Smiles for the summer of 2026

Make the summer of 2018 one of the most memorable of your life.  

Get started by reading the following post, which I wrote and shared eight years ago.  I’ve made a habit of rereading it every year to keep me on track and smiling inside and out. I thought you might enjoy it, as well.

sunset-681749__180Writing and reading it helped me conquer a number of personal fears; experience adventures near and far and to enjoy colorful sunsets, majestic sunrises and quiet afternoons watching leaves dance in the wind. But, best of all, it reminds me to relive and to savor the most touching and heartfelt moments of my life.

I hope it inspires you to explore your dreams and become aware of all the things that make your heart sing. After you give it a read, let me know your thoughts and any plans you have for this summer. (Sharing them in a public way increases the odds that you will actually do them!) My goal is to give you something special to smile about in 2026 when you realize the summer of 2018 was filled with inspiration and joy.  

“Thinking ahead . . .” published on Wishful Thinking Works, May 28, 2010

I never read the obituaries, well practically never, but I have a sister who does, and one morning after I had a wonderful visit with her, I flipped though The Fort Myers News Press and discovered the life of Vera Jane Clapper-Richter.

I don’t know Jane, nor do I know anyone who does, but I liked her immediately.  She is the kind of person I would want as a friend, and the kind Katherine Hepburn would play in a movie.

Jane died at 85 after a struggle with Alzheimer’s, but what struck me is not her death, but how she lived, which I quote, except for the links I added:

She was born July 6, 1924 to Maurice and Elizabeth Stover Teasdale in Brownsville, PA. Jane will be remembered for her feistiness tempered by cheery good humor. She was always up for adventure.

In 1960s, Jane, her mother and her daughter could be found at 2 a.m. hanging off the “wooden bridge” angling for snook with cane poles. Few snook were caught, but much beer was drunk.

Janie married “the boy next door,” Bob Clapper, in 1941 in Arlington, VA. They made it through the war years and, like everyone else, started a family. By 1951, they were ready for sunshine and fishing. After a brief stay in the Koreshan trailer park in Esterothey settled in Fort Myers.

Bob worked as a surveyor and civil engineer for Carl Johnson in Fort Myers and Cap Prewitt in Clewiston and Jane dived into community activities. She taught local Red Cross first aid classes, was Lee County Chairman of the Gray Ladies and worked with Veronica Shoemaker in the first Head Start program in Dunbar. Her pride and joy was her Girl Scout Troop 29, which she led from Brownies in 1954 until the girls graduated from Fort Myers Senior High School in 1965. She taught them outdoors skills and wilderness survival. Protective of her girls, she once used a flashlight to fight off a wild hog that tried to take over their Fisheating Creek campsite. The hog fled squealing back into the woods.

After Bob’s death, she pursued her dream of investing in real estate, buying and managing several rental properties, then married Clarence Richter, a retired federal air traffic controller, in 1983. She and “Ric” were active in the local chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and Save Estero. Ric died in 2005.

She was a friend of Bill W. for more than 30 years and will be remembered by the old timers at YANA. She’ll also be remembered by her pals on Memory Lane at Park Club assisted living, her home for the last few months, for her sweet helpfulness, lovely singing voice and fashion flair. On her, even at 85, a paper sack looked like Prada . . . Jane was predeceased by her two sisters.  She is survived by her daughter, grandson and granddaughter, both of whom helped care for her in her later years.

I hope this is not too morbid for you, but I think Jane’s obituary reflects a well-lived life, and whoever wrote it obviously loved and admired her.  Reading it got me thinking – ahead.

I decided that I am going to live my life for my obituary.  I wish I had thought of starting at the end and working backwards sooner, I would have been nicer, more courageous and much more interesting, and would not now be faced with having to cram so much stuff into so little time.  :-)

The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep.  I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.

This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend.  I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.

I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often.  (Yes, I know, it will be hot and sticky, and maybe I will sweat and the bugs may bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)

I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 10.

I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.

I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes.  I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.

I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.

If you are in the mood to join me, please do.  Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.

This weekend find your sleeping bag, your bike, your racquet or your glove, your paint brushes and easel, the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write.

Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.

