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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WEST VIRGINIA




What is it about the cunning calling of living in West Virginia? Is it the mountains that surround us here or the past lore or the people? I think that it is all three of these factors. My roots are here as well as many of yours; there's something indescribable that makes it home. I've seen our many rivers and have immersed myself into their beauty; in fact, I've swum in lot of them or fallen into a lot of them.


West Virginia is so diverse from one area to another--Harper's Ferry is completely different than say Charleston: It is northern in just about every way. Greenbrier County and Pocahontas County are two of my favorite places in the state. I feel "at home" there. The beauty of these two counties is breathtaking. The mountains seem to share their mysteries with me and make me feel secure. As for the people here, you won't find any better anywhere: They will open not only their doors for you but their hearts. Downright southern hospitality at its best is here.

I was born here, have always lived here and my children and grandchildren are here. Oh I've been to other states and enjoyed those trips: In fact, I love the beaches of North Carolina. But to live there? That'd be a definite no. There are still many places in West Virginia I haven't seen but it will happen. I can only hope that you feel the way I do about West Virginia. The country roads call out to be taken. The posh places are here as well. Diversity describes the state in one word. It truly is "almost heaven."

Sherry Hill



Copyright © 2016
Sherry Hill
All Rights Reserved


TODAY is West Virginia Day. My state became one on this day in 1863 by a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln. West Virginia was part of Virginia prior to that date. Today West Virginia is 154 years old.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"AND A HALF"



Well I most certainly don’t say “I am such and such an age and a half” but there were too many times when I did. Thinking back, I must have been five when I was asked how old I was and my reply was “I’m five and a half years old.” That made it sound as if I were almost six which in reality I was not but oh it made me sound older.  Why did I want to sound older? It was the common core of all young kids to want to be older thinking that it would make it more desirable.

My adding “and a half” to my age continued until I was sixteen and then it seemed to come to some screeching halt. Reason? It really sounded ridiculous to say that to anyone and did anyone care? Very doubtful. And I’m sure they heard it way too often from other teenagers or those younger. Did these people say the same thing when they were young? I’m sure that they did although I’ve not done any research into this saying: I just heard it all of my life. And said it.

Another reason for my screeching halt to saying these three words was what my mom said to me when I was sixteen—well sixteen and a half to be exact, if you really want to know for she said to me “Don’t wish your life away. Time goes by too fast.”

After that I never said “and a half” added to my age although I didn’t believe what my mom said was true. Life seemed to go slowly with a lot of leftover time for this and that.

But her point was so right for the older I became, the faster the time seemed to pass. And now it just doesn’t pass—it zooms for it’s no sooner one month and then it’s the next. It’s no sooner one year and then it’s the next. And I remember her saying “Don’t wish your life away” but it was the hope of all little kids and teenagers to become older: I made a list when I was twelve [and a half,] of things I wasn’t able to do and that list was long. Did I keep the list? Of course I didn’t; I never showed it to a single soul for fear of being embarrassed to the nth degree.

I won’t write what was on that list but let’s just say that I did everything on it and then some—just the typical things that girls wanted to do to look cool and be cool. Nothing bad. Nothing sordid.

To be twelve and a half again? I wish. To be sixteen and a half again? Again, I wish. But since neither is possible, I’m trying to put skids on my life and that’s not working out well at all. The skids don’t seem to work anymore, I say pathetically, for all they do is make time go faster. Rest assured there is one thing I will never say ever again and haven’t in a long time, and that’s to say I am such and such an age “and a half.” That just makes it all the worse. Believe me.

Sherry Hill
© Copyright 2017
Sherry Hill
All Rights Reserved


*Photo from Microsoft Word


GREETINGS FROM FAR AWAY


This is so embarrassing in that it's been too long since I've posted on here and I could say that life got in the way but in reality? I've been writing and writing: Two more Amazon Kindle books have been added making it a total of 15 now. And in between I've been on a painting jag. Amazing what you can find online to inspire--at least I did.

Far away? I haven't been far away at all.

As I write this, it's still hot outside: Yesterday it was 91 degrees with horrid humidity when combined, it makes it unbearable to be outside. All I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning and floor fans for both help ease the heat an the "stickiness" feeling  that I get when I am outside. Maybe it's extremely hot in your area and maybe not but if it is, you know full well what I'm talking about. And yes, I am aware that not all people have air conditioning at all: There was a time when my house didn't have central air and we just dealt with it.

Please look for more updated posts and again, apologies from here. I have many more stories to post.

Sherry Hill
© Copyright
Sherry Hill
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 25, 2016

PEACE AND LOVE CAN COME FROM SMALL GESTURES



Christmas Eve has always held its magic for me for my family always celebrated Christmas then with the opening of gifts and a then we ate sumptuous dinner. The next day on Christmas was a day spent together and one of reminiscing along with relatives that would stop by.

But in 1980 a woman that lived up the street from me named Chris, called me and said she had an idea and asked if I’d participate. Her idea was for everyone in the neighborhood to place white bakery bags with sand in them on each side of their driveways and put a lit candle inside but just on Christmas Eve. She asked if I would call my nearby neighbors and I gladly said I would; she called the rest and the rest involved three streets. That phone call came three weeks before Christmas and gave us all time to purchase bakery bags, sand and candles. None of it was costly.

