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Opening doors to better living

Jerry Peterson, 87, of Cold Spring likes to travel. He also likes to promote positivity and offer inspiration for good health and good living whenever he has a chance. All these elements came together when Peterson decided to self-publish a book called, 99 Doors to High Level Wellness: How to Live to be 100.

The book features photographs of doors that Peterson snapped during his travels.

Jerry Peterson, of Cold Spring, has published and given away several copies of his book, 99 Doors to High Level Wellness: How to Live to be 100. Peterson is pictured holding the book in his Cold Spring apartment. Photo by Jim Palmer

“I have traveled to every state in the union and around the world and I found myself taking pictures of interesting doors,” said Peterson. “I’ve been to Scotland, Japan, South America, Peru, Italy… all over the place.”

Peterson said doors are fairly ordinary in the United States, but as he traveled around the world he noticed how unique and historical the doors were in cathedrals, castles and other historical buildings. His collection of door photos were a perfect fit for his book, he thought.

As one pages through the book, they will see a door on one page and an inspirational message on the next. The messages are ones that have been impactful on Peterson’s life. Many deal with improving one’s happiness, which can lead to health, optimism, joy, longer life and spiritual renewal. He also left space on the pages so readers can add their own thoughts and ideas in the margins.

Peterson’s book cannot be purchased at a bookstore or online.

“I give them away,” he said. “All I ask is that the reader pays me back by passing it along to others,” said Peterson.

Peterson has given away about 90 books so far and those books have been passed on to many more people. He said he has received some great feedback from the book, which has been fun to hear. Some of the copies he gave away can be found at the St. Cloud Hospital, the St. Cloud VA Hospital and in several nursing homes in the St. Cloud area.

Peterson was born in Sleepy Eye and grew up in Springfield. He served in the Army during the Korean War and attended college at Hamline, Boston University and Duquesne University. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in sociology, psychology, Christian education and theology. He served as a Methodist youth minister for 20 years and then as a chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center. Later, he started a landscaping business in St. Cloud. Peterson said his life has been about opening doors to new opportunities and so the doors in the book are symbolic in that sense.

Peterson continues to travel when he can. He loved traveling with his kids and now enjoys traveling with his grandchildren. He likes giving out the book and will continue to print more to hand out to all those who are interested.

“I never thought I would have so much pleasure out of putting this book together and giving it away,” he said.

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