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Monday, October 30, 2017

TODAY IS THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN



Today is October 30, 2107 and here as in maybe your country, tomorrow is Halloween which doesn't seem possible but it will be. As a kid  I loved this holiday as it meant dressing up as someone else, being able to go trick or treating in areas that I knew and with friends my own age, Adults with us? Never.

It was a time of being safe, being a free range kid and getting loads of candy--which also was safe, AND it was a time of magic--magic filled the air every single Halloween Day. Granted there were times I didn't like my then-boxed costume and many times I'd change it myself much to my mom's disdain.

About the age of eleven, I quit going out on Halloween to trick or treat because I had gotten tall and felt sort of dumb thinking about wearing a costume.

Looking back at how things were on Halloween or prior, no one decorated their houses with a gazillion lights, fake bats or yard decorations---all anyone had outside was a real pumpkin. Just one pumpkin.

And no one decorated the inside of their houses then: It just wasn't done at all.

And look at how things are in today's world for kids. It isn't safe for them to go out on Halloween to trick or treat at all and if they do,adults are with them. No one can or should trust any unknown houses or area for danger is too prevalent now. The good thing is that many churches, malls or neighborhoods have parties for kids and that's safe if they live in that area.


Decorating? Decorating for Halloween is a multi-million dollar business for too many people feel that they have to illuminate every single thing inside and outside plus add a ton of decorations. And that's fine if people want to do it although it's costly and runs up a giant electric bill --that's the downside. Yes, I have a pumpkin outside and some fall things but this year I stopped at just that for in the past, it was too much trouble taking it all down and putting it up. Age? Maybe but maybe I  didn't want to to into overload.


Whatever is your choice is fine. And I'm wishing you a Happy Halloween tomorrow and may it be safe and happy--most of all, enjoy it!

Sherry Hill
© Copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved



Sunday, October 29, 2017

AN ACT OF KINDNESS WAS PAID BACK BY ANOTHER



This past Friday I stopped by a car wash as I had promised a man that I would give him a yearbook—not mine but one I bought at a thrift store three years ago. My reason for buying it in the first place was that it didn’t cost much at all and second, someone might need it. My stopping came from a prior conversation for I thought he had been a past student of mine but found out he had grown up in a different area here –that’s when I told him about the yearbook and said I’d gladly give it to him.

He had done a fantastic job washing and cleaning my car and I said I’d gladly bring it to him on Wednesday. Wednesday came and went as did Thursday but Friday, I grabbed the yearbook on my way out and headed for the car wash; as I approached, he saw my car and I pulled in and handed him the yearbook.

He was thrilled beyond words because he had not gotten his own for his senior year, and I was thrilled for him to have that yearbook. I told him I didn’t want any thanks: Fate had done its job. Off I went headed for the grocery store smiling at what had just taken place.

As usual, the store parking lot was full which meant my driving around and around to find a parking place which I finally did and walked inside the store. On my mind were three things to buy but as it happens, I had my grocery cart loaded with this and that; found a lane open that had one person in front of me and it wasn’t long before the cashier was checking me out.

I asked if there was anyone bagging groceries and the clerk said that there wasn’t anyone when all of a sudden a tall man with an orange shirt came up to where the groceries were ready to be bagged and started bagging them for me. Again I asked another question and that was “Does he work here?” The clerk replied “I’ve never seen him in my life and no, he doesn’t.” That man was all business as he put my groceries carefully into bags and said “There you are; all done!” I looked at him and not only thanked him but told him he was an angel. “Not really” he replied but I came back saying “Oh yes you are.”

What a wonderful thing for a stranger to do that for someone and that someone was a grateful me. On the way to the car, I thought about the two things that had happened that afternoon: I gave someone a gift because I simply wanted to do it, and in return, a stranger gave me the ultimate gift of help and kindness. There aren’t many days like that but when they occur take time to realize how rare and wonderful they are.  Kind human nature does exist even if the world is haywire—in fact, it happens more than you’d think and I saw it that day: I was a giver and a receiver and three people were happy.

Sherry Hill
© Sherry Hill
Copyright 2017

All Rights Reserved


*Photo from Microsoft Word

Thursday, October 26, 2017

MY LATEST AMAZON KINDLE E BOOK



This is my 15th Amazon Kindle E book "Edna and The Lobsters." 

Should you have time, I would be so appreciative if you decide to read it--it's a true story.
Thanks much.



https://www.amazon.com/EDNA-LOBSTERS-Sherry-Hill-ebook/dp/B0727LDWZR/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509086226&sr=1-1&keywords=Edna+and+the+Lobsters+by+Sherry+Hill

Sherry Hill

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

IT'S FALL HERE BUT REALLY?


