Author of Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? An Intimate Journey through Africa and Asia


No matter how bad things seem to get on the world stage or in our own dramatic corner of the globe, when the New Year rolls around we see a chance for improvement. You know the litany: Things can’t get much worse…the only way to go is up. Life is lived in a resisting medium…the only way we coast is downhill. In other words, don’t coast, keep climbing, keep striving. Knock yourself out. You can always do better. But by now you know that life isn’t perfect. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, yes, but it may turn out to be an oncoming train (for the jokers). So, try giving acceptance a chance. You may learn something…about yourself and about your life. Wake up or you’ll never know what’s just around the corner…

Yes, there’s something I truly love about January first of each year. I’ve given up on writing resolutions which I’m too old to complete, anyway, but I breathe the air of that chilly morn as I walk up and down the roads and woodland trails near my home…alone, except for the intermittent chirping of woodland creatures, and give thanks for all my blessings, putting the complaints and downers back in the box for another day. It’s a new start. That’s how I feel.

As I’ve written before, I’ve had a few downers since my birthday, which have caused me to cancel a much-looked-forward-to trip to the East to visit old friends and relatives in Jersey and New York over the holidays, returning by way of Manitou Springs to visit Martha, Doug, and grand and great grandchildren in the Denver area. Here’s where acceptance comes in. Had a recap of my earlier ear problems so flying was out of the question. But now, Buddha be praised, it looks as if the Colorado trip may be possible. Stay tuned and when Cary returns from China, Nepal, and S. Korea she’ll put up all my photos and stories. In the meantime, she is going on her fantastic trip to Asia from Nov. 26 to January 18…the first time in years that I’m not accompanying her (acceptance, again)…and hopes to write about her adventures, putting them up on MY blog…hot off the griddle…for all of you to enjoy. How great is that? Cary is a master blogger and will have you on the edge of your seat!

I end this holiday greeting with the announcement that I have started putting up my most recent book on my website/blog, delayed for several years due to my most skillful non-virtue, procrastination. It’s a work-in-progress and tells the story of the Peterson family escapades over the years, more in essay form than as a linear memoir. Title: I Love You To Death, But… It will be under the Family Memoir tab on my blog, and next to the Essays tab. They are now posted in a more clearly readable form than previously. Enjoy! And blessings on you all.




Cary’s update from Nepal and South Korea!


  1. Oleg

    Hi Meg! Neither can I. 2024 is going to be soo much fun! I hope you see my house, my wife, and my son some day. Maybe next year? 🙂 Please get well soon and come visit us here!

  2. Anna

    The word “January” is derived from the Roman God name “Janus”; God of Doorways and Passages. Here’s to new doorways!

  3. Joseph Buck

    Good morning Meg. What a blessing to wake up to your positive words after a few days of struggling with the blues. Miss you and love you more!

  4. Tim

    One step at a time. Just this moment. Smell the air – feel the sunshine.

  5. Hello my dear godmother….Acceptance. yep… hard to master but crucial in the long run. First snow of the season here in Syracuse! Love you.

  6. Very uplifting. Thank you.

  7. Susan Smith

    You’re an inspiration to us all. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and happiness for the new year. Hope you get to see your family and friends on the east coast and maybe get abroad again soon. Arohanui ( lots of love) Kia Kaha (be strong). Susan New Zealand.

  8. Denise

    Thank you. I needed some positive energy. Jane is in hospice.

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