Such Is Life

After my recent post in which I shared some of my writing fears and insecurities, I felt a huge weight lift and for the first time in some while, a sense of renewed purpose and yes, joy buoyed me up.

The Pantheon, Stourhead, England Built in 1753 and modelled on The Pantheon in Rome, it was described in 1762 by Horace Walpole as having few rivals ‘in magnificence, taste and beauty’. (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

The Pantheon, Stourhead Gardens England
Built in 1753 and modelled on The Pantheon in Rome, it was described in 1762 by Horace Walpole as having few rivals ‘in magnificence, taste and beauty’.
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

A new determination set in enabling me to keep focused on my newly initiated writing discipline (if I am ever to finish the first draft of my memoir), and although fully aware that the road ahead is far from smooth, I felt stronger than I had done in months to prepare for the inevitable pitfalls.

This busy bee keeps working no matter what... (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

This busy bee keeps working no matter what…
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

But my writing took a back seat once again and not because any of this changed: on Friday morning I rushed my daughter to A&E (ER), whereupon she was admitted to hospital. She returned home yesterday in the late afternoon.  Viral meningitis was suspected but thankfully not.  Still, some sort of nasty virus.

Now we are back home and I feel as if I’ve lost three days in the real world and I am overwhelmed to the point of numbness because I am so far behind with everything.   What can I do?  Well…absolutely nothing except start at the beginning.

Each season brings with it new challenges... Autumn Leaves at Stourhead (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Each season brings with it a new perspective…
Autumn Leaves at Stourhead
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

What is most important is that my daughter is so much better and she is back home. Thank God.

Walking on through the turnstile with the merest of interruptions. Entrance to Stourhead House (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Pushing past the turnstile…
Entrance to the path to Stourhead House
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Blogging had me on a roll last week, so I thought, but these past few days in the hospital with my daughter have changed that.

If not a cottage by the sea, then how about the Gothic Cottage at Stourhead? It even has a fireplace for those crisp, winter mornings... (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

If not a cottage by the sea, then how about the Gothic Cottage at Stourhead?
It even has a fireplace for those crisp, winter mornings…
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Whilst sitting quietly by her bedside as she slept, I pondered the view from the large window in her room.   Being seven floors up, it overlooked a long row of trees, their leaves tinged with the colourful message of September’s autumn.  The sky hung grey and damp after Friday’s storm.

Thunder, lightening and torrential rainfall had heralded our arrival on Friday morning; as I helped her from the car park to the hospital’s entrance, I had managed to catch my daughter’s faint smile as I told her she wouldn’t forget this day for more than one reason, it being suitably Gothic in its pronouncements.

A different point of view... (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

A haven of peace and tranquility amidst the storm…
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

But I also thought of the last time I had looked out of a window from another room not far from hers overlooking the same view five years ago when I had worked there as a medical secretary.

I thought of the five years since and all the difficulties and problems my family has faced and overcome. I thought also of the day when I said ‘enough’ to living on the sidelines of life.  I didn’t want any more ‘lost days’ and so I took one step forward towards my writing dream. I remembered the day everything changed when, sitting in my kitchen with a cup of tea, I read this by novelist George Eliot:

‘It’s never too late to become what you might have been.’

View of The Temple of Apollo, Stourhead - used in the film Pride & Prejudice.   I'm sure that Henry Flitcroft, who built the temple in 1765, had no idea how famous his creation would become centuries later. (c) Sherri Matthews 2014 (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

View of The Temple of Apollo, Stourhead – used in the film Pride & Prejudice.
                      I’m sure that Henry Flitcroft, who built the temple in 1765, had no idea how famous his                                 creation would one day become
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

German philosopher Goethe said:

‘Each indecision brings its own delays, and days are lost lamenting over lost days…What you can do, or think you can do, begin it.  For boldness has power and genius in it.’

Whatever the view, we have to keep our vision alive.   View of The Pantheon and Bridge at Stourhead Gardens. (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Whatever the view, we have to keep our vision alive.
View of The Pantheon and Bridge at Stourhead Gardens in early September.
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

A friend I’ve known for 20 years visited me a couple of weeks ago from California.  We hadn’t seen each other for twelve of those years and it was a thrill for me to share this little corner of England with her.  As we strolled along by Stourhead lake taking in the sights, we talked of days long gone when our children were small and played together, of the highs and the lows and of the different challenges we have endured over the years.  These gardens and their buildings have endured for not far off 300 years: we, like they, are still standing, although of course we are much, much younger.

More than anything, we are grateful for our many blessings, for our visit and today I am so very grateful that my daughter is home and recovering.  And now I write.

Such is life.

