Popular Posts

Monday, August 27, 2012


If you don't live in a place that has the season of fall [autumn,] you are missing out on my most favorite season ever. Fall has the most vibrant leaf colors, a smell in the air that is so distinct, azure blue skies and it gives me the crunchy feeling when I walk on leaves gathered in the yard or street. Fall is simply nature at its best for there is nothing not to love about it. Pumpkins abound in their orange colors, acorns fall to the ground making a small sound if you are near them and it seems as if the entire world is blanketed in color.

My past memories of fall bring up thoughts of happy times as a kid running through leaves or jumping into leaf piles or drinking apple cider and eating candied apples.  People used to have bonfires going out in the country or here in town when it was allowed and the smell of that burning triggered every sense in my being. And of course Halloween is in fall--another thing to love about it.

I was and still am always on the lookout for perfectly shaped trees cloaked in their vivid colors. To me, they are just magical to look at. But the imperfect ones are just fine with me as well for their colors leave you breathless. If you have never been to West Virginia and especially in the fall, google photos from here: You will be left as breathless as I stay in fall. The only bad thing about fall is that it doesn't last long enough for me--I wish it lasted far longer than it does. And of course coming on its heels after it is winter--a beautiful but desolate time where everything is drab unless there is snow. Fall is a "Catch it while you can" time and I try to catch every minute of it. It just makes you feel wonderful and alive and is no doubt the most beautiful of all seasons.

Sherry Hill
*Photo from online


After I wrote about my grandfather’s garage, I felt that I should write about the car that inhabited that place. My grandfather had a 38 Chevy long after I was born: It was black and the seats inside were made of wool. Running boards on the outside made it fun for my cousins and me to stand on when we were playing in or around that car. I know that my grandfather did not drive that car much because he only drove it to work to the furniture store of which he was part owner and to The Pub, a then-local beer place, to get his cigars. The rest of the time it either sat out in the partial driveway or was in the garage.

When I say partial driveway I mean that my dad and uncle poured cement for two wide strips that led to the garage. Not much of a driveway but it was what my grandfather wanted and what he got.

Since he smoked cigars, my cousins and I would get the small wrappers and put them on our fingers. Probably where I developed my much later ring fetish no doubt. But I can remember sitting in the hot back seat with my female cousin putting those cigar bands on our fingers  and itching at the same time from those wool seats. And it was hot as Hades in that car in the summer. No air conditioning in a model 38 Chevy. If there had of been, rest assured that my grandfather would not have used it. When it came to things, he was on the stingy side except with whatever we, the grandchildren, wanted and then it was no holds barred as the saying goes.

Never remember that Chevy being ever dirty. Not sure where he went to have it cleaned but it was not as his house. When he died, my grandmother sold it for she didn’t know how to drive and had no need for it. And there went another play place for my cousins and me—it was our secret place to sit in and swelter and pretend.

To this day, I can remember how it felt to sit on those hot wool seats while wearing shorts in the summer and it was not good. But the cigar bands of my grandfathers were an added bonus to being in that car. I do have a picture of it and will post it later. Whoever bought it sure did get a good deal because it no doubt had little mileage and was in tip top shape. Many times I wonder who it was who bought it or where that car is now and I have a sneaking feeling that it is still somewhere in my town.

Sherry Hill

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Not long ago, I was thinking about my grandfather’s garage: It was there long before I was born.  Typical old type made of wood with two big doors that one had to close manually. Inside was a dirt floor and two wooden planks for the car to rest upon. There were no windows and the funny thing I remember is that there was never any mildew in there and there was only enough room for one  car.

What I do remember is the distinct smell of being inside that garage for I was in it a lot when my grandfather had the doors open and was looking for bug spray or the like. It smelled of wood, bug spray and had a faint smell of gasoline. And I loved that smell. I can conjure it up right now from memory: Some things are like that with me and perhaps with you the reader. It brings back happy memories of my childhood because I was always the rummager and would look for things in that garage. I do remember finding some old medicine bottles and asking my grandfather about them but he declined any comment.

When I asked my grandmother about those bottles, she told me that his first wife was a Christian Scientist and did not believe in taking medicine in any form. And so he sneaked out to the garage and took his medicine and hid the bottles from her. I wish I had kept those bottles but like most things, they didn’t seem important to me at that time—just a fleeting treasure.

I definitely remember that bug spray: It was in a metal pump and smelled awful. But he used it so much that I developed a tolerance for it. Heaven only knows now what it was made out of and I’m sure I could google the contents but would be afraid of the findings and no doubt, they would have been really bad.

