Yeah runnin’ down a dream That never would come to me Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads Runnin’ down a dream Tom Petty


My daughter and her husband have been planning a family and friends destination wedding trip to Portugal the past two years.  It is happening soon. We are running down a dream.

First we are stopping at The Azores.  The Azores are volcanic islands off the coast of Portugal and were discovered by Portuguese sailors.  Many of the residents relocated to the US because of the poor economy and harsh living conditions.  The Azores are now flourishing and like Hawaii back in the 60’s and early 70’s.  I just booked a private tour for my husband, Steve, and I.  We are going to see places at dusk and hear birds, see natural beauty, and enjoy local snacks but specifics are a mystery. We are doing a sunset sail and 4X4 island tour and group dinner with family and friends also visiting the Azores that Jenni and Aveek planned.

From San Miguel Island and the city Ponta Delgado, we take a domestic flight to Porto, Portugal.  Porto is home to the world’s port wine and Vinho Verde.  Vinho Verde is a wine made with young grapes.  It is a perfect summer wine-slightly bubbling with lower alcohol content.  Ironically, we can buy it cheaper at Fred Meyer/Kroger stores than shipping it from Portugal.   goin’ wherever it leads–we have rented a house that sleeps 12 and looking forward to doing things with our family and friends spontaneously as well as walking tours and a bus tour/boat tour to a port winery with tasting. Lastly, the wonderful wedding and reception with 10 courses and wine pairings.  Supper at midnight if we are still hungry.  We only have a few days in Lisbon and need to return.  I feel so good, anything is possible…

Lake in the Azores

lisbon trolley

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Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the flowers in my yard–with apologies to Seals and Croft

 How you will spend the summer of 2019?

I read a fun article in the Wall Street Journal about how to make your summer memorable. 

The Off Duty 50: What I Did On My Summer Vacation-click on link below:

They had fictitious characters but they have real interests and I found that I liked multiple ideas.  Some are exotic but the idea of putting lights in small plants for a patio party,  almost everyone could do.  Just don’t indulge in food if you exercise thinking that you are burning it off.  You will gain weight like the one imaginary character.


The past 3 summers  we have taken a road trip to visit family in Northern California and explored Oregon. We’ve reconnected with my husband’s friend from junior high.  We went to Crater Lake and experienced a late June snow storm!  This summer is focused on traveling to the Azores and Portugal for my daughter’s destination wedding.  We are renting a house that sleeps 12 and filled it with family and friends.  We’ve never traveled with other people which always seemed so fun. Having a big group means you can do different things with different people.  I am looking forward to meeting in the evening and sharing the adventures of the day.

My hope this summer is that August will not be filled with forest fires and terrible air like the past two summers.  August used to be so lovely.  I would like to take local hikes and bike rides, kayak with my friend at her cabin. Swim and read in my back yard.  Read all the books I own that I haven’t read yet which is a big goal. I am a member of the local library volunteer group and the fundraiser is a book sale. I am trying continually to downsize but books keep finding their way into my home.

I have talked with friends and we have so many wonderful options in our home town. I just need to make an effort. I can enjoy local outdoor concerts and farmer’s markets.   Walking my dog and chatting with neighbors is peaceful and safe.   I have invited  neighbors over for a happy hour which works wonderfully because it is short. People can still have dinner, etc.   I plan to harvest purple basil from my garden and make sorbet.  And lastly, maintain a state of grace as my neighborhood roads are repaired which means living with dust and noise all summer.  May your summer be filled with happiness.


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The road is long There are mountains in our way But we climb a step every day-Up Where we belong by Joe Crocker

Joel 2:28  Hebrew Bible: And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

World’s Fair Committee 1962

My daughter, Beth, was working out at the gym and saw a poster for a fundraiser in late September sponsored by Base 2 Space.    Join the Space Needle for its fifth annual Base 2 Space: Seattle’s Most Iconic Climb on Sunday, September 29, 2019. Scale the tower’s 832 open-air stairs and take in incredible views of downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier, and the Puget Sound region’s surrounding beauty as you ascend to the top of Seattle’s most iconic landmark. As a participant, you will receive full access to the Space Needle’s new revolving glass floor, plus a swag bag, t-shirt, and finishers medal. All donations raised will benefit Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Space Needle Foundation.