…………………………………………………………

I’ll do my best to catch up with you as soon as I can…Love Sherri x

 

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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101 Responses to Such Is Life

  1. Imelda says:

    I am sorry to hear about your daughter being sick. I hope she gets well. When I am in the doldrums because I cannot seem to progress at my personal projects, my husband always tells me, you have done a lot with your life project – caring for children, taking care of family. I wish to pass that bit of wisdom to you – while you have been a little delayed in your personal goals, rest assured that you have accomplished a very special and important goal – being a mother and being with your child when she needs you most. I think that it is a great and priceless accomplishment. 🙂 I hope all goes well. Happy week to you and your daughter. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Imelda, thank you and yes, I agree absolutely, what could be more important as a mum? It’s a huge relief to know that she is on the road to recovery. We are both ready for things to get back to normal, whatever ‘normal’ is…tell me, I’ve forgotten 😉 I hope you have a great week too, I’ll be over to you soon 🙂

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      • Lisa Reiter says:

        Nothing more important than being Mum. So glad that girlie of yours is going to be A-OK! And as for the quotes – fantastic – my favourite being that it is never too late.. Just keep on getting up like the terminator you are and have another go in the spaces you find! We should compare notes as to just how long we’ve each been at our first drafts! We might find we’re not as ‘behind’ as we think!

        BTW – I think the universe is up to something.. We all seem to be hitting similar realisations about self-imposed commitments – all at the same time..

        Love and hugs to all, Lxx

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      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…so lovely of you dear Lisa and thank you so much. It is a huge relief that’s for sure. Yes, I think we probably should compare notes and maybe we then won’t get so agitated about how long it seems to be taking 😉 I love that quote too…and go back to it often. It was that very quote that gave me the final push I needed to start writing and not look back! Hmmm…that is very interesting. I went off on a tangent about self-imposed pressure when it comes to blogging and other commitments but took it out as I didn’t want this post to be too long…it makes for another blog post all of its own doesn’t it? Must be something in the air as you say…but we shall press on regardless won’t we? As ‘he’ would say… ‘Ahhllll be back…’…. Love & hugs right back to you xx

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  2. I’m so happy that your daughter is home again. What a scare that must have been. A few days spent in contemplation, rather than in the busyness of ordinary life, is sometimes quite therapeutic, so i hope that you can now tackle your writing with renewed vigour. Love the beautiful photos and quotes, Sherri.The Pantheon and bridge pic is stunning, and very peaceful to look at. Hugs to you and your daughter. Have a great week. 🙂 xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Sylvia, yes It was horrible but I’m so glad that she was in such good hands – and I can’t fault the care she received, the staff were wonderful – and now feeling so much better. It was a very surreal time and reminded me of things I think I needed to remember but in a different way, if that makes sense. The main thing is that I just need to clear my emails and then I can get back to writing properly again. Tiredness is my main enemy at the moment I think! So glad you like them, I have to say I’ve seen that view of the bridge and The Pantheon many times but I never tire of it…who would?! I’m ready for a great week, thanks so much Sylvia. I hope you are having a lovely time here…hugs back 🙂 xx

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  3. Heyjude says:

    You have certainly endured a lot in life Sherri. My thoughts go out to you and your daughter – it has been one of those weekends as my daughter isn’t well either. Last week she had a rash all over her body, aches and pains, shortness of breath, lymph nodes swollen. I was concerned it might be meningitis too, but she didn’t have a headache. Getting a GP appointment was nigh on impossible and I told her to get to A&E too, but she wouldn’t saying it’s only for emergencies! If I’d been closer I would have taken her myself! Anyway, bloods taken eventually, and it looks like an iron deficiency though why that should cause such horrid symptoms I don’t know. Her doctor said that the rash etc was caused by a nasty virus and her immune system was attacking itself! With Lupus and MS in the family, these things are always a worry. Anyway, hopefully our girls are on the mend now. 🐻

    Love the photos and the quotes. I need to be more decisive. Once I have got Australia out of my system it will be all guns blazing for that house by the sea 😀

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh well as have we both Jude…life’s rich pattern and all that. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter too. Scary symptoms, as were some of my daughter’s. I made the decision to take her to A&E right away on Friday morning as I knew our G.P. would say the same and it would just waste time, and I didn’t want to end up there with the boozy Friday A&E crowd…turns out it was the right decision. She has to have follow up blood tests for inflammation which I took her for today so hoping those have returned to normal. That is scary too with Lupus and MS in the family so I can imagine your concern. Interesting, if that’s the right word, as Grave’s Disease (isn’t that a horrible name?) that my daughter has (overractive thyroid) is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks itself. I would never have guessed an iron deficiency causing those kind of problems though…the body can do very strange things sometimes! I do hope she is feeling lots better now…and love the teddy bear, so cute 😛
      Thank you, and yes, you must get that house by the sea…so I can come and visit you, ha! It’s November you’re going to Australia right? Hope the excitement is kicking in now… 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TBM says:

    First, I’m relieved to hear that your daughter is okay and back home. What a terrifying experience for all of you. I admire your strength and ability to see the good during trying times. Best of luck to you Sherri. Getting the first draft is never easy, especially the first draft of the first book.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much TB…she is doing much better but it was pretty scary. I could have taken my laptop into the hospital but I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate. I think that the time of just being quiet in her room with her (and I did get a lot of reading done) and just contemplating the stuff of life was a good thing. Now I just need to catch up on my sleep!

