced D.O.G.), our wonderful family member and friend of 12 years...from April 1995-June 8, 2007:

We miss you, fella...

******* 

That's Tory guiding on the back of the raft.

 Super Cooper on the Blue Ridge Parkway :) 

 ...and snowfall and our feathered friends enjoying a snack.

We enjoy feeding and watching birds (we love the woodpeckers - we get 4 different types: red-bellied, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, the tiny downies, and off in the woods, the pileateds,) whether at home off our deck, or on vacation - such as our anniversary trip to Sanibel Island, where we were able to view these beautiful roseate spoonbills and friends...

 

We love going to visit more temperate climes, but we will always believe:

"If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough."

<-- ^Feeders at our house-dogwood in bloom in background.