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Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Most all of us are on facebook, twitter, instagram or some form of social media as it’s how we communicate in today’s world. About four years ago, I got caught up in watching the “Decorah Eagles” live on Ustream; how did I find out about it all? I found out on facebook. And I was hooked. Watched the eagles live for three straight years and developed a lot of “media” friends with whom I had so much in common.

Imgaine my shock to learn that a friend of mine died the other day as her husband had posted about her death. No, I never met her in person but we communicated through messages: I couldn’t believe that her husband was raised near where I live or the fact that all three of us had so much to talk about.

I never even saw a photo of her until her husband posted it along with the fact that he’d be taking down her page soon. Odd how we get a idea of how we think someone looks only to be dispelled of that idea when our perception is way wrong. She was lovely but I pictured her with dark hair and eyes and that was way off base.

No matter. She was a dear online friend, a confidant and a person with a huge heart. And I will miss our chats—I will miss her greatly for there already is a big hole in my heart as well as others that knew her. To her husband and son, their grieving is just starting and there is nothing but sympathy and healing blessings that I can send their way.

In this world of social media, finding dear friends is rare. Diana was rare. May she soar with the eagles. Godspeed my friend.

Sherry Hill

Copyright © 2015
Sherry Hill

All Rights Reserved


Today Halloween is nothing like it was when I was little or for my now grown sons for that matter: It’s a different world and a frightening one for children to go out of their own neighborhood. But it wasn’t like that for me: The mere mention of the word “Halloween” had magic in it and it meant dressing up in a costume that I thought would make me look entirely different: I could be someone else.

From age three to seven, my working mom made my costumes but thereafter they were store bought and came in a box. I’d always pick out a box that showed a girl all glamorous with a drawing of the costume, mask and wig.  Excitement was rampant as I held that box and couldn’t wait for Trick or Treat or Halloween and no, I wasn’t allowed to try it on before either event but oh the temptation was there all right.

Imagine my disappointment when I opened that box and saw a shabby dress that tied in the back, a full face mask that looked nothing like it did on the box cover and sometimes a wig that could only be described as looking like dyed steel wool pads. Putting it all on was even worse for the shabby dress was flimsy and it never failed that the sleeves were too short which meant that I had to wear a long sleeved dress underneath it making it look all the worse.

As for the full face mask it looked nothing like it did on the box cover either and once I tried it on, I couldn’t breathe much less see out of the tiny slits that were where my eyes should be. And the mask had a black wide rubber band that was attached on either side and guaranteed to snap after two or three times of taking it off and that mask was so hot that my face was covered with sweat. I well remember staring at myself in my parent’s big bedroom mirror and just gasping at my reflection: I looked ridiculous.

One look at the wig and I decided I wouldn’t wear it for it was too tiny and there was no way it looked like human hair period. That part was okay with my mom of not wearing it but I had to wear the hideous costume and that full face mask. “Fine” I thought to myself “I can at least take off the mask if I had to because she wouldn’t suspect that I would.”

Come the day of the big event of Halloween and it meant that all kids wore their costumes to school and sat in them all day long. Some boys snatched their face masks and put them on just enough to disturb the teacher while all of the girls, including me, wouldn’t dare be caught. But the worst thing ever was that generally the end of October was cold and parents sent all of us to school with our coats on this special day. And as if my costume didn’t look ridiculous enough, it looked even worse with a long coat over it—why you couldn’t tell I had on a costume: All you could see was that horrid mask as the Halloween parade was around blocks near the school where every parent and neighbor stood smiling and staring.

I was mortified.

And it never failed that the black rubber band broke off on my mask making it impossible to keep it on and by that time I really didn’t care if it had. Too many times my teacher tried to fix it as well as other kids’ masks but to no avail.

But come Trick or Treat and it really didn’t seem to matter by then how I looked in my costume or mask for what mattered was being with friends my own age, unsupervised and allowed to go for blocks and blocks to get candy in the dark. Crime was never a problem then and like my friends, I felt safe and protected but should any of us get scared, we knew what houses to go to for safety. And we knew what houses to avoid for if they looked creepy, we stayed away from them—at least I did.

I loved every single minute of lugging bags and bags of fabulous candy straight up my hill in the dark for it was magical and my friends were with me until they reached their own houses. This routine was repeated from age eight until age eleven for at that age, I was in junior high school and felt that I was too old to wear a costume and the like. Secretly I missed it though.

It was a time of wonderment and feeling free to roam on Trick or Treat night or Halloween and not be afraid. “Afraid” wasn’t something that I even thought about for it wasn’t a factor. I look back at only happiness at the wonderment that was felt each year and even now, I realize still that those boxed costumes were misleading for they looked nothing like as was shown on the box. But since my mom made me wear one, what choice did I have? No doubt the same choice that you had if you grew up in the same time period—you did what you parents told you to do as well.

Sadness is what I feel for today’s kids who are confined to a mall to go Trick or Treating or to one known area for they know that fear exists as well as crime in a world gone wrong as do their parents that go with them.

