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  • “I’d forgotten that you had a crush on me, Rheta. What a dolt I was, sorry,” Ross said.

    Rheta smiled enigmatically, and then the smile spread to a huge grin.

    “Now I am jealous,” Dana said. “Not that I have a right to be,” she added softly, lowering her eyes.

    “You’re jealous?” Ross asked, grinning, with a lilt to his voice. “Good!” He elbowed Dana gently and laughed.

    “Rheta, did you take the tent because you were jealous of my being with Ross?” Dana asked.

    “Ross, who’s Ross?”

    “Buck. Are you still in love with Buck?”

    “Ross, huh? Kind of suits him. I think he’s pretty cute, yeah. But I took the tent because Garrett called and said Wendy had left her tent at her campsite and would I pick it up for her. He said he’d explain later. If you hadn’t run into me taking pictures of those starry false Solomon’s seals, I would never have known I was being used that way. I’m sorry.”

    “Wendy? This is getting way too complicated. Was Wendy one of your friends?”

    “No, Wendy is my middle daughter.”

    “You weren’t writing to her in high school, were you?”

    “No, that was Peter Pan’s Wendy, left from when I was a kid. I loved the idea of never growing up. From my vantage point at the time, grown-ups didn’t seem to be very happy. All they did was work and worry; they never got to play. They always had to juggle money and they had more chores than we did. Ugh. Wendy was my alter ego. I was writing to my child self, I guess. Sort of. And I named my daughter after her, because she’d been so important to me as a child and a teen,” Rheta said.

    “The terrible irony is that we do need to grow up,” Rheta continued, “and my daughter Wendy has real issues assuming the mantle of adulthood. I wish I had named her something else. I’m not sure what. Every name seems to have some baggage attached to it. Like Darcy. I almost named her Darcy, but I was afraid she’s be murdered like Darcy Farrow.”

    “I’m sorry about your daughter Wendy, Rheta. I don’t know much about it, but I hope she is able to be successful integrating into adulthood. And that she can retain a childlike sense of wonder. Sometimes, we grow up too much. I have to confide that I loved the Peter Pan story, too, but I wanted to be Peter and stay in Never Never Land forever and never go back, never grow up.”

    “I think Wendy will always have a sense of wonder, which is good. She’s writing children’s stories, and illustrating them.”

    “Wow, that’s great. You all seem to be so talented. I’m jealous. No, I’m envious. And jealous, too!” Dana laughed. “I am really glad I got my tent back. Glad you were photographing the starry false Solomon’s seals. Do you have more notes from your high school project?”

    “I saved all the high school project stuff from Little Hog Island. Some of it is in the file here. Other stuff is in the attic.”

    “Could we see some of it? Do you have any notes on the terns?”

    Headed out to Maine for 10 days or so. The links link wouldn't work. Will not be able to see if I can figure it out until I get home.
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