Last year, after 56 years, the Space Needle, was open after massive renovations.

The 605-foot Space Needle is the most iconic structure in Seattle. Built in 1962, and reportedly purchased by investors for $75,000, the landmark has an observation deck and revolving restaurant at 500 feet, where hundreds of daily visitors hunker down for 360-degree views of Seattle. Now, 56 years later, the Space Needle is unveiling a massive renovation, with many of the new spaces now open to visitors..

I read the book, “Truth like the Sun” about the 1962 World’s Fair.  The World’s Fair changed Seattle forever by people with a  dream and vision.  Fred Hutchinson was a baseball player and manager that died young from cancer. His brother was a surgeon in Seattle and wanted to have a legacy for his brother.  I thought Fred Hutchinson was Seattle philanthropist not a baseball player in the 50’s.

The World’s Fair changed Seattle forever.  We toured the new Museum of Industry on Lake Union in March when we visited Beth.  It was like throwing a rock in a pond, the ripples kept expanding.  Fred Hutchinson is now known as a world famous cancer hospital.  Don Foster, a member of the World’s Fair board, opened an art gallery and launched the career of Dale Chihuly. Dale Chihuly is a world famous glass artist.  His work has been exhibited around the world and he has a permanent exhibit in Seattle. The monorail only went a few miles in Downtown Seattle but light rail now goes from SeaTac airport, between Seattle and Tacoma,  to the University of Washington. My daughter’s design firm bought the architectural firm that designed the Space Needle.  In September, she and co-workers will be raising money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

I have been active in the Parks Development Park master plan, community gardens, City Government and library board.  The main library is now going to have a seed library and offered a program about local outdoor recreational space. The library and park departments hope to build a new library and expanded park across from my church and the City Hall. I won’t be around in 56 years but I hope my actions have as positive impact for the children that grew up with my daughters and their children and beyond.

What are your dreams or visions? Just take a step every day and you will be up where you belong.

Side note-the song was from “An Officer and an Gentlemen” and it was filmed in Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. You can catch a ferry from downtown Seattle to Kingston to Port Townsend.

Seattle waterfront from ferry




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The Luxury of Sharing Your Time

I listen and read the Podcast  “Happier” by Gretchen Ruben and her sister, Liz Craft.  Gretchen wrote a book 10 years ago, “The Happiness Project. ”  I read one recently about the Luxury of Giving.  One of our greatest luxuries and chief delights is the ability to give. And this father realized that even though their family had very little money, this was a luxury they could afford.

It touched me and I wrote the podcast this email. I made a few changes for my blog to make the email easier to understand if you don’t listen to the podcast.

  I check my email in the morning before starting my day.  Your Little Happier hit a chord because I was reaching out for a family email address that I couldn’t find.

I would add the luxury of sharing your time.  You and Elizabeth talk about it all the time on your podcast.  Elizabeth gives demerits about not planning vacations, entertaining, etc.  There is a proverb, “One only has money or time”.  William Shatner spoke on Friday and I worked the event.  He said that he spent hours and hours working with people and then 5 years would go by because of time commitments.  During 9/11 as  the towers fell, no one called anyone about work. They reached out to family and friends to tell them that they loved them.   We need to dedicate the time.

My husband and I retired early.  We have the luxury of visiting family and friends because we don’t work and have disposable income BUT–we still have commitments on our time–and neither daughter lives in town like you and Elizabeth.  Your parents are still living in Kansas and you live on each coast. We like to visit  our daughters often.

My husband’s brother is quite a bit older and doesn’t travel anymore.  He lives in a town without a decent airport so visiting takes either time or more money to fly than other airports.    My daughter can fly to Portugal cheaper from NYC than visiting her uncle in a small town in Northern California.