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  5. How scary for your family, Sherri! So glad to hear that she is home and recovering and that it was not meningitis. There seem to be so many different viruses going around lately. Some are unusual, like the respiratory one spreading from state to state that is affecting young children with asthma and sending them to intensive care units!

    I love how you weave in your gorgeous photos into your writing. That one with the autumn leaves is unbelievably clear and beautiful! Don’t fret about being behind, you will catch up and get back in your groove. I do know that feeling too well though, I was away for the weekend visiting my daughter in college and am way behind on blog reading. Sounds like a wonderful visit with your friend from California. 🙂 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      I know, there seem to be so many and very virulent. Hubby and I have both been sick with this virus (but my daughter got it much worse as she tends to, poor thing…something to do with her having an overractive thyroid – Graves Disease – which is an autoimmune disorder and probably makes her more susceptible) and my middle boy and eldest son’s girlfriend. All had it for ages and we’re still coughing. I was worried being in the hospital that I wouldn’t get something else on top of it but thankfully we were in a separate room away from everyone else. That respiratory one over there sounds horrible.
      Ahh…thanks so much Maria, you’re so sweet and I’m so glad you liked the pics, it was wonderful to be able to go there with my friend. She and her hubby love Pride and Prejudice so she was thrilled to be able to visit the actual Temple of Apollo where Kiera Knightly and Colin Firth did that famous scene in the rain 🙂 I can’t believe it’s been that long since I saw her but I hope to see her again in far less time! How lovely that you got to visit your daughter, I hope she is settling in well…I’m sure I’ll get to read about it on your blog and I’ll be over to you as soon as I can to catch up….and yes, a weekend with the family always means getting way behind on blogging but that’s the price we pay isn’t it?! Have a lovely day 🙂 😀

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  6. Wonderful your daughter is home again. Pray whatever was wrong is gone.
    Love your pictures. They are divine. As good as postcards.
    Heartwarming seeing a far away friend and catching up. You’ve been busy. Don’t let the blogosphere get in the way. 😛

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh I have some catching up to do don’t I? It was lovely to see my friend just before my birthday…it has been a busy time, then I got sick, then had a run in with the engineer to come and fix my dishwasher but didn’t fix it but that’s another story…and then poor baby girl who was so sick 😦 So appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers my friend and I will be over to you asap…and there I was all ready on Friday to come over to you on both your posts and look what happened…yes, let’s just hope and pray that all is now well again and remains so… 🙂 ❤

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  7. Life is what happens when we’re planning other things, Sherri, and you definitely are still not sitting on the sidelines. You’re in the midst of full experiences, grasping challenges in both hands and doing what is most important. All of this is essential to life…and will ultimately enrich the perspectives and textures of your writing.
    Viral meningitis is serious; thank God your daughter did not have it. You and she were both blessed.
    Your pictures on this post are inspiring, vivid writing prompts. The Gothic Cottage at Stourhead is rich with possibilities. Thanks for taking me away from my previously planned writing 😉 to imagine what is happening within that cottage!

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    • Sherri says:

      So very true this Marylin, but you know all about life happening while planning other things…and I thank you for your kind concerns for my daughter who, thank God, is doing much better…and yes, these things certainly do add to an enriched writing experience…and I have to say that I’m truly honoured that you came away from your planned writing to read this post and take a look at the pics…what a compliment 🙂 Yes, you would adore the Gothic Cottage. In the winter months, on Sundays, they light a fire in the fireplace and you can go in and just sit there, contemplate, and leave notes of your thoughts on the provided notepads and pencils for others to read as they enter. How romantic is that? 🙂

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  8. sknicholls says:

    Glad to know your daughter is okay. Life takes unexpected twists and turns and that’s usually when we learn what is most important. You will settle into your writing when you are supposed to. I’ve started projects that I couldn’t get off the ground, only to come back months later and take off like a rocket ship.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much S.K. That is so true about writing…such an ebb and flow. I was just getting back into the ‘rocket ship’ phase but hopefully I can resume take-off now that I can relax a little knowing my daughter is on the mend 🙂

      Like

  9. Amy says:

    So glad you daughter is back, Sherri! What a scary experience.
    Your photos are exquisite. Such a beautiful, inspiring post. Thank you for taking us there.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well I thank you so much Amy, it was very scary indeed. What a great compliment on the photos considering the source… 😉 I am honoured to share with you this beautiful part of England 🙂

      Like

  10. jennypellett says:

    Ah poor C, that was a horrible experience for her – and of course, for her Mum. So happy to hear she’s back at home and recuperating.
    Lovely to catch up with old friends – such a treat – I love showing people around some of my favourite places.
    Don’t worry about catching up with us all -we are here – just do things in your own time, relax a little and play the nursemaid!
    See you soon! xx

