Happy Place…Revisited: Lake Winnipesaukee

Happy Place…Revisited: Lake Winnipesaukee

*This post was submitted and published by The Philadelphia Inquirer October 4, 2015. I have added more photos here. Enjoy!

Promise after you read this you won’t tell all of your closest

Westerly view from Tuftonboro, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Westerly view from Tuftonboro, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

friends and relatives about this amazing place, since crowds and traffic are almost non-existent. Lake Winnipesaukee is a bucolic, serene and truly happy place where lifetime worries evaporate in the fresh air (no need for air conditioning). Over the past 18 years, we have visited this New Hampshire wonderland as well as the White Mountains and Lake Ossipee region.

This summer’s two-week vacation combined the best of every experience we’ve had on the lake. Our three bedroom, two-bath lakefront cottage in Tuftonboro’s Melvin Village was the best rental house yet. Its wraparound eight-foot wide 20150801_192843porch became the dining, resting, and reading place. The renovated kitchen allowed six of us (family members) to enjoy dine-in meals in comfort. So what if there was no dishwasher; we had low-maintenance meals and several meals out that kept dishwashing to a minimum.

The 40-foot dock was our living room on this crystal-clear Sunset7_06lake. Our 20-foot Four Winns powerboat we trailered to New Hampshire was docked just steps from the house. Over the years, we’ve visited many parts of this lake that includes 244 islands and is 182 shoreline miles around.

The eastern side of the lake has drawn us over the past few years. The main town, Wolfeboro is a less than 20-minute drive and is quintessential New England with its Main Street mom-and-pop shops and restaurants (no Starbucks), Town Docks where you can boat from your house and dock to get ice cream at Bailey’s Bubble (low-fat Mint Patty yogurt is my favorite); and a terrific gym, Olympic Gym and Fitness where you can work out as much as you want for two weeks for $35 (or $5 per visit).

On the lake, we ventured to Ragged Island twice. You anchor close to shore and children swim in a sandy-bottomed, roped

Ragged Island

Ragged Island

off area or out to rocks that jut above the surface from the lake bottom. The Lakes Region Conservation Trust maintains this tiny gem with a dock and short walking trail with plants and flora marked with signs and wild blueberries that burst with flavor.

My adventurous husband encouraged me to try a hike along part of Rattlesnake Island. Visible from Wolfeboro and many spots along the eastern side of the lake, we boated to this distinctive looking, two-mile long island that rises 900-feet at its highest peak (370-feet above lake level). After docking, we

Rattlesnake Island

Rattlesnake Island

hiked up the rocky trail to enjoy breathtaking views of the lake. Other enjoyable family hikes accessible by land include

Hiking up Rattlesnake Island- What a view!

Hiking up Rattlesnake Island- What a view!

Mount Major and Red Hill. The Abenaki Tower in Tuftonboro offers the shortest, easiest hike with eye-popping 180 degree views of the lake and Ossipee Mountains.

Two weeks is becoming too short for this vacation destination.

Rattlesnake Island hike

Rattlesnake Island hike

From visiting High Meadows Farm and its horseback riding class to abundant farmers markets and enjoying countless day and night-time trips exploring Lake Winnipesaukee, this happy place is tops for a family getaway – but please, don’t tell anyone.

Remembering Dad: A Year Gone By

Remembering Dad: A Year Gone By

Frank Jorett, 2006

Frank Jorett, 2006

Dear Dad-
It’s been a year since your journey to a better place began. Every day, we think of you and most times, we shed a tear. No one said adjusting to our world without you would be easy.
In my mind’s eye, I talk with you. I hear your infectious laugh – especially when you tell a joke – and you laugh all the way through the joke. I hear you tell a story from the past; Your incredible memory holds names, dates and places most of us have forgotten or just can’t quite remember.
You wanted to have one more trip on our boat – and you were with us all season this year. You were on Lake Winnepesaukee and Chesapeake Bay. You were with us in Ocean City in June and probably for the first time – you spent all day on the beach and went in the ocean. You went to spring training in Florida with mom and I. You were at the Phillies games despite a disappointing season. I talked to you about each game and heard you offer those Phils advice (they didn’t listen).

Bustleton Swim Club, July 2013

Bustleton Swim Club, July 2013

You were at the swim club under your tree with all your friends and with mom, of course. You were with Steve shopping, at church, at Sandy Cove and all the places you enjoyed with your son.
Every place we go – you are with us. Even if it’s around the dinner table – you are in our hearts and souls. While we can’t see you now, we know you are watching over each of us.
Hundreds came to pay respects last November 2nd and we are still bowled over by that show or love, support and remembrance.
This year has passed quickly – as most years do once you get to be of a certain age. We know you want us to be happy and live our lives with joy and verve. It’s a little more difficult without you here to share our lives. We move forward with your zest for life in mind – every day.
OceanCityJune07_02We know you’re happy that mom is so very busy with her new normal. Her friends are always around; Steve and I visit with her and talk with her often. We’re helping her – and she is helping us with her love and support.
We hope you are resting well and being the social butterfly you always have been. Keep playing cards and bingo with your pals; keep watch over us all and know every day you are in our hearts.

