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Friday, July 20, 2012


I write often about my grandparents’ house and the reason is that I lived there from age two weeks to age five.  From then onward, I spent about every summer day there and when I was twelve, my parents got divorced. My mom and I had moved close to their house: It was my constant. As a teenager and adult, I still frequented that house for my grandmother had become a widow and I loved being with her. The house was built by my step-grandfather in the early 1900’s for him and his wife who later died. My grandmother married him in 1938 moving in with her two teenage daughters—one of whom would be my mother. As for the green glass window, there were actually two of them in this large two-story house: One was on the landing in the downstairs hall and one was in the dining room. Both were half windows placed high up and could be opened with a hinge. Once you opened them, there were screens behind each. I’m sure that the glass has a name but to me they looked “Coke” bottle green.

The green glass window in the dining room mystified me for the light streamed through it and landed smack onto the shiny mahogany table sending green sparks everywhere. Over the years as a child, I must have stared at that window a thousand times. In the summers at dinner, my step-grandfather would open that window to let air into the room. Why he didn’t open up the  bay windows that were on either side remains a mystery to me to this day. Those windows were the old double hung type; I never remember anyone opening them up except the ones in the kitchen. Strange in retrospect.

I’d sit at the dining room table with my grandparents, my mother and numerous relatives nightly. Summers I remember the most because it was so hot. Here we were eating hot food, sweltering and praying for a rush of air through that green window.  It never happened from what I remember at all.

As I got older, I realized that I loved that green window because it had been magical to me as a child. When my grandmother died, my mother and her sister inherited the house. After several years of their attempts at renting it out only to see disaster, they decided to sell it. I was devastated. But I was married, had a house and a baby son. On a whim, I asked my mother to ask the realtor if I could have one of those windows; the other would go to one of my cousins. Guess what? I got the dining room green glass window—casing and all. And I still have it in my basement. Does it belong there? No. It actually would fit inside any of my new windows in this house if properly mounted. And it’s going to happen because I think I need a little sparkly green magic. Who wouldn’t want that?

Sherry Hill

Thursday, July 19, 2012


As I write it is still hot outside. And I am so grateful for air conditioning; face it, I’m used to it just as you are. Every day seems to be hotter than the one before it and just going outside for a while makes me literally sick. Used not to do that—think it’s a thing called age and no tolerance for it anymore. But when I was little, there was no air conditioning unless one went to a show or certain restaurants that advertised “Cool Inside.”

How did I survive without air conditioning? I burned up like everyone else—that’s how. As a kid, I remember playing outside and burning up but still not affected by the heat. But come nights when I stayed with my grandparents was a different thing. They had a fan in one bedroom window and there were three bedrooms. And that upstairs was a hot as all get out despite that one fan for it did nothing but move hot air. My grandparents let me sleep with them and when my grandmother or I got restless, she would get up and take me first to the front bedroom: We’d lie on a bed near the window gasping for any cool air and found none. Next, it was off to the back bedroom to see if it were any cooler and guess what?  It wasn’t. [My step-grandfather always slept right through that heat. Amazed me.]

By moving twice in the night, my grandmother and I were just plain worn out and finally slept. But it became a ritual when I stayed all night with them—the moving from one bedroom to another in hopes of a cooler room which never happened.

Worse was the bath I had to take at their house in a huge claw footed bathtub because the bathroom was in the hot upstairs. I remember that red bar of Lifebuoy soap in my hand and the sweat dripping off of my face in a constant flow. By the time I had gotten clean and dried, I was wet again with sweat. You just don’t forget something like that ever.

Things were the same at the apartment and later the house where I lived with my parents—hot and no air conditioning. Lots of times, we ate outside in the evening because being inside was like sitting in a tinder box. Of course that meant bugs and that horrible smell of a citronella candle to keep them away—it didn’t do much for anyone’s appetite to say the least. To this day I can’t stand the smell of citronella. So many people today say that they lived through no air conditioning and survived as did I. But trust me, it was something you just had to deal with and try to get cool by any means like sucking on ice cubes or spraying yourself outside with the garden hose or you name it! My grandmother used to get cotton balls and put rubbing alcohol on my legs and arms; it really did make me feel cooler for a while. I’m just grateful I didn’t live in the early 1900’s or earlier. Imagine wearing all those clothes that girls and women had to wear and the petticoats. No wonder people had fainting couches in their houses—people fainted all of the time from the heat or had vapor attacks.

I’ll take air conditioning anytime. Face it, we are all used to it even in our cars. Would you buy a car without air conditioning? Of course not nor a house without it. I’m thankful for it and have mine on right now plus two fans running to circulate the air. No citronella candles outside here for I can’t eat in the hot outside air and that smell is horrible. And no Lifebuoy soap for it dredges up memories of those hot baths in my grandparents big claw footed tub where the sweat outweighed the water.

Not into bedroom moving to see which one is the coolest and so thankful that I don’t have to do that as well. If you’ve done any of the above things as a kid, those memories never leave you. Today’s kids have no idea what it was like then and would throw a fit: I can see it now. Well we threw no fits. We just dealt with the heat as best we could and survived—sort of.