The push lawnmower was in the garage but my grandfather paid a man to do the yard; later on as a young child, I got to push it in the yard. Didn’t do much grass cutting but it was fun to mess around with.

My grandfather died when I was eleven and not much later, my grandmother sold his car. Oh yes, I still would go in that garage to get things to help her out and later as an adult, she asked me if I wanted my wooden childhood play things. Have no idea why I didn’t take my doll bed or doll high chair but I did take my red leather little chair. It was like the other things in perfect condition which surprised me and no doubt her.

When my grandmother died in 1971, my mom and her sister rented the house. This went on till about 1980 and then the house and garage were sold. I’d drive by just for security’s sake to see both and it made me feel safe. Six years ago, the owners of both had them demolished. Broke my heart. Loved the house and that garage was a thing of wonder to me. Gone but all I have to do is to think about it and I can see it in my mind’s eye. And I remember the smell—how could I ever forget it?
My grandfather’s garage was a special thing and place to be in.

Sherry Hill

*I have no picture of the garage; it reminded me of the one in the movie "A Christmas Story."

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Queen Anne's lace is abundant and grows wild.
Did you know that it is really wild carrot? The roots are similar to that of a carrot--and I've certainly pulled up my share of them in my life time. But mostly I just love to pick Queen Anne's lace and bring them home and put them in a vase along with water.

To me, it is beautiful and miraculous--not a rose by any means or a hot house flower but a humble one that is so overlooked as just a "weed." No way!

This flower is not considered humble by me: A cluster of them makes a thing of beauty.
If you're out and about, pick some, take them home and enjoy them. After all, they're plentiful right now and most of all, they're free for the taking.

If you want more information on this lovely flower, google how it got its name: Lots of interesting reading. "Gather ye Queen Anne's lace while you may!"

Sherry Hill

*Photo from online.


I found this saying on a facebook 
site and wanted to share it here.
As a child of two working parents,
believe it or not, I was never read to--ever. Didn't stop my love of books though and when I was in the first grade, I was five. And I learned to read that year and developed such an insatiable desire to read every book I could get my hands on. Think "Matilda" if you've ever seen that movie where she devours  books --books that were way beyond her years. That was me. I read Dickens when I was six years old.

With my love of reading, I read to younger kids in my neighborhood since
I was deprived of it. The library was my favorite hang out where you could take home as many books as you could carry--and I did.

When I was in grade school, each room had its own library. You weren't allowed out of your seat unless you had to sharpen a pencil, go to the bathroom or get a book. Not many choices there but mine was mostly to get a book to read.

Forward in time when I was teaching and oh how I read aloud books to my students. No doubt, I read about twenty or more books a year to them and to this day, many still remember those books but more remember my reading them aloud. When I became a mother of two sons, they were read to at an early age: I took the time and I wasn't back to teaching yet.

That is what it boils down to: Time. Every parent has time to read aloud to his or her child. Dr. Seuss books are wonderful as starter books for children to listen to for they consist of very few words but those words
are repetitive throughout each book of his. And how do children learn?
They learn in lots of ways but repetition is an important factor.

So please take Dr. Seuss' advice and read to a child for I was deprived of it and to this day wonder why. Your child or children will thank you for it.

Sherry Hill

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I've always loved wisteria; as a kid, when my parents bought our first house, it was covered in the front with it. The smell was heavenly, the bees were not. Nonetheless, I loved it from the get go and the color purple added to its charm.

Forward in time to when my then-husband decided to plant wisteria in our front yard. We had gotten a huge arch made out of metal tubing and I had no idea he had planted it until he told me. Said he planted pink on one side and purple on the other. "Great" I said thinking it would look something like this picture--it is a real one of my friend's wisteria in Alabama.

And so I waited and waited. Oh the vines started climbing all right--they eventually got about twenty feet tall and curled this way and that as if they were alive.  Did it ever bloom? It had one bloom on it and that looked absurd. One day when I came home from teaching school, I saw about twenty or more blooms. What had happened? Well, I'll tell you what happened: He had gone out and bought fake wisteria blooms and had hung them on the vines. Who in their right mind would do that? I mean it looked nice but they were fake. Neighbors came over to see those glorious new blooms and upon feeling them knew they were not real. So much to his disdain, he took them down and it was much to my relief.

After we got divorced, that wisteria grew even more tall and seemed to take on a life of its own. It grew and grew and curled to the roof and curled to the fence to the right. Frightening if you were to ask me and it did remind me of that movie "Little Shop of Horrors" where the plants came alive. The wisteria came to be scary. I'd hire people to trim it way down and almost the next day, it had grown taller. Developed a hatred of it because it never bloomed and that fear factor didn't help one bit. None. Nada.