Do what you think Jane might do.  Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.

The rest is all up to you, go for it.

Are you ready to create the life your really want? Start today! 

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Words with more meaning

Susan Perry’s recent positive psychology article inspired me to write this post. Her article was sparked by Tim Lomas’s research. Lomas is a psychologist at the University of East London.

Different cultures have many words that are not directly translatable to words in the dictionary-1149723_960_720English language. Some of the words are used to express very positive, specific feelings or conditions. A common belief in the study of languages is that if we value something we label it, so simply having these positive words as part of a language may speak volumes about that culture, what it values and how it perceives the concept of well-being. Lomas’ research is exploring these ideas and more.

Reading through the list of positive words Lomas collected made me stop and think about what words I would like folks to use when describing me. Those thoughts led me to think about how I want to be remembered by others, which made me realize I need to pay even more attention now to how I communicate with and treat others.

I also was struck by the beauty and depth of feeling these positive, descriptive words evoke.  Here are some of those words that I thought were wonderfully special and would love to be part of my life and how others describe me . . .

Ubuntu (Nguni Bantu): the culturally valued notion of being kind to others on account of one’s common humanity

Orenda (Wyandot Iroquoian): the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces, such as fate

Kào pu (Chinese): someone who is reliable, responsible and able to get things done without causing problems for others

Suaimhneas croi (Gaelic): a state of happiness encountered specifically after a task has been finished

Fargin (Yiddish): to glow with pride and happiness at the success of others (often family members)

Nakama (Japanese): friends whom one effectively considers family

Kombinowac (Polish): working out an unusual solution to a complicated problem, and acquiring coveted skills or qualities in the process

Hoadult-18792__180w do you want to be described? How do you want to be remembered? What one thing could you do today to move closer to the you, you want to be?

Click here, if you would like to read the article that inspired this post. Click here, if you would like to read more about Lomas’ “positive lexicography project” .

Click “Like,” if you are happy!

 

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Memorial Day thoughts

MH900399612I planned to write a brand new post for today, but then I started reading my earlier posts around Memorial Day and decided to offer a blend from the past. One of my favorite posts, is from May 28, 2010. It was about the life of a woman I never met, Vera Jane Clapper-Richter, but whose obituary inspired me. 

In 2011, my post began . . . “A lot has happened since I wrote about Vera Jane. Most important and touching of all, was being asked to and then writing my Dad’s obituary in 2011. Who knew that was ahead?”

And continued with the following, all of which still applies . . .

“But that’s the thing about life, we truly never know what’s ahead for us. There are so many experiences out there for us. I think the words I wrote just over a year ago ring even truer 367 days later. Here’s an excerpt from that post.

‘The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep. I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.

This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend. I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.

I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often. (Yes, I know, I live in Florida, it will be hot and sticky, and I will sweat and the bugs will bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)

I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 7.Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking Summer Fun 1

I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.

I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes. I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.

I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.

If you are in the mood to join me, please do. Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.

This weekend, find your sleeping bag, or your bike, or your racquet or your glove, or your paint brushes and easel, or the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write.

Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of Sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.

Do what you think Jane might do. Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.'”

And, in honor of the true meaning of Memorial Day, in 2012 I posted . . .

mp900178942“Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began after the Civil War to commemorate the Union soldiers, who had died. After World War I, Memorial Day evolved into a special way to honor all the men and women, who died while serving in the armed forces and to show support for the sacrifices of their families.

Today, my thoughts are with all who are currently serving, have family or friends who are serving, or who have served in the past.

My sincerest condolences to those of you, who have lost a loved one while he or she was serving our country. Your contributions and losses are in our hearts and minds this Memorial Day.”

Which brings me to Memorial Day 2013; my thoughts are still with the courage and commitment of all who have served or are serving in the armed forces. Special thoughts for each of them and their families.

Since the summer of 2010, I’ve spent time doing many of the things I mentioned above, but having fun, and finding flow and fulfillment is an ongoing process, so I will renew my efforts this summer to find new ways and to revive old ones that blend the carefree moments of childhood with the rich and satisfying experience of flourishing Permanently in adulthood. 