It's fall here and that's my favorite season but does it feel like fall temperature-wise? It's cold here tonight and was quite chilly yesterday but the leaves on the trees have barely changed their colors which is odd for this time of the year. We had an onslaught of warm weather for several weeks and the forsythia decided to bloom again--even the flowers are confused for they are budding.

My yard is full of crunchy brown leaves and yet it looks as if most of the leaves on the silver maple are still green and so where did they come from? I can only guess that the gusty winds we've been having have blown a ton of leaves in my yard for there are many from different trees that are not mine.

I find "sweet gum" leaves constantly in the yard:  They're easy to identify for they look like a star shape. There is a ginkgo tree in my backyard but its leaves haven't turned that glorious yellowish-green yet: They're still green. And all of this is odd for this time of October--at least where I live for normally the hills are ablaze with vivid colors. Acorns are in abundance this fall--in fact I have never seen so many since I've lived in my house which has been a long time.

It's impossible to walk out in the street without stepping on acorns: Normally the squirrels hoard them and maybe they are and can't keep up with the overload of them. I thought that was a sign of a bad winter ahead, but last year there were many acorns but not like now. The street is brown from where cars have run over the acorns and I just look at it. Could I sweep them to the side? That's a possibility but I'd rather not sweep forty feet of street or more, and really who would want to do that anyway?

The wonderful smell of fall is in the air and that is a smell that evokes memories of past falls and all of the events that happened long ago. Smells can trigger memories in a heart beat as you well know. But I wonder if I will be looking at bare trees and a gazillion old brown leaves in my yard for it seems that way: The yearly color changing of them has been a long drawn out process.

Oh trust me it's fall here all right, but November is approaching quickly and with that comes snow on the heels of fall and so again I say "It's fall here but really?" No sign of glorious leaf changing color but just slight fading but I will savor fall's smell and its remnants.

Sherry Hill
© Copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved

*Photo from Microsoft Word



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

HOW STRANGE IT IS THAT THINGS COME FULL CIRCLE



Eight years ago, I had permission to pick up my granddaughter Hannah at her middle school after school was out for that day. I remember that day as if it were yesterday, for it was my son’s birthday [as well as her dad’s.] and it was warm, sunny and some leaves were swirling around across the street. I had parked in the faculty parking lot because I had been a teacher but not at that school.

As I sat in my parked car, my eyes took in the familiar surroundings for I knew them well—in fact I had stared at them for three long years but that was long ago. Her school was a middle school but it had been a high school and the one I attended as a student. I could picture the football players standing near Park Avenue: I was a sophomore and fourteen years old at that time and I was terrified just walking by them. That was a silly thought that popped into my head as I stared in that direction from the parking lot.

It’s amazing how memories of the past came rushing into my mind of who was standing where, of the windows of the former classrooms I was in and the guys I had dated—for I could see them in my mind’s eye. For a second, I wanted to go back in time and relive just a part of those three years to undo some choices I had made but then it hit me like a bolt of lightning –did I ever think then that I would be in the school’s parking lot waiting for my granddaughter? Never occurred to me at all at that time and why would it in the first place?

“Had I not made that choice to date a man who was older than me and eventually marry him, then my granddaughter would not have existed” I thought to myself and it was one of those “George Bailey” moments from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” where Clarence the angel, grants George his wish that he’d never been born—not that I wished that, but I did consider the ramifications of the fact that my son wouldn’t have been born, much less her had I made a different choice in my marriage, and such was the circle that would be.

I pass by that school often but my granddaughter is now in college, and although she is, I still picture that day I had parked in the faculty parking lot to wait for her to come rushing to my car.  Just seeing her was a moment of pure happiness. It was the perfect day of fall’s early entrance, past memories and the joy I felt in being a grandmother. After she got in my car, we were off to see her dad [and my son,] on his birthday:  He too had gone to the very same school when it was a high school.
It really is amazing how life comes around full circle, but sometimes you need to stop and look at where you were long ago—if it still exists. Luckily it did for me on that very day.

e HeHe

Sherry Hill
© Copyright 2017
Sherry Hill

All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 9, 2017

“JULY IS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH—BUT WHO STARTED MAKING AND HOW?”



July is national ice cream month but personally, I think any month is one for ice cream. You can just have a lot more this month to celebrate! Whatever your choice of flavor might be, just go for it. But have you ever wondered who started making it and how? I thought it was something American made but WRONG! Ice cream making went back as far as 200 BC. Amazing isn’t it and how was it made?

After reading a lot about ice cream, I discovered that in the year of 200 BC or thereabouts, ice cream was made by having servants or peons [to a king or emporer] go up to high mountain tops that were snow-covered. These men had the horrific task of digging out snow and ice and carrying in back down steep mountains by pulling a handmade wagon. Once their destiny was reached, others who served the king or emporer had to take the snow and ice out of the wagon. After doing that, whatever the royal wanted put into it was his choice—such as berries or lemons or the like. And the workers had to stir that by hand into the snow and ice. In China, the emporer liked ice mixed with milk and rice: And that is what the upper-class ate at that time for ice cream.