Sherry Hill

Buy A Hutch and Get Rid of Clutter

About three weeks ago, I went to the thrift store I frequent and saw a gorgeous white French hutch. Took a look at it and the price tag and meandered around elsewhere buying several things and left. All night long I thought about that beautiful hutch--it drove me crazy! I wanted it and yet there was not one single place for it in this big kitchen. Reason why? Furniture overload. The next morning I called the shop and lo and behold, the hutch had been marked down! I told the woman that I wanted it and bought it.

I suppose I should tell you that I have a broken right foot and that made the above situation even worse. Couldn't move things in the kitchen alone and things had to be moved for the men were bringing that hutch the next day. Got on the phone, called neighbors who were wonderful to come and help move too many chairs downstairs--that was one problem solved. The other problem was "stuff" overload: Like way too much. I made piles of this and that and eliminated what I didn't want and got even more risky and made more piles of things I didn't want. All of these piles were in the kitchen and when the men arrived with the huge hutch, the first place they looked was in the kitchen. One man said "Lady,there is no way that hutch is going in here!" "Oh yes it is. Just wait and see" I said. He laughed while the other man with him stood there gasping in shock at the piles of stuff.

My first thought was to have the hutch at an angle away from the chest of drawers that is on the biggest wall. Well the men tried it and left it there because they had to move a computer chair, a small round table that had a ton of books on it which proceeded to fall into the floor when they moved it and those piles of stuff.

I worked as much as I could eliminating those piles by giving stuff away to friends and/or throwing it away.Sometimes you just get to that point when it has to go.

Finally, I was down to one pile and it still remains but it's in a chair that has to go into another room; it could stay in the kitchen but it's scratchable and I have a cat so nix that idea. A neighbor came over and moved the chest of drawers and put the hutch on the big wall. SPACE! I can now walk around in the kitchen without running into something or getting lost and having no one finding me.

Of course after doing that, I attacked the kitchen counters that had clutter and things I hadn't seen in like forever. Ah I felt so good to have space again.

Sometimes you have to buy a big piece of furniture in order to inspire you to eliminate a lot of useless stuff that you have sitting around. I did and I don't regret buying that hutch one single bit. I'm thrilled to have a normal looking kitchen again--it's been a long time.

Sherry Hill

* I forgot to add the most important thing: The next day when I called about the hutch, the price had been dropped so low that I had to have it. Was meant to be.

Disgusted With Things?

Disgusted with things?  Here’s my list of things that disgust me:

Fake people
Rumor spreaders
News on tv that scares you when it shouldn’t
Jealous people
Prejudice in any form
People who harm children or animals
Unfair laws
People caught up in themselves
People who love to humiliate
Drama queens [oh so many!]
I’m sure that you could add many more disgusting things to this list. Know that I could but will leave it up to you.
Sherry Hill

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Maybe you don’t know what a koi pond is but I can well remember what one looked like. These ponds were left over from the early 1900’s and were popular into the fifties. They were either by the side of a house or in the backyard—mostly in people’s backyards. The pond consisted of a hole dug in the ground, water added, goldfish [carp] put in and the water looked black. Heck, it was black! The first time I ever saw one was at a house across the street from my grandmother and it gave me the creeps. I could see a glimpse of a flash of orange here and there and thought the pond was endlessly deep.

How would I ever guess that I would fall into this pond? The people who owned it had two daughters and a son. I played with them when I was staying with my grandmother. My family had moved to another close by city and I got an invitation to a birthday party at that house. Remember riding a cab by myself [you were safe at that time I suppose] to my grandmother’s house and her walking me across the street to the birthday party. I was so excited when I got there. The party was out in the backyard with the usual birthday cake, sliced ice cream and something to drink.

And then came the games. Bet you can guess that one of them was blind man’s bluff and here I was blind folded and twirling all around in the usual kid stupor—until I felt wet and felt slimy things on my legs and arms. Yep, I was in that koi pond! Grabbed the blindfold off, screamed holy murder and was pulled out by some adult. Soaked, scared and shocked, I ran out of that backyard and across the street to my grandmother’s house as fast as I could.

I didn’t care if I had left that party or not. It had to be one of the worst things in my little so- called life at that time that scared the mortal wits out of me. My beautiful dress was almost destroyed, hair dripping wet not to mention my shoes. And the thought of those fish swirling around me gave me the jitters. Oh the consolation from grandparents was wonderful but when my parents picked me up to go home that day, imagine their surprise at seeing me in a state of horrid disrepair. I won’t write what my mom said. Will leave that up to you the reader.

Did learn that the koi pond was not deep since I could stand up in it when I was in it but also learned that I never wanted to be near another one in my life. And I haven’t. I’m posting a photo I found on Microsoft Word but only the bottom part—the pond part—is what that thing looked like. Dark, murky and darned frightening to look at still. Oh and by the way, after that incident, I also hated games forever and still do. Why you never know what might happen to you!
Sherry Hill


Have always loved David Bowie's songs and wanted to post this one
in case you are having a bad day or situation.
Sherry Hillhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyVjdQXNs9s&feature=share