To welcome the summer of 2013, I’m visiting friends this weekend in the Fort Myers, Florida area and I’m heading out the door – right now – to visit one of my favorite nearby places – photo to follow! I hope your summer is off to a great start, too.

Elephants never forget . . .

I’ve been thinking how lucky I am to have such warm and wonderful friends here in Macedonia and in the States, and since my Peace Corps Response project is at the Bitola Zoo, it seemed like a good time to share with you this video that my best friend from junior and senior high school, Sally, recently posted on Facebook.

Tarra, the best friend a dog could have.

Tarra, the best friend a dog could have.

The video features the unusual and enduring friendship of an 8,700 pound Asian elephant, Tarra, and a tiny stray dog, Bella, who live at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Besides playing and enjoying their daily walks through the 2,700 acre sanctuary, Tarra showed her deep devotion to Bella by keeping vigil for three weeks when Bella had a spinal cord injury in 2010 and had to stay inside the clinic on the sanctuary grounds. The elephants at the sanctuary usually befriend another elephant and shy away from the dogs, but Tarra was different. She was not concerned about her little friend’s size or the sound of his bark, only the connection they somehow felt. Unfortunately Bella, passed away in 2011, but before she died, she and Tarra had spent almost everyday together for 8 years! It’s a heartwarming tale, and a touching reminder that elephants never forget  – a friend, and we shouldn’t either.

The holidays are a great time to call old friends and let them know just how much they mean to us. Many of us call or write at this time of year to say “Hi” and share what’s been happening, but why not take a moment or two to let the folks you care about know how much their friendship has meant to you. It’s a super, sweet, holiday treat that doesn’t require shopping, ordering, baking or mailing!

I’ll be calling Sally cross-continents to let her know, don’t forget to call someone you care about, too.

Thinking ahead, again . . .

I planned to write a brand new post for today, but then I started checking out my posts from last year at this time. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I really do love one of last year’s Memorial Day posts. I know, I know, who am I to say I really like one of my own posts, but I do. It was about the life of a woman I never met, Vera Jane Clapper-Richter, but whose obituary inspired me. 

A lot has happened since I wrote about Vera Jane. Most important and touching of all, was being asked to and then writing my Dad’s obituary. Who knew that was ahead?

But that’s the thing about life, we truly never know what’s ahead for us. There are so many experiences out there for us. I think the words I wrote just over a year ago ring even truer 367 days later. Here’s an excerpt from that post.

“The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep. I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.

This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend. I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.

I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often. (Yes, I know, it will be hot and sticky, and maybe I will sweat and the bugs may bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)

I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 10.

I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.

I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes. I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.

I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.

If you are in the mood to join me, please do. Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.

This weekend, find your sleeping bag, or your bike, or your racquet or your glove, or your paint brushes and easel, or the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write. 

Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of Sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.

Do what you think Jane might do. Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.”

And, in honor of the true meaning of Memorial Day, special thoughts today for all who have served in the armed forces or have loved ones currently serving, and sincere condolences to those who have lost a loved one while he or she was serving our country. Your contributions and losses are in our hearts and minds this Memorial Day.

A time to take the week off

My Dad died in the early morning hours of this past Sunday.  He was 91, and I was lucky enough to be with him when he passed away.

My Dad's 90th Birthday

I was asked to write my Dad’s obituary for the funeral home web page, not something you’re ever prepared to do. But that’s how funerals go, folks are asked to do things they never really thought they would or could. They pick out caskets, select flowers, make final arrangements and generally stand strong and tall. They rise to the occasion, because they love the person who passed away and the family he or she left behind. My family has been doing a great job of that all week.

When you are done reading this, go hug family and friends who are in reach, call or Skype the ones who aren’t and remember to do both every chance you get.

I’m taking the rest of the week off. I hope your week is filled with work that makes you happy (my Dad loved his) and family and friends, who make you feel loved!

A Thanksgiving Story

I had a great friend named Shirley.

Shirley was married to my Dad’s cousin Carl. My parents and Shirley and Carl were not really close when I was a kid. Both my parents are from very large families. They saw the majority of their brothers and sisters (combined total close to 20) and cousins (too many for me to count) quite often, but many other relatives were spoken of, but seldom seen. Shirley and Carl fell into that category.

