the • 4th • decade

I had such good intentions of running through my 4 decades of life here, on this May 8, 2024. But we will never get past that time I swallowed that marble, or swam across the Charles River, or ended up Kashmir, or or or… So, as promised to some, and in response to the many holiday cards I am so grateful to have received, is my mini ‘state of the individual’. 

Today, I have unequivocally set foot into the 4th decade. Over the last ten years I managed to get myself through graduate school with a PhD in Food Anthropology, a trying better part of a decade which brought me to Bloomington, France, Chicago, and New York City. In my travels, studies, and work I explored the intersections of media and Food Culture and produced a whopping ~400 page dissertation, Slow Food and Fast Fast Flows: Chefs, Cuisine, and ConvergenceThroughout the experience I continued to uncover a couple truths about myself:

1. I the outdoors

2. I’m OK at tech (thank you media anthropology)

3. I will never know how to use a hair dryer

And so, after moving back to Colorado I taught while contemplating the spiraling death of academia (and Anthropology), until I ultimately interviewed and scored a job with a growing ski tech company. What does this mean? It means you should probably visit and enoy a few free days on the slopes! I also managed to buy a house in Denver, where I spend many hours learning all the “charms” of homeownership in the form of xeriscaping, weed-tree mitigation, fence-building, and hopefully, this year, bathroom installation.


Among the various labors I do fun things like travel to Georgia (the country), Italy, Costa Rica, Portugal, Spain, Belize, and even host a birthday extravaganza in Oaxaca. Meanwhile, I continue exploring more ways to be in or near wilderness including rafting and backpacking the grand canyon, snowshoeing hut trips in the rockies, cycling in Estes Park, Salida, and Moab, and sleeping under the stars anywhere I can find them. Another thing that gets me out of the house was the surprise addition to my single life:

Just like any child, you never know what you’re going to get. And this ornery little lady has a mind of her own. Luckily she loves to ride on bike and motorcycle (another little thing I took up) and will even put up with long hikes and tent sleeping, as long as she has THE softest spot to lie down. She is the light of my life, even if Grandma and Grandpa get to indulge her granddog whims for the winter months. 

In sum, I am Dr. Leigh Pickle Mama Chavez-Bush. I still love to cook and eat and travel and play and try to make the world a better place. I have an amazing group of friends across the world that make my life sparkle like it’s mica mineral-coated (nature’s glitter after all), and I really couldn’t ask for more…except perhaps a chainsaw (yardwork and all). Thank you for being a part of my time in this universe, it makes the Happiest of Birthdays to me.

please feel free to drop my a line, pay me a visit, or request your own of either!