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    • Sherri says:

      I know Jenny…can you believe it? I had such a lovely birthday (and the cold/flu/virus/whatever it was/is held off for me to enjoy it but kicked in afterwards) and then it all went pear-shaped, including me having an almighty barney with an engineer who was sent out to fix our dishwasher…I’ll tell you about it sometime, maybe, ha!…and then poor C getting so ill. I’m glad I made the decision to take her to A&E, they looked after her very well and took a raft of tests so it was a relief to know she didn’t have something far more serious.
      Ahh….thanks, I’ll do that and I will be over to you asap, you know I will! And yes, you hit the nail on the head, I am still playing the nursemaid… 😉 xxx

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  11. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter, Sherri. I’m sure it was a frightening experience for both of you. I’m happy she is back home in her own bed.
    Try not to stress about the writing, when things settle down you’ll get back into a groove. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures…you’re so talented! xoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…you are so kind Jill, thank you, and I will be over to you as soon as possible…it’s Shel this week isn’t it? I wouldn’t miss her post for anything, she is such a lovely lady 🙂 I’m so relieved that C is home and doing so much better but yes, it was very scary. She was in a bad way and didn’t want to go to the hospital but once there she was glad I took her. Now I just need to catch up on some sleep. I hope your weekend was less eventful than mine, in a good way! See you soon 🙂 xoxox

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      • Take your time, Sherri, you’ve got other priorities right now, my blog will be there. 🙂 Yes, Shel’s post went up last Friday, it’s great. Get some rest and we’ll chat soon. I haven’t forgotten about your e-mail…I’ve been delinquent. 😦

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        • Sherri says:

          Thanks Jill…just made it over to you and left my comment on Shel’s post, couldn’t let it stand too long! No worries, I’m working on my Summer Spotlight post right now so will get that to you in a day or two… 🙂 xo

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  12. suej says:

    Glad your daughter is home and recovering, Sherri…what a relief for you. Your photos and quotes are great, I love Stourhead but it’s quite a while since I have been didn’t know you were in that neck of the woods. 🙂

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  13. cardamone5 says:

    Happy your daughter is recovered.

    I know this place. I visited Stourhead when I spent a semester in London, on my way to Stonehenge and Bath. I loved it there. The day was misty as it was in these pics. When I describe England to my husband, the image that always first comes to mind are these Grecian temples and vast greenness. Thank you for providing pics that I can show him to go along with this description.

    Love,
    E

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    • Sherri says:

      How wonderful to know this Elizabeth! And even better to know that you can share these photos with your hubby…and what a small world! Bath is in Somerset, about one hour from us, Stourhead even closer and Stonehenge not much further. I’m so glad you got to visit these beautiful places. London is wonderful but I love it when visitors take the time to travel further out as there is so much more to see in this green and pleasant land of ours 🙂 And thank you for your kind wishes for my daughter, she is doing much better now. Love to you too 🙂

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  14. So happy your daughter is better, Sherri. I loved the quotes you shared. They are some of my favorites. It’s fun to think about the past sometimes and what used to be, but I also find it a little sad. I think it’s because I wish I had used that time a lot more wisely and smelled the roses, so to speak, a little more often.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Donna, she is much better now thank goodness. Yes, I do know just what you mean. I think that’s why I find writing my memoir so difficult at times…it’s the ‘if onlys’ that come back and the opportunities that were wasted. it’s not for nothing that ‘they’ say ‘you can’t put an old head on young shoulders’ is it? Still, it’s nice to know that it really is never too late to be who we were meant to be 😉

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  15. Thank heaven your daughter is home and feeling much better. These things are sent to try us. Your renewed hope and your exquisite photographs have soothed me after a tough month and I feel reinvigorated about carrying on with my own memoir so thank you!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Sarah and yes, thank heaven indeed. I’m so happy to know that this post invigorated you in this way, what a blessing this is knowing that we can encourage and exhort one another to keep writing our memoirs and not to give up, especially knowing you have had such a tough month. I hope that things ease up for you as you press on…bless you 🙂

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  16. jenniferkmarsh says:

    Oh Sherri, I’m sorry 😦 What an awful fright that must have been. I’m glad to hear it was nothing serious with your daughter! I really hope she gets fully better soon ❤ Life likes to trick us into thinking the road seems clear, and then all of a sudden a hidden ditch comes along and knocks us about again. But keep fighting through it. I know you can 🙂
    It's lovely for you to have met an old friend, though. I can imagine it was a special moment.
    Love to you x

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, bless you dear Jenny Jen Jen for your love, and concern. Friday morning was very frightening yes, but thank God she is through it all now and doing so much better and nothing serious. She was scared of going to hospital at first but then was glad to be there and knew that it was the best place to be. Oh yes, tell me about it….just as I was thinking ‘ahh…things are easing up at last, had a lovely birthday, feeling good about my writing, blogging, more energy again’ and then wham!!! There came that hidden ditch and over I went…getting back up now though, a bit scratched up, muddy and very tired but getting over it…
      And yes, it was lovely to see my friend again after so long. It meant a lot that she came to see me while visiting our lovely land. She was here the same time that Obama was at Stonehenge, ironic that isn’t it?!
      Hope things are going well with you… ? Mr Catley behaving himself???
      Love to you too…and again, thank you 🙂 ❤