In 1988 when my then husband, two boys and I moved to the sleepy town of Cape Coral, Florida my Dad kept encouraging me to call Carl and Shirley, who lived nearby. My Dad is the kind of fellow, who is always trying to connect family and friends, whether or not the folks involved are interested. (It is a trait I now realize we share!)

At the time, I did not want to call them, they were my parents’ age and I assumed we would have little in common, and since my Dad hadn’t kept in close touch, I thought they would perceive it as odd, or even worse – invasive to hear from a “long lost” relative. So, I ignored my Dad’s consistent, long-distance reminders until he phoned one day and told me he had called them and told them we lived in the same town. I felt I could no longer hide, and I soon found myself reluctantly dialing away.

A gravely voiced Shirley responded in a very off-putting manner upon hearing who I was and why I was calling. My heart sank, my cheeks reddened, and my blood began to boil as I faced the fact that I had once again sucked into one of my Dad’s “great” ideas. I don’t remember anything of our first conversation, other than Shirley’s cigarette-infused voice and very weak promises on both our parts to get together in the future. Duty done, I moved on. (I know I have mentioned Shirley’s  voice twice, but it was quite memorable and truly a part o who she was.)

To this day, I do not know who made the next overture, but thankfully one of us did, and that gesture led to a warm, wonderful, and loving relationship with two of the finest, most caring, and interesting folks I have ever met. (Thank you, Dad.) When Shirley loved you, she did so fiercely; when Carl cared, you felt it in every vein of your body.

Over the next few years, we combined families, holidays, and celebrations of all sorts.  We began a Christmas Eve tradition when we invited them to our home along with our dear friends Nellie and John, who had earlier and easily become honorary grandparents to our two boys and great mentors and dear friends to us. The two couples hit-it off immediately and became fast friends. Nellie and Shirley bonded in a way that survived the passing of husbands, distance and Alzheimer’s, and spent years enjoying good coffee, wine, confidences and conversation.

We also got to know Shirley and Carl’s great sons, (my cousins)-in-laws, and grandchildren and my parents reconnected when they visited us and later through calls and letters.

One of my favorite memories of Shirley is her absolute and steadfast belief in Santa Claus. This tough-talking, hard-hitting journalist never relinquished the particular delight her belief brought her. She demonstrated that belief to us by hiding our sons’ Christmas presents at their home for years – including bikes and twin water beds! Shirley would call around Thanksgiving to let me know they had the space and the desire to house whatever Santa might be bringing that year.

You always felt that being Shirley’s friend was an honor, a privilege of sorts. She did not seem to embrace many people – but cared deeply and stood by those she did, making each feel special and valued. She was never shy about voicing her opinions, which was great because her intelligence and insight were woven within, and she never tired of disagreeing with you about yours. The best thing about Shirley was you always knew who she was and what she stood for. If you liked her fine, if not, well fine, too, and could you please just move along.

One of Shirley’s pet peeves was people in her kitchen while she was entertaining, I learned to stay out! One of her favorite words was “lovely”, as in “Oh Pat, that is lovely.” She used it to describe ideas, beliefs, food, friends, and furniture.  And again, you knew she meant it.  She loved buttery Chardonnay, shrimp, and bagel chips.

In 2009, my dear friend Nellie and I visited Shirley in Columbus in the nursing home where she was spending her days after realizing the onset of Alzheimer’s was limiting her lifestyle options. The disease was slowly robbing her of her beloved memories, but not her spirit. Ten minutes after seeing Nellie, she was sneaking cigarettes, sipping wine, and telling us her thoughts and delighting in memories we shared that were hazy, but still present for her.

We were planning a return trip to see Shirley this summer, but oh, so sadly she died three weeks shy of our planned visit. She knew we were coming though, and although it was a small thing, that knowledge has always made me feel better.

So why am I telling you this now?

Because I love stories, and yesterday, my sweet and wonderful friend Marci sent me a photo of her Thanksgiving table in-progress and in the center was the tall hand-blown gold glass vase that Shirley had given to me years before when she was preparing to leave Florida, after Carl’s death, and move back to Ohio. I had passed on the vase to Marci, the color and size had been perfectly matched for Marci’s fireplace at the time.

