Girl In A Pale Blue Dress

Something extraordinary happened at the weekend: my uncle and auntie celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.  Fifty years of happy married life.  I say extraordinary because I don’t know anyone else in my family who has achieved anything like this kind of marital longevity.  They celebrated by hosting a five-course luncheon for 75 friends and family in the same area several hours north of us in Cheshire where they have lived since they married.

That part of the world holds many precious memories for me as that is where my grandparents lived when I was a girl.  They had a rambling Victorian house with a summerhouse at the bottom of the garden, the very same summerhouse that is my inspiration for the name of this blog.

It was a privilege for me to take part in this celebration because as a five-year old, I was one of their bridesmaids.  My memories of their wedding day are vague but what I do clearly remember is my  pale-blue bridesmaid’s dress of which I was so very proud. My mother shortened it after the wedding and turned it into a party dress.  Wearing it with my matching, sparkly pale-blue shoes, I must have thought I was the bees knees.

But it’s strange what we remember isn’t it? Memories of that same dress remind me of a visit to my other grandparents for a family gathering and ending up lying on their bed with a stomach ache from eating too many cocktail onions.

As a memoir writer I am constantly looking back to my past because I have to.  So often we hear that it isn’t good to look back too much on the things that are painful, but sometimes we have no choice.  The past is the past and what happened back then can’t be changed.  But I’m learning that this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.  After all, isn’t this what history is?  And how do we learn unless we look back on our mistakes to make sure that we change things for the better?

Our lives are woven into the fabric of family life giving us continuity and a sense of our place, our fit in the world, and celebrations of this kind remind us of that, giving us renewed hope, particularly when so many parts of this fabric are so threadbare that they eventually disintegrate.

At the celebration party I met one of the other bridesmaids.  We don’t know each other and have not met since that day fifty years ago but it was clear to me that my dad had left an impression on her.  Life and soul and all that.  She asked after him and of course I had to tell her that sadly his life has not gone well.  I didn’t elaborate, there was no need.  She seemed to nod knowingly.

My mother has a photo taken from that day.  I am looking to the side and squinting as if the sun is in my eyes.

Wedding Photograph.  Me as a five year old directly in front of my uncle with my dad to my left as you look at the photo.  The other bridesmaid that I met at the weekend is the lovely lady behind me with the dark hair, to the right of my auntie. (c) courtesy of Elisabeth Nelson 2014

Wedding Photograph, 1964.  Me as a five-year old directly in front of my uncle with my dad to my left as you look at the photo. The other bridesmaid that I met at the weekend is the lovely woman behind me with the dark hair, to the right of my auntie.
(c) courtesy of Elisabeth Nelson 2014

I am in awe of my uncle and auntie’s still-intact marriage, the storms they’ve weathered, challenges they’ve overcome, laughter, tears, heartache and joy.  They didn’t wait for blue skies to get them in the mood for happiness: they rolled up their sleeves, got on with it and lived the life that was/is handed to them. The brokenness of my family life lies like a perpetual ache in my soul but that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop heeding the call of those same blue skies, because they don’t wait for anybody.

I was only five years old when my uncle and auntie got married and I was mercifully unaware of the heartache to come.  What I do remember, is that on that day I had flowers in my hair and I was just a little girl in a pale-blue dress.

………………………………………………………….

This week, Charli has asked us to consider a phrase instead of a single word prompt for her flash fiction challenge:

‘September 24, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include a story where “blue skies won’t wait for you.” What is your character waiting for? Is it too late or  does the impulse come in time? Maybe blue skies are a calling. Try not to think to deeply, and do a quick free-write. Invite your unconscious mind to the page and see what it makes of the phrase.’

As a ‘quick free-write’ I suppose it’s not surprising that this is what came to me for my flash entry:

Blue Sky Freedom

Catherine bristled. Breathing deeply, she stood up along with the others as the Bridal Chorus played.

“What’s wrong?” whispered Steve without looking at her.

“Nothing!” She hissed. “I’m fine!”

Spoken vows scratched across Catherine’s heart like shards of glass, her wounds fresh and deep.

Steve leaned in. “Blue skies won’t wait for you sweetheart, so if you want out then get out. I’m not stopping you!”

Catherine stared at a single shaft of light beaming in through the stained glass window behind the vicar as he declared:

“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride!”

 

 

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.
This entry was posted in Childhood Memories, Family Life, Flash Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Girl In A Pale Blue Dress

  1. suej says:

    Very good! And I love your reminiscing about you in the blue dress….

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  2. Andy Oldham says:

    This is a great memory Sherri! What a privilege to participate in both ceremonies!