      Like

      • jenniferkmarsh says:

        Glad to hear you’ve picked yourself back up 🙂 Shake the dust off your clothes! aha.
        That does seem funny ^^ Trust Obama to go to Stonehenge when I move away from there!! Jeez. How inconsiderate 😉 My dad works at the MOD base, Boscombe Down, where Obama’s helicopter landed, and he said he saw him in the distance with his million bodyguards. How cool for him!!
        Aahhhh, well. Work has been a bit of an issue for me lately. I don’t really work there anymore. But I’m going back as a helper on Wednesday so I may seem him again!

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      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…that is so cool! And yes, how very inconsiderate of the President, honestly, that isn’t very good planning by his PA is it now? Oh dear…sorry to hear that Jenny, hope all is okay. If you do see him tomorrow try not to burst out laughing…and keep in touch 🙂 ❤

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  17. Denise says:

    Take your time catching up, make sure your daughter is OK, and look after yourself so that you are at your very best when you get back to your writing – that alternately frustrating and inspiring world we live in.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh yes…and what a crazy world it is. I’m still playing nursemaid as Jenny said so I’ll be slow but I’ll get there…again 😉 Thank so much Denise…and I’m enjoying reading The Sense of an Ending 🙂

      Like

  18. restlessjo says:

    A beautiful post has resulted, Sherri 🙂 🙂 And your daughter is on the road to recovery. That’s 2 big bonuses. Us bloggers will keep a while longer, won’t we? And there isn’t any urgency to finish that book? It will be worth waiting for, I’m pretty sure. I appreciate the frustration and the setback, but in the scheme of things, 3 days is… 3 days.
    Hugs, darlin’ 🙂 Every time I see Stourhead I’m minded of Studley Royal. I must try and go there while there are still some leaves around.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes that’s right…3 days is 3 days and in the grand scheme of things it is barely a scratch. It seemed longer I think though because I had so much planned having finally caught up after so long!!!! Oh well, more important I take the time and so glad that my daughter is recovering well. It was surreal being in the hospital like that especially since I used to work there and had to walk through that very ward to use the staff loos. I hated having to do that not because I was squeamish but because I could never get away from so many people. It didn’t suit me at all but I can’t fault the care my girl was given there.
      Ahh…thanks so much Jo for those lovely warm hugs of yours. Yes, you must go and take some lovely pics to share with all of us! I’ll be over to you asap…hugs right back 🙂

      Like

  19. Rachel M says:

    I’m glad to hear your daughter is fine but what a scary weekend it must have been. Lovely pics as always 🙂

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  20. Luanne says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m so relieved that she’s getting better and that she didn’t actually have meningitis. What a frightening time for you, Sherri! The photos and your philosophical approach to it all are beautiful here. You and I will both do what we can do as we do and keep on trying! We will endure and our time spent on our children will endure with them, too.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It was very frightening Luanne but what a relief to have this behind us. I can’t fault the staff at the hospital, they took wonderful care of her and made sure to cover all bases. You just never know in those situations. Thank you so much for your lovely thoughts and yes, we will keep on trying and not give up! We shall indeed endure 🙂

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  21. Sherri, I don’t know how you have any time to put toward your memoir. Just answering all those comments must take a great deal. Don’t stress on catching up. I have almost 400 e-mails and blogs to still read. I’ll get to them as soon as possible but life has it’s own agenda. We just need to flow with it. A family member who is sick will always take priority over everything. No one would do other wise. I always feel like I’m so far behind I can see my rear end ahead of me. isn’t life grand and exciting. If it was dull, what would we have to write about? We’ll hang in there with you. Glad your daughter is better. I don’t get flu’s or colds. Haven’t in more years than I can remember. I eat pickled garlic regularly and it keeps my immunity up. No flu shots either. The only thing I got was the Bells Palsy and stress brought that on. Avoid stress!!!! 🙂 Hugs.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marlene, and I have to say, neither do I!! It is a great amount of time and I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day. The only way I can do is to be really, really disciplined and write first thing in the morning before I go anywhere near blogging or emails. Otherwise, I’m lost and the whole day gets away from me. But keeping to that discipline is the hard part…and yes, life does indeed have its own agenda.
      Wow…go garlic! You know, I haven’t had a cold or flu thing like this in years either and for hubby and I to have it together made it difficult. Then my daughter got it twice as bad. We eat a lot of garlic but maybe I need to get the picked stuff, I do hear it works very well. That’s great for you, but so sorry about Bell’s Palsy, hope you recovered from it. Stress is awful and definitely weakens us. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment here, I really appreciate you doing so and I will be over to you as soon as I can but I also take your thoughtful advice on board. I put too much pressure on myself and I need to stop doing that…take care Marlene, see you soon and hugs back 🙂