All of us lived close to a hardware store, a bakery and many places to buy small candles. Everyone I called thought it was a great idea and looking back, everyone that Chris called thought so as well.

The day before Christmas Eve that year, came a cold snap and it was so cold outside that it made anyone’s teeth shake. The supplies for the luminaries were ready at my house and the next night it was bone chilling. I will never forget going outside with my then-husband, my two young sons and the supplies and of course, they wanted to put sand in each white bakery bag and so it was back in the house to retrieve two huge spoons.

Sand was shakily put in each white bakery bag by small gloved hands, while my then-husband and I placed a small white lit candle inside each bag. Our driveway was illuminated on both sides and it was one glorious sight.

But even more glorious was to look up the street about half an hour later and see nothing but glowing white bags in rows of two as far as you could see. As no one then had very few outside lights, it made our neighborhood aglow. Chris’ idea had worked its magic for it made all of us feel connected all the more: The lit bags shone bright and created a feeling of peace and love.

Every year thereafter, we took Chris’ idea and lined our driveways with the sand filled bakery bags and lit candles. With the advent of some young couples moving away and new neighbors moving in, the idea slowly faded into near oblivion but Chris still did it as did other neighbors including me. And then like all good things, it came to an end sadly.

Looking back, her idea was not costly but the feeling those lit bags gave out was one of oneness and I miss it. The neighborhood changed and changed, Chris passed away and now no one does it. Peace and love can come from small gestures and come this Christmas Eve, rest assured I will line my driveway, as I did in the  past, while hoping others do the same.

One idea can make things magical as Chris’ did and it’s time to carry on her tradition all over again. She gave us much that Christmas Eve and it will never be forgotten and I owe her.


Sherry Hill
Published today in my local paper


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

AND HE SAID "I WANT A DRUMSTICK!"



Until the age of 11, Thanksgiving dinner was always held at my grandparent's house and the anticipation of it was hard to suppress
for the table was beautifully set but it was the food that all of us looked forward to devouring.

Those that sat down at the huge mahogany table with its linen tablecloth were my parents, me, my mom's sister, her husband and their two children [my cousins,] my grandfather [my grandmother was like forever coming and going out of and into the kitchen throughout the entire dinner] and numerous relatives that would just stop by--to eat of course.

My cousins were a boy and a girl; I was two years older than my male cousin and four years older than my female one.

And so imagine three men sitting around a huge table and one boy when the turkey was placed on the table and the question was asked "Who wants a drumstick?" I kept quiet for I certainly didn't want one and would never but my male cousin whined and whined until my grandfather, the turkey carver, gave in and handed him one. After that it was a toss up between my dad and my uncle as to who would get the other drumstick and believe me, they were civil if the other one didn't get it for there would always be next year.

As for my grandfather, he despised dark meat and would never say he wanted a drumstick and my mom, aunt,grandmother, my female cousin and I most certainly didn't want one either.

Year after year my male cousin would whine and whine until he got a drumstick disregarding the fact that it would leave his dad no chance of getting one but in reality, my dad and his dad were civil about it all--they took yearly turns.

It's funny how such a memory can come back to me for that was so long ago. Of everyone that sat at the table yearly only two are left--my female cousin and me which is in itself sad, but come Thanksgiving, trust me neither of us will say "I want a drumstick" but someone will. It's inevitable.

Sherry Hill
© Sherry Hill
2016
All Rights Reserved




Sunday, September 4, 2016

TODAY IS LABOR DAY IN THE UNITES STATES AND CANADA BUT IT MAY BE A DIFFERENT DATE IN YOUR COUNTRY



Labor Day is a day to celebrate the workers of our country or perhaps yours. In the US and Canada, it is celebrated on the first Monday of September. Some people consider Labor Day to be the unofficial end of summer but ah it’s really not for summer has several more weeks to go here in the United States.

In the late 1800’s there was a movement to honor and celebrate workers. This movement was promoted by the Knights of Labor and the Central Labor Union here in the US and the first “Labor Day” parade was in New York in the year 1887--organized by both unions.

Oregon was the only state that officially made it a federal holiday; it wasn’t until President Glover Cleveland designated it as a federal holiday in 1894 for all of the United States but there were only thirty states at that time that celebrated it as a federal holiday.

Later on all fifty states here celebrate Labor Day and it is a federal holiday. In Canada, it is called “Labour Day” and is celebrated on the same date as it is here in the United States—the first Monday in September.

Perhaps where you live it is called “International Workers’ Day” and you celebrate it on May 1. Other countries have decided upon their own date for a workers’ celebration and perhaps your country is one of them. For whatever reason, it is a time to celebrate, lay back and enjoy the day for many but there are those such as hospital employees or the like that must work on this day despite it all.

Enjoy your own Labor or Labour Day; if you’ve had your International Workers’ Day, you know it was a day of rest from work. It took a long time for union workers to fight for a holiday for most everywhere and to them we should be grateful. And so if today is your Labor Day try to take some rest and enjoy it for at least you have a day off from work.

Sherry Hill
©Sherry Hill

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