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  3. TanGental says:

    Interesting how you’ve crafted this piece, Sherri. One moment it is a romance, then a hollowing loss, then a view of childhood innocence, then redemption of a sort and a gratitude and back to romance and yet it remains a coherent pièce throughout. The memoire will be some read if you keep this up. And the flash hurts, after the entry, with its uncertain and possibly bitter undercurrent. Gripping little read, Missy!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Geoff for your wonderful feedback. I know I mixed things up a bit here (such are the workings of my mind, ha!) but I’m glad not to confuse and I’m greatly heartened by your comment because it was written in the flow of my after-thoughts. it might have seemed strange writing a flash with a bitter twist after experiencing such a wonderful celebration but such are the stirrings of the heart… it’s true that we write what must be written…

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  4. Sherri: I love clothes, as some of my blogger friends know and I link clothes to memories, so I was so happy that, on that day 50 years ago, you had such fond memories of your pretty blue dress. And the happiness that has endured between your uncle and auntie. I especially like your grandparent’s summer house at the bottom of their hill. I guess, in those days, people had to go somewhere cooler, whether it be sleeping porch or a gazebo. No air conditioning. But obviously you thought of it as an escape to fun. And named your blog after it. You were a cute little girl! Do you still like the color blue?

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    • Sherri says:

      This is fascinating to me Hollis that you link clothes to memories in this way. I never thought too much about it but now you have me thinking because I can think of one or two other outfits that I had as a girl that evoke some pretty powerful memories. The colour, texture, style and how I felt when I wore those clothes. For instance, I remember that my mum bought me a pink and white dress with a tie back (I love tie backs even to this day) with a white sailor collar. I used to love to wear it and I remember vividly pretending to be sick so I could miss school just so I could wear that dress for the whole day. Otherwise it would have been my school uniform 😉 You’ve given me a lot of food for thought with this thread of memory-making and I have a strong desire to explore this in a deeper way, so thank you so much for that! The summerhouse was used to store garden furniture and on summer days, we would sit out there and have picnics. I loved it and as a little girl used to love to play in it pretending it was my own house. I love having my own small, wooden summerhouse now which is my writing place 🙂 And finally, yes Hollis, I do still like the colour blue – infact, blue is the colour of my summerhouse 😀

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      • So when you talk about “from your summerhouse”, it is not in the abstract. It’s a real place where you write. Your studio. How lovely! Yes, the memories tied to clothing thing is so real in my life, I cannot have memory without the outfit I was wearing remembered too! I didn’t realize it until I started blogging. 🙂

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        • Sherri says:

          Yes…in this case, my summerhouse is the real deal! You can see a sneak peak of it in the header and a photo of it on my About page…it’s tiny but I love it 😉 I wanted one of my own for so long and hubby built it for me a few years ago. That is fascinating that you didn’t realise the connection between your memories and your outfits until you started blogging – I love it when we find these things out about ourselves in this way 🙂

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  5. cardamone5 says:

    Very nice. I love the picture. You look adorable.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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  6. Heyjude says:

    Excellent – your memories are prompting me to get my book written before I forget times such as these. 💡 My first time as a bridesmaid was also at the age of five, but I was the girl in a yellow dress (also shortened into a party frock!). I have no idea where the bride and groom are now. And your flash fiction is so sharp! Love it. You always leave me wondering. 😎

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    • Sherri says:

      As I keep saying Jude, you MUST write your book 🙂 I love that you were also five when you were first a bridesmaid – think how cool we would have looked together in our blue and yellow long dresses and then party frocks (love that word and don’t hear it too much any more). I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the flash…comments like yours give me every reason to keep going with them so thanks so much my friend… 😛 (Love your choice of emoticons o_O )

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      • Heyjude says:

        Thanks Sherri. I have two books on the go, well, I say that but I haven’t touched either one for many months now. One is just a memoir of my childhood for my grandchildren – so I should be able to get that one finished! The other is more difficult. It is about a very black part of my life and very emotional. I can only do a bit at a time and I do have to be in the right frame of mind, which I haven’t been this year. Oh, well, one day… still, thank you for the encouragement 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. restlessjo says:

    Michael’s Aunt Isa (now 98) celebrated 50 years with her lovely husband Albert the year before he died. It’s one of my last happy memories of them together. You’re right- they’re a rarity, Sherri. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      And what a wonderful memory that is for you Jo 🙂 I’m so glad that your Aunt Isa and her husband Albert had those 50 years together. What an achievement. I feel nothing but love and respect for my own uncle and auntie. Since hubby and I have been married 8 years I can’t see us making it to our Golden…but stranger things have happened 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations to your aunt and uncle on their Golden Wedding. Yes, that’s quite an achievement these days. We have only two years to go. 🙂 What a lovely celebration you must have all had. You were a very cute little bridesmaid. Your flash fiction piece is excellent. It has me wanting to know more. *hugs*