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  22. Mabel Kwong says:

    Oh no, so sorry to hear your daughter hasn’t been well. But glad that she’s on the mends. You’re very attentive to her Sherri, taking time out of writing for her and I’m sure she appreciates that a lot. It’s great to hear that your memoir is slowly but surely come. Good writing takes time, and you can’t rush creativity that comes from the heart naturally. Such is life. 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying autumn, those trees look amazing. I’m enjoying spring here, Sherri. Loving it and I send some of our warmth your way ^^’

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Mabel, I do appreciate your kind words and thoughts, as always, and especially now for my daughter. Yes, I write as I can and I hope your writing is going well too! We keep one another going don’t we? 😉 Autumn is in full flow here, I do love this season. I have to remember that you are in beautiful spring, soon to be your summer! So glad you are loving it and I feel your warmth, enveloping me and comforting me. It is actually quite balmy here still, typical September weather but cooler at night. It’s nice to enjoy our mutually loved seasons isn’t it? Great to get the creativity flowing…writing from the heart ❤ 😀

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Great that you are enjoying autumn. Lots of colourful leaves falling for you, Sherri. A feast for your eyes. My book has barely progressed the last time we spoke. Very busy with work and freelance writing. But it’s always nice to have your encouragement, and it inspires me to keep writing when I hear you write. So keep writing, Sherri 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        As you always say to me dear Mabel, you will write your book all in good time 🙂 It’s good to know that you are getting a lot of freelance writing but it’s hard to find time for everything isn’t it and on top of working too…we inspire and encourage one another and that is a wonderful thing isn’t it? Have a lovely weekend and I hope you get to relax and enjoy your spring 🙂

        Like

  23. My thoughts and prayers for your daughter’s fast recovery and good health. That is a scary incident. Thank you for sharing with us the beauty of Stourhead and the Pantheon. The colors of Autumn added magic and bliss to such an amazing landscape. Truly an escape for life’s worries. It’s a blessing to see old friends we spent so much memories. I’m happy for you that you get to meet a good friend from California. Somehow going back to a shared past brings back wonderful feelings and thoughts of family and friendship. It helps bridge that many years of not seeing each other. Take care and God bless you and your family always.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much my dear friend. She is doing much better I’m so relieved and happy to say. These photos show just an early touch of Autumn and I’ll try and go when it is in full flow to take more. You can imagine, the painted landscape with the autumn hues are truly stunning. In fact, Stourhead is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. You and your family would adore it. I can just see you all now, your little boy happily running ahead of you, laughing and grabbing sticks from the ground and wanting to run down to the lakeside to feed the ducks 🙂 It was wonderful to see my ‘old’ friend from California. We certainly do have a shared past, so many years gone by. We had lost touch but she found me through Facebook and I’m so glad for that. It was as if a day hadn’t been missed. God bless you and your family…your visits always bring such sunshine and warmth to my days 🙂

      Like

      • I would love to se it one day. My wife wants to go back next Summer in Europe for a longer period this time. The last vacation was a whirlwind. She has now several cousins these and I can’t blame her for falling in love with U.K. and Europe. Who know, of God’s will, I might find my self walking on the beautiful landscapes of Stourhead. My friend, all the best to you and your family…may Autumn’s magic find its way to your doorsteps.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          You never know my friend, you just never know…life takes us down many twists and turns and also many surprises 🙂 ….’may Autumn’s magic find its way to your doorsteps’…what a beautiful message. I send the very same to you… 😀

          Like

  24. mariekeates says:

    I’m glad your daughter is recovering and it wasn’t as bad as expected. Sometimes life has a way of throwing us off track but it’s. It always a bad thing because it gives us pause for thought. Your photographs are beautiful by the way.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Marie, it was a huge relief that’s for sure. It was a surreal time and certainly did give me pause for thought which, as it turned out, was quite timely. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos…I took them with my phone camera so I was pleased they came out as they did 🙂