I wish I could take so many children back to the time when I was a kid when Halloween was all that it was supposed to be:  Deliriously spellbinding with magic thrown in for good measure. It was the best of times to be a kid at Halloween for the world was safe, my boundaries were limitless and I felt no fear—only joy and a dislike of my costumes and those masks.

Sherry Hill
Published in the Charleston Gazette Mail

Sunday, October 25, 2015


When my younger son was nine, he collapsed out in the yard while grabbing his side. It was a hot late October day.  I saw him through the kitchen window and ran out and picked him up: He was blazing hot with a temperature. His father was out of town on a hunting trip and I was scared to death not knowing what to do for fear had set in both of us. I called a male friend that lived nearby for he was a drug representative and he dashed up here as fast as he could. “Looks like it’s his appendix and we need to get him to the hospital now.”

My neighbor kept my older son while the three of us headed for Memorial Hospital with my friend driving about ninety miles an hour. Immediately my younger son was taken into the ER where the doctor checked him and made him sit in an alcohol bath: His temperature did come down some but he still had intense pain in his side. “Doesn’t seem that bad to me” replied the doctor. “Take him home, give him some aspirins and he should be better.” That was said after three hours there while I was completely hysterical.

My friend drove us home and my son seemed to rally a little but later on that night his temperature shot up to 104 degrees. There were no cell phones then and there was no way to call his father but somehow someone managed to call a person that lived near where he was hunting. My then-husband did call and said that he thought our son would be fine. “Fine?” I asked. “He has a high temperature and his side still hurts.” “Take him back to the hospital” was all that he said.

Again I had to call someone but this time I called a relative that dashed to the house to stay with my older son.

I called my male friend about 2:30 in the morning; thankfully his wife was understanding and thankfully he came up and took us back to the hospital.

Back in the same ER and back seeing the same doctor who was completely confused with my son’s symptoms. “It might be his appendix after all; I want him admitted right now.” Thank heavens I had my pocketbook with me for it would come in handy the next few days. My son was in a private room, on an IV and nurses came and went. He had x-rays and nothing was wrong with his appendix but his temperature had not gone down but one degree.

A nurse came into his room and gave me one of the flip fold out-type chairs that makes into a bed if you are on the floor and that’s where I spent the night for three nights. There was no way I was leaving him but yet I had to in order to get food for although he was managing to eat some, the hospital gave me none. The downstairs cafeteria seemed miles away and yet I’d grab something, pay for it and head back to his room.

Any nine-year old is scared to be in a hospital and with his temperature receding, he was aware of his surroundings, asked me questions and calmness seemed to wash over him as well as me. He was sitting up in the bed looking at a kid’s book when all of a sudden a couple rushed into the room: The man was dressed up like Dracula and the woman was dressed up like a witch. They pounced right upon him as close as they both could get and that was bad enough but worse was what was said by “Dracula” for he screamed at my son and asked “Do you believe in God?” And while asking that, he was shaking a Bible right in my son’s face.

“Yes” replied my son in a shaky voice. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing or seeing. “Well good” Dracula told him “because if you don’t, you’re going straight to hell right now!” Now really can you imagine any adult saying that to a sick little boy? The “witch” was right there along his side. “You can both get out of this room right now” I told them both “and I’m calling security.” As they left, my son was sobbing and I was calming him. “Just ignore those people” I told him but a lot of damage had been done.

This happened thirty-four years ago and hospitals were not secure like there are today. In actuality, I wasn’t sure if anyone was available to get the two out of the place; luckily, I saw a nurse out in the hall and recanted what had happened. She stopped the dreadful dressed up couple before they were about to enter a room full of three-year olds.

My son’s temperature did go down later on that day but had shot up prior due to the action of that couple. By the afternoon, he was released and again that male friend came to take us home. Both of us questioned the doctor and all he could say was that he had no idea why the symptoms existed in the first place. Was not his appendix, was not some virus and really, whatever it was, was over by the next day thank heavens.

As I write this, I’m not sure if my younger son remembers any of it or not. He still has his appendix and never had any more flare ups like that one time but did he remember that horrid couple? Not sure unless I were to ask him and I just might for once again, it’s a late October day and my thoughts always go back to the terrible time in the hospital for him. Being sick and in pain is one thing but being pounced upon by a Halloween dressed up crazed couple is another thing. One can only hope that both of them got their comeuppance—they certainly deserved it and in big doses.

Sherry Hill

Copyright © 2015
Sherry Hill

All Rights Reserved

I'm not saying that what the couple said was right or wrong: It was totally out of place and character.
To all of you apologies: I've been working on my first big novel and am up to 70,000 words and
nowhere near finished. Although I have ten Amazon Kindle E books, this will be a real one 
through Amazon's Create Space if I ever get finished.

It's a rainy October day here and normally the leaves have already turned their glorious colors but that
only happened yesterday when they finally started changing. Meanwhile, too many leaves have
already fallen.

If you google West Virginia you can see photos of our fabulous tree colors--brief as they might be, it's
still a glorious sight to see.

Wishing all of you a peaceful Sunday wherever you are.

Sherry Hill