Allen Dec grew up in northern New Jersey. He worked in the hobby craft field as a design artist and did technical graphic layout. He spent 20 years as a friar in the Capuchin Franciscan Order, working as liturgical musician, tailor, GNA and priest. After leaving the Roman church and moving into the Shenandoah Valley in 1995, he ministered to a small home-church group until recently. Allen retired from the Northern Virginia Daily in 2010 after 13 yrs in their Graphics Dept. He enjoys writing poetry and prose, has a blog "Spiritually Speaking," and has published a book of poetry, "My Poems - Seasons." He has been involved with art since his teenage years, and has returned to work in acrylics and mixed media. He is an ESOL teacher at Lord Fairfax Comm. College. As a Certified Music Practitioner, Allen is currently involved with Integrative Care Services. He also does MusiCaregiving (therapeutic harp music) and Sitting Tai Chi for Seniors at several assisted living facilities in the area. He lives with his feline family - Mazie and Absalom - in Middletown, Va.