      Like

  25. TanGental says:

    We had an expression at university, ‘keep dogging on’ which given the current meaning is wholly inappropriate but in my youth is what you needed to do when things just built up like a personalised wall of Jericho. Life is full of those false horizons. You think your at the top but it’s just a ridge with another ridge ahead. One step at a time, I guess. When I was eight I was rushed into Carshalton children’ s hospital with suspected meningitis and after two lumber puncture, drips and god knows what it was just a Nasty virus. I don’t remember the bad bits, the delirium, the sweats. All I recall is copious chocolate Ice cream and being allowed to watch Top of the Pops which I couldn’t at home. It took me until I too became a parent to understand what that time had done to my parents, how it drained them and left them empty even after the diagnosis was positive. You can’t measure in simple atomic time the impact on you so it might be 3 days but it is a couple of millennia in emotions. It is just as well you have a vulcanised personality, Sherri and can bounce right back!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Geoff…I’m so glad you clarified that as I did have to do a double take, haha 😉 But yes, I get your drift and it is indeed about bringing that old wall down isn’t it? I sometimes get so tired though having to keep walking around it blowing that darn trumpet…7 times isn’t it? Ah yes, that is so true, i wonder if there can ever be a time where there aren’t any of those ridges anymore. But then, that wouldn’t be living would it? So I’ll keep up the battle cry…but you have hit the nail right on the proverbial head here with sharing your story, and wow, you made me sit up straight with this one. Your experience of your hospital stay (and thank God you recovered) with the ice cream and Top of the Pops against that of your parents…which you didn’t understand until you became a parent…you know it. It did drain me and I feel worse today than I did on Monday but that’s in the ‘coming down’ of it all I’m sure. Thanks for understanding that…and I had to look up vulcanised, I admit, as I thought you might be referring to Spock (not that I’m a Trekky or anything) and wondered if you meant it was something to do with my pointy ears and strange hair do, but then I understood just what you meant. And yes, it is just as well…the pressure does feel endless at times but hopefully I will be able to bounce back and keep on, well…you know…

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Life and Other Turbulence says:

    Beautiful post and photos. I’ve had a tremendous game-changing life challenge in recent weeks and have reflected on the concept of endurance…not in terms of stamina to run the race, but in terms of longevity. Like those 300 year old buildings that have endured the test of time, I too look only to the future now as I take just one day at a time…eyes focused on the horizon as I make my own journey through this life. Not looking back and I’m sure as hell not looking down…just staying focused and balanced in every possible way. Life goes on and so must we! So happy your daughter is well and healing at home with her loving mom. Keep on writing, Sherri…I just love your posts.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello my friend. I am heartened to see you here, thank you so much for your always wonderful encouragement and support. But…in your message I read of your recent troubling news and can only reach out to you with a huge hug in friendship and offers of prayer for peace, strength and a beautiful hope to surround you right now…calm amidst the storm. One day at a time, one step at a time, you are looking ahead, keeping focused and balanced. You are not alone in this. God bless you… ❤

      Like

  27. Mahesh Nair says:

    No matter how tough life is for you, your voice has so much clarity, perspective, energy and hope. And these complexities in your life are bringing out the best narratives. Your memoir will be spectacular, a bestseller – trust me!

    Your daughter will be fine soon, and you must continue to write. Take care!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Mahesh, I thank you so very much for such a beautiful message for my daughter and also for me. I am truly humbled, honestly I am, that you would have such faith in me!! Wow…what more can I say? Onward and upward is a start… you take care too my friend. See you soon 🙂

      Like

  28. Beautiful images Sherri! Glad you were able to enjoy the sights with your visiting friend. And very happy to hear your daughter is recovering. I know how scary it is when our babies are in the hospital, especially ER. Hope you get your groove back quickly – I know it can be frustrating. Be patient with yourself 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Connie! Thank you very much for your lovely message, I take on board all you say and you are right….I do need to be patient with myself…not always an easy task!! Bless you 🙂

      Like

  29. Seyi sandra says:

    So sorry to read about your daughter’s illness, but I am glad she is recuperating. I hold her in my thoughts and prayers and wish her strength daily. Thanks for sharing those awesome pics with us, I’m certain you enjoyed your friend’s visits. Take care my friend and God bless you richly!
    Much love to you. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Seyi, thank you so much my friend for your very kind thoughts. My daughter is doing much better now thank goodness 🙂 Glad you liked the pics and yes, it was lovely to see my friend after so long. You take care too and many blessings and much love to you too 🙂

      Like

  30. So glad your daughter is getting better and that it wasn’t something so much worse. I’m glad that you felt such a renewed purpose after letting out all those doubts and hope that now your daughter is getting better, you’ll begin to catch that wave again. Beautiful, evocative pictures as always, I’m coveting that little cottage 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Andrea. Yes, a huge relief all round. It really did help writing it all out and as always, your encouragement helps me greatly catch that wave once more 🙂 Yes, that Gothic Cottage is delightful, you would love it. It’s particularly evocative in the winter time when the snow lies on the ground and the groundsman lights a fire in the fireplace inside. I could quite happily live there 🙂

      Like

  31. prior says:

    oh wow – hope your daughter is back to 100% soon – ouch!!!! and enjoyed the post – every photo and the words throughout 🙂 peace

    Like

  32. First of all, I’m glad to read that your daughter is better and has returned home.
    Then, I’m happy that you are back to writing.
    Finally, your photos and your words about your friend’s visit are just beautiful.
    Life is complex but filled with beauty and moments of pure joy.
    You’re right to remind us to enjoy them.
    Take it easy. See you soon, Sherri.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Evelyne, you are very kind. I’m so glad too, it was scary at the time but so glad she is better now. Life sure is complex isn’t it? When things are difficult and then something really good happens in the midst, those moments are enjoyed even more. I hope things are going well for you and you have a lovely weekend. I look forward to seeing you soon also 🙂

      Like

  33. Yolanda M. says:

    What an awesome post Sherri! very inspiring and I LOVE your photos! I am glad your daughter better is better now.