We love you and miss you.
Brenda Jorett Breskin
– and our family
Nancy Jorett
Stephen Jorett
Sue Jorett
Doug Breskin
Adam Breskin
Rob Jorett & Bonnie Taggert
Mike Jorett & great-granddaughter Fiona
– and your many friends, extended family, Philadelphia Fire Department colleagues, Aritsans, Bustleton Swim Club, church, FOP apartment residents and staff, and so many more people whose lives you touched.

Climate Change: “a Threat Multiplier”

Climate Change: “a Threat Multiplier”

My mother taught me “every little bit counts.” Everything each of us does in this world can improve our life and in turn, the lives of others. The climate change stage is growing in leaps and bounds and while we can do our parts individually, the global effects of warming and rising seas, extreme weather events and human and natural disasters will affect our men and women in combat.

Sec. Hagel, 2013; climateandsecurity.org

Sec. Hagel, 2013; climateandsecurity.org

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed a conference of military leaders in Peru as the Pentagon laid out plans for what could be the military’s next global war: climate change.The report is clear and irrefutable as Secretary Hagel says, “Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’ because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today – from infectious disease to armed insurgencies – and to produce new challenges in the future.”

Now, the men and women at 7000 outposts and bases worldwide are putting plans in place to battle climate change. Since climate change is the ultimate in the ‘domino effect,’ the chain-reaction that includes affects on food and water supplies will indeed lead to more unrest in regions where tenses have been stretched for decades or generations.

The economy of climate change and the military will mean more money needed -for who knows how long –  to fight these battles as societies become more unstable. What happens when an extreme storm takes out a coastal U.S. military base and military training facilities, supplies and equipment are lost and damaged? How will U.S. forces be able to assist in undeveloped nations where tens of thousands are herded to tent cities where famine reigns while civil unrest escalates? How will the troops survive?

Questions mount as leaders from the top and down the ranks realize that climate change effects all segments – government, business, and communities. And it will take the ultimate in collaboration and action to protect this and future generations.

Five Reasons to Consider  a PR Consultant .. or Can You Afford NOT to?

Five Reasons to Consider a PR Consultant .. or Can You Afford NOT to?

Watch the local TV news any night of the week. You may an uncomfortable corporate executive fumbling through a 10-second sound bite that makes you cringe. “That could be ME,” you think.

SCHwildflowers_20110609_27 - Copy

Be prepared for interviews – a PR consultant offers his or her expertise

A Philadelphia investigative reporter did a segment on a company that was being cited by the state for equipment problems. During a sound bite, the reporter questioned the CEO and president why he didn’t know about the problems. The man wondered out loud to the reporter while the camera was rolling why the reporter referred to him as the CEO and president. The reporter replied that he had done his homework. The CEO looked ridiculous for seemingly trying to ‘hide’ the fact that he is indeed the CEO and president and is ultimately responsible for what happens at the company.

This scene is a reason a company – especially a small or medium-sized business – needs a public relations consultant. Large companies have resources to retain in-house PR or communications directors; smaller companies often don’t have that luxury.

  1. A PR consultant who is familiar with your business and who has media experience will guide you through protecting your brand and keeping messaging and responses focused.
  2. A good PR consultant will listen to you and your company’s needs and be able to translate those needs into messages that the customer/consumer/client can relate to.
  3. When you are revamping your web site, ramping-up social media and collateral materials, the PR consultant is a fresh set of eyes to write, edit, interpret and offer expertise on how your content and communications will be perceived outside your company.
  4. Since media can be your friend, the PR consultant can reach out to his or her contacts with an appropriate pitch geared to the media audience and then prepare you to take on that media interview with confidence.
  5. To prepare for times when negative news is focused on your company, the PR consultant will act as your company spokesperson or prepare you or your delegates to speak in a straight-forward manner aimed at tackling the crisis and looking forward to repairing the company image.

Can your company afford to be caught unprepared? The PR consultant is a human insurance policy watching over your image and brand which is what makes you successful.

View from the Lake – Updated

View from the Lake – Updated

Our annual sojourn to Lake Winnipesaukee is underway. It occurs to me I have

Sunset from Tuftonboro

Sunset from Tuftonboro

amassed many stories and listened to others’ tell their experiences about this magical place – my happy place.

Since the author of the splendid piece – who I gave credit to in the earlier version of this post – does not want his story told, I update this post today to share a few words about bucolic Lake Winnipesaukee.

Everyone should have a place in this world where they feel true happiness; whether it’s relaxing with a beverage on your back patio or on a white, sand beach somewhere – happiness is a fleeting commodity.

Author; from Abenaki Tower with view of Lake Winnipesaukee

Author; from Abenaki Tower with view of Lake Winnipesaukee

Now that we’ve been home for three weeks, my perspective is every so clear: life will be better, happier, more content with long stays living by (or near) the lake.

