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Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The heat is upon us here and personally, I don’t like it at all. There was a time when I lived for blistering hot days; in fact, I thrived on them. Spent too much time taking sunbaths or being at the pool. Now the pool was wonderful but it closed about ten years ago:  It was a private pool that just about everyone in my neighborhood attended. Miss it.

But I don’t miss lying out in the 90 degree temperatures either. In fact, now when I’m outside and it’s hot and humid, it makes me sick. It has to be an age thing for about ten years ago, it didn’t affect me.

Three years ago, I had on a dark short sleeved top and dark pants when I decided to go outside about 11:00 in the morning to trim hedges. Had no idea that it was extremely hot till the water poured down my forehead into my eyes and they stung. Hobbling back around my house and up to the front door, I ran inside to the air conditioning and it took forever to get cool. In fact, it took about three days. Mini heat stroke was what happened to me.

After that experience, I will never do anything so stupid as that again ever in my life. Here where I live the humidity in the summers plus a high temperature equals bad news. It just zaps the life out of you. No, I didn’t think that would happen to me as I stated before but I started thinking about how women must have coped long ago in the heat. Can you imagine having to wear all those long slips and crinolines along with a long sleeved dress? No wonder people had fainting couches in their houses. Women fainted! Men probably did too.

And so I will go outside early in the mornings or late in the evenings when it’s scorching hot outside but not during the day—unless I’m in my car with the air conditioner running full blast. Can’t take the heat. Can you?

Sherry Hill

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


 If you believe in miracles, then welcome to my club, for I have seen them over and over. So many people are too "blind" to see them or ignore them. I could make a long list, but I won't. I just want to relate one experience that happened 12 years ago.

My mom died on May 10, 2001, and, as an only child, it was a terrific blow to me. Would be a terrific blow to anyone who has lost their mother, and one that is never expected but happens. She died on the Friday before Mother's Day -- what a shock it was to realize I no longer had a mother.
My mom's favorite colors were yellow and black. She had those colors (accented with hot pink) all over her gorgeous apartment. The day of her burial, when I got home, I walked out to the end of my street. From there I could look down at the city and just let my emotions go wild. It was about 4 in the afternoon, and as I turned around to walk back, I felt something on my face.
I didn't touch it, but could see it. It was a yellow and black butterfly. I dusted it off of me and really didn't think much about that incident until the next day, when it happened again to me at the end of the street. This time the butterfly landed on my arm and I looked at it and saw those colors and a chill went over me. Day after day, even when I had my dog with me, I would go out to end of the street and have a butterfly on me. This went on till late fall and then started all over again in the spring.
By this time, I just felt that it was somehow a spirit of my mom, for not only was the butterfly always yellow and black, but my mom loved butterflies and had a lot of butterfly things in her apartment. This experience went on for three straight years -- a butterfly landing somewhere on me every day (except in the winter). Then one day it stopped and has never happened again.
Whether others think it not, I think it was a miracle and think that somehow her spirit was linked to that butterfly. How could it not be? She was watching over me or it made me feel that way.
When I got up the gumption to tell others, they too had experienced butterflies either on them or around them after the death of a loved one. Maybe you have had it happen to you, or maybe you just didn't notice.
If your mother is still alive, cherish her. If you've lost her, it might be time to rethink this miracle.

Sherry Hill
*Published May 12, 2013 in The Charleston Gazette


Last Saturday my up the street neighbors were having a yard sale. I’d already asked if I could come up early—most detest that but my friends didn’t mind. It was cold here at seven in the morning so I put on a shirt, long pants, a coat and took off my shoes as I decided to wear my flat rubber rain boots. That was a big mistake if ever.

Those rain boots are kept on top of an umbrella stand by the front door. Last time I had them on was in February. The yard sale adrelaine was getting to me and did I look inside of those boots? Of course not. I put them on as fast as I could and headed out the door and up the hill. Oh I found treasures all right and my friend’s husband even carted them down the hill to my house. I was in “after yard sale heaven” staring at my treasures. Felt fine for about an hour or so, changed into my shoes, discarded the coat and plotted out my day.

Well that plotting didn’t last long because I started feeling sick to my stomach, got chills and wondered why my right calf hurt. Took to my bed and minute by minute I felt worse. Back up to get an extra strength aspirin and had to put on a robe on top of the other clothes before I got back in bed. I never thought to look at the back of my calf in the mirror; just thought it was a shin splint. And being the teacher I had been, it is innate in me to think that things will get better. They didn’t.

Sunday was a miserable day and I did get a hand-held mirror and looked at the back of my calf: There was a huge bump and around it, my skin was as red as a beet. That bump hurt when I touched it. Scared.  I decided to wait it out and go to see my doctor the first thing on Monday and I’m glad I did. After examining it, he told me that a spider had bitten me. “Funny” I said to him for I never felt the bite. Maybe most people don’t. He phoned in an antibiotic for me and it was picked up; said he wanted to see me if it got worse. Thank heavens the place didn’t get worse. I took his orders and stayed off my feet which is not normal for me at all. Fear can do that: Make you follow directions.

It is now Tuesday and yesterday I took the last prescribed pill. My calf doesn’t hurt and the swelling is gone but there still is a place that is visible.

Maybe you are wondering why I didn’t go to the emergency room:  I didn’t realize what was going on that Saturday. Should have looked at my calf [the bite was on the back of it] in a mirror but assumed it was a shin splint. Shin splints don’t make you sick to your stomach or give you a fever. Spider bites do if you realize you have one.

I can tell you this:  The rubber rain boots are no longer on top of the umbrella stand by the front door. And I will never put any type of footware near it for spiders love to come in that way. And I will look into boots or shoes before I ever put them on. Luck was with me for it could have been a bite from a spider that had deathly venom. The moral of this story is not to assume that one has a shin splint without looking at where the pain is coming from by using a mirror—and never put on boots without looking inside.

Along came a spider and it bit me. And I spent a week in bed. Who wants that? Count me out next time.

Sherry Hill