    Like

  34. Charli Mills says:

    You have discovered that it is about the journey. The destination is the goal, but in order to become who we might be, we have to dare to take a different path. Life still ebbs and flows around us, but now we are writing, not pushing a pen at a desk. Daughters, are important and we do what mothers need to. Not that I want anyone’s children to be sick, but when they are I can’t think of a better comfort to have a parent at their side. Writing affords us the flexibility to be present when we are needed. A swift recovery to your daughter and a swift pen to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Charli, you give me great comfort in this as you bring home the importance of being able to be available to my daughter when she needs me as writing from home does indeed afford me that privilege. Being laid off from two jobs in as many years put me in that position, unintentionally, at the same time that my daughter also received her ASD diagnosis. Now I’m her carer as well as ‘Mum’ and can also invest the time I need to pursue my writing career. Thankfully, hubby is the bread winner. Until I hit the big time that is, haha 😉 Otherwise, I probably would have continued ‘pushing a pen at a desk’ and never achieved anything personally. It is risky isn’t it, to take that different path, but Lord knows, it is worth it! Thank you my friend, your words have greatly blessed me today and even though life is rarely smooth I will not allow my writing joy to be robbed so easily. Neither, I suspect, will you 🙂

      Like

  35. elisa ruland says:

    Hi Sherry, I’ve been away for a while and catching up with WP. Your post was beautiful, inspiring and worrisome all wrapped into one. I hope your daughter has fully recovered by now, and if not is well on her way to feeling better. I have a daughter who attends university on the other coast and I do worry! Take good care,
    Elisa

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Elisa, how lovely to see you back here again, welcome 🙂 I’ve just been over to your blog and commented. Ahh…thanks so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos and the post. My daughter is much better but still battling on with the after-effects as one does but getting there…it’s been a long road. Ahh, yes I can well imagine your concern for your daughter. We never stop worrying over our children do we? So kind of you…you take care too and see you again soon 🙂

      Like

  36. So glad that you are feeling joyousness again in regards to your writing. It will wait for you and you’ll be able to attack it happily knowing your daughter is better. Love the quotes and I really liked the walk you took us on today. It looks so peaceful. Just lovely. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Irene…you know full well the battle it’s been, our chats have helped tremendously. And attack is right! That is the thing…I just want to be able to get on and do the writing but with yet more endless distractions lately I’m just about fit to be tied. I won’t bore you with it all…but attack it I will & keep that writing joy flowing 😉 I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, especially since it’s the only one I managed last week. Friday’s never materialised and who knows what will happen this week? But I’ll do my very best…I enjoyed our walk very much also. It really is so peaceful there and wonderful to visit at all the different seasons. Time for another one soon isn’t it? Here’s to a good week ahead for us both my friend…cheers 🙂 ❤

      Like

  37. Ste J says:

    Life may be a bit of a bugger sometimes but it makes for good blogging if nothing else! I am glad your daughter is sorted and I love the juxtaposition between the transience of the toughness of life against those wonderful old buildings…I need to get me a camera!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Ste, that’s very kind of you and you couldn’t be more right about that, ha! I’m pleased you enjoyed the post for the juxtaposition…you’ve made me smile this Monday morning 🙂 These shots were taken with my mobile phone camera (Samsung) but I usually use my Sony Cyber Shot digital. Nothing fancy by any means and I would love to get a ‘proper’ one someday for better landscape shots and close ups. I do enjoy snapping away….hope you get a camera 🙂

      Like

  38. Allison says:

    Beginnings are in the air, deear friend. I feel it, too. I am sending loving, healing, healthy vibes your way for you and your daughter. Be gentle with yourself 🙂

    Peace and light, always, Allison xxoo

    Like

  39. I AGREE WITH SO MANY OF YOUR FEELINGS, THEY ARE REALLY GREAT .
    THOSE PICS MADE ME AS FRESH AS THEY ARE.
    I HAVE DEDICATED MY LATEST POST IN YOUR NAME AND IN THE NAME OF YOUR BLOG PLEASE DO VISIT AND GO THROUGH AND DO PUT YOUR COMMENT, PLEASE !
    SHIVA

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Shiva! I am only just getting to your comment, and what a delightful surprise to read it! Thank you so much for sharing my post. Unfortunately, I am unable to get to other blogs at the moment due to laptop issues. I haven’t posted since June 8th and can just about use the notification button. But, as soon as I am up and running, I will absolutely be over to you to catch up and will be honoured to comment on your blog. I will see you as soon as I can. Have a lovely day 🙂

      Like

  40. Pingback: My Sandwich Generation And The Song Of The Summerhouse | A View From My Summerhouse

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