Three years ago I got a new arch and prior to that, I had to hire three men who said that they knew what they were doing. It was like watching The Three Stooges at work. Why they got the old arch out all right--they threw it across the street and over the hill. Then they got the new arch up and cemented it into the ground. Sort of looked like what eight year olds would do but at least it didn't fall over. They also cut down that wisteria and I felt not only happiness but gratefulness in that it was GONE. Wrong. Within a week, that vine started to grow again.

Called a woman who does yard work and she used weed killer on it and it was gone--or so I thought.

Now when she does my yard, she has to rid the wisteria...it's coming back up again in all sorts of places. Whatever kind my ex planted, it sure wasn't any normal variety. Come to think of it, neither was he. Maybe there was a connection there. Had to be. And so you can see why I am not fond of wisteria anymore or at least whatever form is out in my yard. I just now rhyme WISTERIA with HYSTERIA. Works for me.

Sherry Hill


Found this cartoon on facebook and it made me laugh! I feel like the popped ear of corn! This summer here has set heat records like no other summer before. And I hate the heat!

Being a former sun loving goddess and always at the pool or taking a sunbath loaded with Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion, I had more than my share of the heat. I loved it. Loved having a tan and loved soaking in the rays.

Not anymore! I go outside and the humidity and the heat do a number on me. Why I can't get back inside to an air conditioned house fast enough. When I'm out there, I can't breathe and it literally makes me sick. Has to be an age thing although I hate to admit that: Who would? Even the birds are hardly out in my yard much less squirrels: That says something if they cant't take it as well.

Oh I have shorts and bathing suits but they remain where they were last put--in the cedar chest. My attire has drastically changed into what was hip to what is now comfortable and cool. But inside, it's cold [the ac is set on 70] and I find myself wearing layers.

"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!" is a popular saying. Well I can't take the heat but my computer is in the kitchen and it's cool in here! Hard to say goodbye to the sun loving goddess that I used to be. But since I have olive skin, it does help--at least I'm not pasty white. As for the high temperatures, take them please. I can't take the heat.

Sherry Hill


School starts here next week for all students. But had I still been teaching, I would have been at my school about two weeks ago working like there was no tomorrow. If you're a grade school teacher, there is so much more to do than say being a middle school or high school teacher. Boxes of crayons have to be numbered, pencils sharpened, supplies put away, new text books numbered and the list goes on and on.

Do I miss it? How could I not? The minute I see back to school items in stores, I start to go into a panic until reality sets in that I am no longer teaching.

And it's sad in a way for I loved my job. I remember my very first day teaching school and my very last and have such mixed emotions. Loved kids and loved watching them soak up learning like sponges. Miss the interaction, being being the bearer of ideas and  just plain miss it all.

One thing that I don't miss is the now overload of paper work on the part of a teacher. When I first started teaching, I had a lesson plan book and a grade book--that was all. When I quit, I had a lesson plan book that was at least four inches thick, a grade book, an anecdotal notebook and at least thirty other notebooks on this and that. Yes, times changed and I changed with the times.

When that first day of school arrives, I will fall into my normal funk of not being there as a teacher. How could I not?

Last week I did what I have done in the last several years: I bought three new boxes of markers, some folders and some new fine line Sharpies.  Habit? Of course. Oh I'll use them all right when I do art or make cards but it's not the same--how could it be? These things are just innate in me to have every year. Skipped the notebooks though for why would I need them?

I met every new school year with enthusiasm and excitement and every last day when the students left, I cried. Every student left with a part of me and I had a part of them residing in me. Guess I am the compilation of every student I've ever had and if you were to ask me how I feel about it, I'd say it's a good thing.

I will always miss teaching school. Always. And so, I'll get out my markers and create something to let that first day go by: I have to.

Sherry Hill



3-4 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks
1 [14 ounce] can of chicken broth –divided [Swanson’s chicken broth]
1 8oz. carton of sour cream
3 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced
2 teaspoons of fresh dill, minced [save a dill sprig]
Peppermint if available [2 leaves washed and cut up]

*In blender, combine cucumbers, 1 cup of chicken broth and a dash of salt and cover and process till smooth.
*Transfer cucumber mixture to medium bowl and stir in remaining chicken broth.
*Whisk in sour cream, chives, peppermint  and dill. Cover and chill before serving.
*Garnish with a dill sprig.


Sherry Hill
*I found this recipe online but altered it some. Trust me, it's wonderful!