But we need to make the time if family  and friends are truly important and not regret the things that we didn’t do.

My cousin, Carla, and her family -Orcas Island, WA July 2013



Steve with his cousin, Mike at Tybee Island, GA

Connecting with Eli and Meg Greenlaw while Jenni and Aveek were visiting in Seattle.

A tea party with my friend from high school, Debbie Peck.

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Good Advice shared to our daughters and advice we have learned from others

I talked with my daughters on Mother’s Day over the phone.  I still share  how fortunate we are now. It wasn’t that long ago that distance phone calls were so expensive.  Calling cards were amazing!  Now we can talk across the country for the same rate as if they lived in town.  I read articles about letters and advice from mothers in the newspaper and thought about what advice or concepts stood the test of time from both my husband, Steve, and I.


Steve’s Advice

1) You are an honest person or your not.  Tell the truth even if there are consequences.  Always pay the right amount.   You can never get burned for telling the truth and people will value your word.

2) Don’t force it.  If it doesn’t go easy, something may be wrong.  This advice works for jobs, mechanical items, doors, plans and relationships.

3) If you drop something, keep looking.  It didn’t go into a different dimension.  Usually with hard contacts but true for earrings and anything that is dropped in a car. ( I actually found a hard contact in the bathroom on the vent and vitamin on the kitchen floor before Carson ate it using this advice.  )


Sherri’s Advice

1) If you think about it, do it.  Thank you notes, replacing something, buying stamps, medication refills, getting gas, phone call to friend or family. You won’t have to keep thinking about doing the action.

2) Have it before you need it.  We always keep a list of things that are getting low.  I hated as a kid when we ran out of toilet paper, milk, etc. just because the item was not replaced when it was getting low and we had to wait until someone could go to the store. Until I was in college, the closest store was a 1/2 hour trip. Be proactive not reactive.

3)Have a place to put your keys and your mail.   Nothing is worse than running around looking for keys as your leave or having to go through stacks of mail to find a bill or invitation.  Now that we have a recycling can, much of the mail never enters the house.

General advice from Steve and I that works:

1) Always keep a clean kitchen because you don’t want to wake up to a mess after a dinner party or starting to cook after a long day and you have clean the counters/wash an item needed for cooking.

2)Have good tools. Works for projects or cooking. A bulletin board by the door to hold your keys and messages is a great tool.  Everyone in our family  have bulletin boards to write messages or post information we will need leaving the house.

3) Praise in public, correct in private.  Also let things go.  Adults know when they made an error, no need to keep harping on it.

4)  When you are asked to do something, say I will get back to you.  Get back but don’t’ be pressured to say yes.  If you say no, don’t be pressured to make an excuse.  Just say, “No, but thank you for asking me.”  (I really get pressured to take on more volunteer activity and sometimes no is not acceptable.  I have to use the broken record.  )

5) When someone asks you a rude question, be polite and deflect.  Rude questions like: “When are you going to have children? ” “Do you think you will ever get married?” “How tall are you?”  “Are you concerned about your weight and health issues?” “Don’t you wish your daughters lived in town?”

Gee, that is an interesting question.  Why do you ask?  Usually the person is nervous and wants to show interest and was told to ask something about another person. When they say something about them, “I wish I was tall”, ” I love having grandchildren” etc. you can change the subject back to them or joke.  “Airplane seats were made for you!”  “Health is a concern, isn’t it?  What is your strategy?”

6) Let someone say at least 3 sentences when they bring up something or you ask a question. I learned this strategy through sales training.  Listening builds trust.  Talking too much shuts down dialog and causes frustration.

