Shephard Summers

Happiness Lives in the Night

 October 13th, 2005


Woke up at 4am last night.
This happens for me, probably once a month. Or a lot during the #$!@#! change-over for Daylight Savings. I woke up, and my mind considered thinking the unnecessary thoughts, letting them invade my night consciousness. But instead, I turned down a different nocturnal path, and just felt at peace with our lives. 

Of course hubby woke up too. We’re very in-sync — if one can’t sleep, neither can the other one. No matter how still I lay there, he senses it. So we just talked.

The feeling of “everything is ok” is so fleeting and sensitive in our waking moments, but it’s easier to hang onto in the night with nothing but our talking and breathing (and an occasional cat sound). But it only lasts as long as the dark, and then it slips away like a receeding fogbank into the intruding daylight.

But last night, we talked about whatever trivialities we had in our lives, and they were seen for just what they were, and we felt so fortunate in comparison to half the planet and what they’re going through. We try to hold onto gratitude, because if you’re feeling gratitude, you can’t feel other things at the same time… gratitude is stronger than fear and worry once you lock onto it. It’s getting to that center that takes some mental control and perseverance.

We try to find key words or phrases that remind us of our gratitude, that trigger it. Usually, we talk about worse-case scenarios and other situations that are much worse, and that starts us down the road to gratitude. And we talk about how we’d feel without some of the things that bring us happiness. And we talk about people who have voids in their lives that we don’t (everyone is different). And before we know it, it robs the fears and worries of their strangle-hold on our psyches.

Ya know, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. And in this case, worries and fears can dominate all the wonderful things in our lives quite easily if we let them. The key is to be our own best parents, and not let them. 

It was so much easier last night to do this, and to find the center of peace. It makes waking up with less sleep seem less important.

~Shephard 🙂

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” ~Dale Carnegie


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October 7, 2005



5 Things I’d Never Wear:
Never is a very strong word…. but I think these 5 are safe bets…

1. Satin Capri pants with peekaboo cheeks
2. A Sumo Diaper made of proscuitto
3. White Diamonds by Liz Taylor
4. A jockstrap of live bees
5. Things that cling: spandex, speedos, saran wrap, groupies.



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Magical Venice


Venezia (n.)  “ven-eet-see-uh” :
a magical island city in Italy, relatively untouched by the ravages of time, with 400 bridges and a labrynth of canals and calles that lead to colorful adventures

I’ve never been anywhere more magical than Venice. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere “magical” before, really.

I only knew of the Venice that is typically shown on TV and movies: lots of water and singing gondoliers rowing thru tight canals amidst old buildings. But that’s a fraction of this serene and colorful city.

What does Venice have?

It has 6 fairly distinct districts, over 400 bridges, approx. 15 churches and 3 cathedrals, several art museums and elaborate palaces and 60,000 friendly residents. It’s a city chock-a-block with paintings and sculptures and brightly painted architecture, some covered in mosaic tiles and/or colorful marbles of pinks and greens and rusts and oranges. It’s a labyrinth of discovery at a leisurely pace. You can’t get lost, it’s an island, so you just walk and walk and wander and wonder.

What can you do in Venice?

You can munch inexpensively at little bars –more like deli’s– that offer sandwiches for 2 to 4 euros, or sit down and eat the best risotto with shrimp and asparagus you’ve ever had.

You can shop for authentic, papier-mache Venetian masks in more than 50 mask shops on this island, searching for the best price and find one that suits your home perfectly.

You can pet the local dogs and cats –they’re everywhere.

You can shop through window after window filled with stunning Murano glass jewelry and hand-blown bowls and decor, looking for that perfect souvenir for Mom.

You can buy original artwork right from the artist, or find reproductions of the originals you just saw in a museum.

You can buy hand-tuled leather journals and hand-painted decorative papers, or buy a pin-up calendar of gondoliers… or catholic priests! (I kid you not).

You can buy silk ties with Venetian designs, or the latest Italian fashions.

You can buy a basket of the reddest, juiciest raspberries you’ve ever seen, and enjoy them so much that you come back by the market for a second basket.

You can walk into a campo (small square) and find a free concert in progress, and eat gelato while you listen. You can see how many flavors of gelato it’s humanly possible to try inside three day’s time, and try to pick a favorite.

You can take 1,100 photos, enjoy dazzling sunsets & peaceful boat rides, and walk til your feet throb for three days, and still not see it all, leaving behind this floating city appropriately nicknamed La Serenisima.

We did all this.
And we hope to go back some day, and do it all over again. 



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