During our two weeks this year, I enjoyed a vacation schedule with some work continuing. My husband and I have home offices; even though we were by the lake, we created a ‘home’ office in our vacation house which included a table, chairs, our computers and solid internet connection. During times when we had to get some work done, the view was spectacular. Work time motored along. We were rewarded for our efforts by being able to step into the boat and onto the lake.

The Post boys jumping from the amazing rock off Moultonborough, NH

The Post boys jumping from the amazing rock off Moultonborough, NH.

My gym time – normally two or three mornings a week – was not interrupted on vacation. I joined the local gym in Wolfeboro for two weeks (at $25 -it was a huge bargain) and kept to my routine. That routine was supplemented  by the short walk up to Abenaki Tower with a view that hugs your mind and soul.

Breskin, Kardon and Friedman families in NH - courtesy Sean Kardon

Breskin, Kardon and Friedman families in NH – courtesy Sean Kardon

While making the move to New Hampshire will be a process; the goal will be to choose a home and site that will fill our hearts and minds with the love we feel for each other as well as for the place known as the Lakes Region. This adventure will be about discovering the community; getting to know the people and further exploring the lake and splendid nature that stretches for miles and miles.

What really happened for us during this vacation was the realization that we can indeed make the move to the Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro region. After enjoying wonderful moments this time with our friends, the Posts from Connecticut and our family from Pelham, NY, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, we know that home for us is wherever we are together. So why not be in a place where we can enjoy nature, people, family and friends? While we may or may not be finished with working full-time when we find a home and settle six months a year in New Hampshire, one thing is for sure the feelings of happiness and joy that fill our days and nights when we’re there – will hug us until we can breathe no more. The timeline is evolving – but the goal is clear: New Hampshire will be home for at least six months out of the year.

What’s In It For Me?

What’s in it for me? That is the question your clients and customers ask every time you push out a new product or service. Your content details the ABCs of that new product or service; and you want customers and clients to know YOU are the best at delivering the goods. But – what is in it for the customer or client? Why should they choose your business over other businesses?

Part of public relations is being able to express to the client what the public wants; what will the public ask about your product or service? What do they need from your product or service? This is a difficult task since every client wants their PR person to help sell your products and services without question.

Often, a PR person will help you to see the customer or client’s perspective. Your PR person is a consumer and often has an educated view as a public consumer. Recently,  a client had an industrial accident on site. The business owner said, “We don’t need to say anything because the accident involved our sub-contractor.” If the PR person did NOT point out that the public will indeed see the accident as involving this particular business, he or she would be seriously wrong. there were media inquires and the response was “the police are investigating.” In the end, the client realized they should have had a better response prepared for the media calls that came in. Fortunately, there was no lasting media attention to the incident. The results could have been much different.

When it comes to allowing your PR person to explain the views of consumers – listen and learn. That person offers you the up-close-and-personal view of your product or service that can help better mold your message. Your message can focus on benefits to the consumer or client which can help your business image come across as more consumer-focused instead of only being focused on profits. 

Your Company Story – Expert PR Advice

You’ve got the best product or service out there, right? So you say. But how do you get your audience and customers to believe your message?

One of the most difficult challenges to public relations is straddling the needs of the client and the needs and wants of their customers. It’s the PR person’s job to relay a message that ‘sings’ to the audience even whWhatisNewsen the client may not be completely on board with that message. For example, the client wants the message to express how expert their services are; the longevity in the business and how they will take care of the customer like no other similar company. The customers sees many other options in the marketplace so how does THIS company stand out above the rest? It’s all in the storytelling.

The PR person should consult with you to develop potential news ‘hooks’ that can be told in a clear, concise and compelling way in order to attract the interest of customers via your web or social media content, news releases or through customized pitches to the media. A savvy PR person who has strong media connections and knows how to reach out to reporters, producers and editors is uniquely qualified to provide this service for a client.

A PR company that blasts the same release, pitch or storyline to a long media list will likely not get the results the client is hoping for. A media pitch can take hours to mold and shape. The client has to assist by providing the facts, quotes and other details needed; it is the PR person who shapes those details into a pitch (and compelling subject line) that will at least get the media person to open the e-mailed pitch. The client who believes he or she can do all this will be disappointed in the results and frustrated by the amount of time taken away from daily business. A PR person is a step removed from the client’s daily business and can more or less objectively present the pitch to media contacts.

Why not call each media person? Reality is: people seldom answer their phones these days. When they do, they are pressed for time. If they are not interested in your pitch, the phone call may leave a bad impression.

The best PR people:

  • Listen to the client’s story
  • Ask questions about the business, challenges, hopes and dreams of the clinet
  • Find the message that will translate first to the media – then to the public

Trust your expert PR person to understand and tell your story in your content as well as in media pitches. That person is working for you for a reason; he or she can translate your story about your product or service to people with a compelling story that in turn can mean more business for you.