And as soon as that was done, the king or emporer set out to eat the homemade ice cream [not like today’s ice cream but similar] along with his chosen family and guests. If the king or emporer lived in a hot region, you can guess that the ice cream was devoured quickly! The royals of that time and a little later who lived in cold climates had the pleasure of eating ice cream at their whim but pity the poor workers or peons to them—for they had the disgusting duty as described above.

Forward in time to about 400 AD and Arab countries as well as those in Africa were also making ice cream by using the same method:  Someone had to climb high mountains, retrieve the ice and snow and cart it back to the palace. And once again, whatever the choice of flavoring the royal wanted was added to the ice and snow. If you live in another country other than the United States, google the history of ice cream in your area—might be surprised at what you find out.

When the United States became a country, people here wanted ice cream as well for they as well as their forefathers had eaten it in England. But the United States had no emporer or king in its beginning and still doesn’t as you know well—we have a president. Read that George Washington kept cellars under ground [all Americans did at that time—no electriticy and no refrigeration] as did other prominent and non- prominent people. The recipes for making ice cream in 1776 and years forward came from Quaker colonists who brought their own recipes with them when they came here to settle.  Again some had the grueling task of digging ice and snow [indentured servants] and carrying it down steep hills to a specific place. This ice and snow was kept in  tin containers and put in cellars underground a house or a building nearby.

Cellars were built underneath as a basement is today of sorts. Stairs led the way down to them and it was here that the above was kept till someone wanted ice cream. But a change was made and that was that when the ice and snow was put into tin containers, rock salt was added as a first layer, then ice and snow, then more rock salt and so on till the top of the container was filled. What did rock salt do? It lowered the temperature of the ice and snow to way below freezing. And this fact allowed the ice cream makers to be more variable with types of ice cream made. This was really the first ice cream here in the United States. Some people still do this today!

An African American man named Augustus Jackson made many ice cream recipes and is credited with inventing a way to manufacture ice cream in 1832. Eleven years later, Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia got the first United States patent for a hand-cranked freezer for ice cream. From then on, everyone could have ice cream—if they wanted to make it themselves or have someone do it for them. Imagine after the invention of electricity what transpired with ice cream! There were ice boxes in houses and unlimited possibilites.

Fast forward to today’s time and if it’s ice cream you want, all you have to do is to go to a store to buy it—any flavor and any way—slow churned, low-fat and/or with fruit, nuts, chocolate or whatever added is there for the taking.  And since it’s July, go for it! After all, ice cream is wonderful and be so grateful that no one has to climb high mountains anymore to get ice and snow—who’d want that job anyway? Long live ice cream! Enjoy!

Sherry Hill


Copyright © 2016
Sherry Hill
All Rights Reserved


*Photo from Microsoft Word





Monday, July 3, 2017

“YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE!”



After a guy posted something funny on social media, it reminded me of what happened to my first husband’s uncle who was his dad’s brother.  Both of these brothers loved to go fishing and hunting together but there was one distinct difference between the two:  Oscar was the taller one. So tall in fact that he towered over anyone at six feet seven inches tall. He was handsome, imposing and a heck of a man with a huge sense of humor.

Both of these brothers would always wear long sleeved army green shirts when they went fishing or hunting and aside from that, both had a big sewn on patch that said “West Virginia Hunters” or something like that on their shirts. I remember those patches were outlined with bright yellow thread.

And so it came to be that on one specific day when they were hunting in Pocahontas County here in West Virginia, they literally ran into some man who was encroaching on their staked out territory. Now if you’re a hunter or a fisherman that is not what one does: Encroach on someone else’s territory. It’s some unwritten law that can sometimes lead to much arguing or the like.

Exceedingly tall Oscar approached that man slowly for he knew if he ran towards him there was no knowing what the man would do. The encroacher took one look at Oscar’s shirt, saw the big patch on his shirt and screamed “You’re one of them! You’re a Fed aren’t you?” Knowing full well that the man was not real smart, Oscar replied “Yes I am one of those!” And the man fled never to be seen again on that hunting trip.

Meanwhile, Oscar’s brother was trying to stifle his laughter but I’m not so sure that it worked. “Well” said his brother “I guess I’m one of those too—a Fed!” From then on, both never hunted or fished without wearing those green shirts with the huge sewn on patches.

I can still laugh at this short story because Oscar’s brother was my first father-in-law and he would repeat this over and over again much to everyone’s delight. It happened. And are you “One of those?” Smile if you are.

Sherry Hill
© Copyright 2017
Sherry Hill
All Rights Reserved


*Photo from Microsoft Word