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Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Michaelis

My mom became a Winter Texan when she was in her 70’s. For ten years she drove over 800 miles by herself to McAllen, Texas. She purchased a mobile home and wintered there for those years. As I reflect now, I am amazed at the courage it took to venture out like that. My sisters and I supported her decision, but now that the three of us are older than she was then I wonder if any of us would have that adventurous spirit. Dee and I helped her decorate her new space. It was a dollhouse, and the finishing touch was a hand-painted door plaque that said ‘Welcome Friends.’ It wasn’t long before she had lots of them!

Just as suddenly as she decided to go south, a decade later, she decided to sell her Texas place and come back to Kansas for good. Then came the next adventure - moving into a retirement community. With the same audacious spirit, she faced the unknown and moved. We decorated her apartment and hung that same welcome sign on her door. She made wonderful friends and enjoyed some of the most active and carefree years of her life, sans the long drive. The definition of courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to face fear and triumph over it. John Wayne says, “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway!” Fear of the unknown is perhaps the biggest fear of all. My mom modeled such great character at those times in her life. She could have easily stayed put all those years in her little house on A Street, but she was not through with adventure. It took courage to get up and go. As I gro

w older, I understand how brave she was!

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