And, now through a series of serendipitous events, the vase was the centerpiece of Marci’s Thanksgiving table in the town Shirley was born, raised her sons, and loved – Rocky River, Ohio. Marci and her family moved to Rocky River just over a year ago. When I saw the photo, I realized that, in a way, Shirley would once again be in the town she loved for one more Thanksgiving dinner.

I thought the blending of past and present and the friendships the photo represented was touching and well, perfectly lovely. I thought you might, too.

May your Thanksgiving be lovely, your tables be laden with goodies, your chairs be filled with family and friends and your heart be warmed with memories.

Happy Thanksgiving.

PS If you would like to read more about Shirley click here. Little odd to be posting her obit, I agree, but her story and life are worth sharing. 

Thinking ahead . . .

I never read the obituaries, well practically never, but I have a sister who does, and one morning after I had a wonderful visit with her, I flipped though The Fort Myers News Press and discovered the life of Vera Jane Clapper-Richter. 

I don’t know Jane, nor do I know anyone who does, but I liked her immediately.  She is the kind-of person I would want as a friend, and the kind Katherine Hepburn would play in a movie. 

Jane died at 85 after a struggle with Alzheimer’s, but what struck me is not her death, but how she lived, which I quote, except for the links I added:

She was born July 6, 1924 to Maurice and Elizabeth Stover Teasdale in Brownsville, PA. Jane will be remembered for her feistiness tempered by cheery good humor. She was always up for adventure.

In 1960s, Jane, her mother and her daughter could be found at 2 a.m. hanging off the “wooden bridge” angling for snook with cane poles. Few snook were caught, but much beer was drunk.

Janie married “the boy next door,” Bob Clapper, in 1941 in Arlington, VA. They made it through the war years and, like everyone else, started a family. By 1951, they were ready for sunshine and fishing.

After a brief stay in the Koreshan trailer park in Esterothey settled in Fort Myers. Bob worked as a surveyor and civil engineer for Carl Johnson in Fort Myers and Cap Prewitt in Clewiston and Jane dived into community activities. She taught local Red Cross first aid classes, was Lee County Chairman of the Gray Ladies and worked with Veronica Shoemaker in the first Head Start program in Dunbar.

Her pride and joy was her Girl Scout Troop 29, which she led from Brownies in 1954 until the girls graduated from Fort Myers Senior High School in 1965. She taught them outdoors skills and wilderness survival. Protective of her girls, she once used a flashlight to fight off a wild hog that tried to take over their Fisheating Creek campsite. The hog fled squealing back into the woods.

After Bob’s death, she pursued her dream of investing in real estate, buying and managing several rental properties, then married Clarence Richter, a retired federal air traffic controller, in 1983. She and “Ric” were active in the local chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and Save Estero. Ric died in 2005.

She was a friend of Bill W. for more than 30 years and will be remembered by the old timers at YANA. She’ll also be remembered by her pals on Memory Lane at Park Club assisted living, her home for the last few months, for her sweet helpfulness, lovely singing voice and fashion flair.

On her, even at 85, a paper sack looked like Prada . . .

Jane was predeceased by her two sisters.  She is survived by her daughter, grandson and granddaughter, both of whom helped care for her in her later years.

I hope this is not too morbid for you, but I think Jane’s obituary reflects a well-lived life, and whoever wrote it obviously loved and admired her.  Reading it got me thinking – ahead. 

I decided that I am going to live my life for my obituary.  I wish I had thought of starting at the end and working backwards sooner, I would have been nicer, more courageous and much more interesting, and would not now be faced with having to cram so much stuff into so little time.  :-) 

The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep.  I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.

This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend.  I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.

I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often.  (Yes, I know, it will be hot and sticky, and maybe I will sweat and the bugs may bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)

I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 10.

I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.

I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes.  I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.

I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.

If you are in the mood to join me, please do.  Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.

This weekend find your sleeping bag, or your bike, or your racquet or your glove, or your paint brushes and easel, or the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write. 

Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.

Do what you think Jane might do.  Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.

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