It is so annoying when someone asks, ” How was blank or what do you do about blank?”  and you respond.  I really enjoyed blank or I do blank and you want to give an example.”  Before you can give your example, the person responds, “I remember when I did/my friend did/I read about  and they take over the conversation.  It shuts down the conversation.  Instead listen to the next 3 sentences and ask another question about what the speaker just said.  “Oh, you really enjoyed the desert.  What surprised you the most?”  I wish I shared with my mom before she died.  She never let me finish a thought. She had been shy most of her life and would never say anything and then swing the other way. 🙂

7)My mom always said, “You can never get back time.  If you can pay for something to be done, do it!  Do something else you enjoy.” Jenni shared that not only the activity but the before and after time is important too.

8)Keep a paper calendar for sharing as a family or as a back up for your phone.  It is a real time saver. It is so much easier to plan and flip pages than scrolling.

9) Take time to get organized.  Have a partner to help go through things and help make decisions about where things go.  Beth recently was home and Steve helped her go through items from college and high school.  (1 hour to sort)  Items to be stored have a place.  We helped dispose of trash, recycling and donations. The entire process took 4 hours to complete.

Please share advice you found helpful.



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I’ve seen Fire and I’ve Seen Rain …

The past six months have been a time of saying good bye.  First my co-worker and fellow adventurer, Shane Berry, died on a massage table after enjoying breakfast with friends.  He hadn’t posted the rest of his photos from his last trip to New Guinea so I gave his house a call.  I thought maybe he got stranded in New Guinea with the weather/plane crash.  His sweet wife, Irene, called back and shared his death after returning.

I had two, fun friends in college, Jess Brown and Jeff Ng.  Jess and Jeff were in 4H together in high school.  Sometimes I would call Jeff, Jess, accidentally.  Jeff scolded, “Don’t do that Sherri.  We had a girl at 4H camp with us that had a lisp and would call both of us Jefth.”  I really made a point after that.  Jeff became a dentist and married a woman that didn’t like him to keep in touch with me.  I was the link between Jeff/Jess.  Laura, the wife of Jess, died in December of 2018 after Christmas.  Jess sent out the Christmas Card letting us know.  I was going to contact Jeff at work to avoid his wife and goggling his office, found his obit.

The next month I found the obit for a younger co-worker, Glen.  Glen and I had worked in different companies but saw each other in the field for years.  Both companies were bought by Merck and we ended up being co-workers for a year.  I retired and he moved to a different position.  He retired and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within the year.  Glen was a avid runner and finished Bloomsday close to an hour.

I called my friend, Geri, and asked about Glen.  Geri was a fellow microbiologist and drug rep.  We started in the field together with different companies and also ended up working together the last 1 1/2 years of my career at Merck.  She told me that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer as well.  She had been battling it the past 2 years.  Even though we didn’t share lots of time together, we knew so much about each other through medical meetings and daily work.  We had lunch once I retired and chatted on the phone. She passed away March 13th.  She was one of the few people that knew about what my life was like, day to day as a pharmaceutical rep and woman in a male dominated field, the past 25 plus years.  Before I left Merck, we would do representative lunches and call them, “The Geri and Sherri Show!”    I will miss her so much.

The days are long but the years are short.  If family and friends are REALLY important, make the time to call, visit, have meals.  Those other distractions won’t matter in the end.

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Progress on My 19 for 2019

Number 7- Buy Discover Pass checked off ==but wrist stopped me going snow shoeing.  I will take a quick drive and go around a close trail to get up this season— or hope for snow in my back yard to try them on.  We got about 3 inches last night but  the snow is starting to melt.

Number8- I bought 3 roses online from Northland Rosarium.  1 red climbing rose and 2 Chihuly Roses. I used to like hybrid teas but realized that Floribunda  and Grandiflora roses like the Love rose,that I bought last fall,  look much better in a garden setting. 

Number 16- Steve and I met with  Jeanette and the glassware went into her trunk. It will be sold at a sale in May to help the Spokane Symphony.

17) I ended up making a Quince Preserve instead of paste.  I used it on an appetizer and made a salmon marinade.

How are you coming on your 19 for 2019? or even 9 for 2019?

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