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…that’s so sweet of you, thanks so much Sylvia. It was a wonderful celebration and how amazing that you will be celebrating the same in 2 years, wow! So happy for you 😀 That’s great to know, really pleased you enjoyed the flash…it’s an avenue of writing I never thought I would explore but the more I write it the more I enjoy it. I love the free reign it gives me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely memories Sherri and congratulations to your aunt and uncle, what an achievement. That picture is so cute! I was seven and had a pink dress – the one and only time in my life I’ve worn a pink dress!! Interesting that your flash fiction piece was dark after such happy memories…

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Andrea. It’s fascinating isn’t it how powerful our first memories are of those early dresses. Your pink dress reminds me of when I got married and my daughter, then 13 and my only bridesmaid, was horrified at the thought of wearing any dress. She relented on the condition that it would be black (she was going through a goth phase). I was fine with it and had in mind to find her something off the peg nearer the time. Then, only a few weeks before the wedding she suddenly announced, completely out of the blue, that she would ike to wear a pink dress! You can imagine what I thought!! So in the end we traipsed off to good old BHS and I got her her lovely long, off the shoulder dusky rose pink bridesmaid dress, 20% off to boot 😛 She loved it and looked lovely in it with her then dyed black hair 😉 But so far, as with you, she hasn’t worn a pink dress since!!
      As for the flash, it surprised me too…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jennypellett says:

    Fifty years is quite an achievement – congratulations to them! It does make you reflect on the years as they roll by but you are right, we can’t look back and regret, only learn by our mistakes . I love the way you segued this real life experience with your flash fiction – good job!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Jenny, I really appreciate your comment! It was a wonderful celebration and then when I came to write about it, it seemed to tie in with the flash prompt this week for me…memories and association. I really struggled with this idea of looking back when I first started sharing memories here on my blog and then of course writing my book but I have peace about it now and in fact have been reminded of some really wonderful memories…and then I enjoy being able to have free reign with the flash!

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  11. Yolanda M. says:

    Lovely post Sherri! A rarity indeed! No one in our family has been together that long. When I was little I so wanted to be a bridesmaid. I was desperate! but my sister who was blonde and cute (still is) always got picked! Your photo reminded me of that 😀

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Yolanda and thanks very much! I’m very proud of my uncle and auntie 🙂 I’ve only been a bridesmaid one other time as an adult and I had to wear a dress I hated – it was bright pink, shiny and fanned out at the bottom like a fish tail. Not my style at all. Aww…that’s just not fair at all. I don’t have a sister but even though I was one of the bridesmaids, several of the guests I got chatting to remembered not me but my cute little brother running around in his long trousers and waistcoat…so I know how you feel 😉

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  12. I love this, Sherri! You look adorable in that photo and your aunt, she’s beaming. Fifty years of marriage is almost unheard of these days. My parents celebrated their 54th earlier this month. My father still treats my mother like they were just married. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this lovely memory! I sure hope your aunt and uncle didn’t do all of the cooking for the luncheon. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Jill and what a wonderful testimony showing how a marriage should be. That’s so sweet about your father, such a blessing and how wonderful for you and your family 😀 I’m really glad you enjoyed this memory and you can rest assured that the luncheon was fully catered…phew 🙂 xo

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  13. Such poignancy and with it such beauty! Once again I felt I was there. That same feeling you have when reading a wonderful book, wishing it would go on and on. I am humbled by your immense talent & by the fact I have the great blessing of calling you friend. ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh dear Diane, I don’t know what to say but I’m so glad you enjoyed it and were left wanting more 🙂 That’s music to my ears as I know you don’t say this lightly and I thank you so much my dear friend for the read ❤ xoxo

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  14. Charli Mills says:

    What amazing connections this weekend held for you. Ever the memoirist, I’m sure you seek out those life-connections to feed your continuing story. The past and present bring about awareness. I agree with Geoff, your memoir will be some read!

    The last line in your post is simple, yet so elegant: “I had flowers in my hair and I was just a little girl in a pale-blue dress.” Juxtaposed against your flash, it’s like something light and innocent against something dark and menacing. Excellent!

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    • Sherri says:

      That is so kind of you Charli – and Geoff – and I can only hope that I actually get this thing done 😉 It really was an amazing time for pondering those life-connections and all the way home (several hours of driving) I knew the story I wanted to tell here. Or so I thought because I surprised myself with the juxtaposition! Yet you know me Charli, I can’t stay away from that dark menace for long 😉 I’m always thrilled to know that you enjoyed it, thanks so much for a great prompt and for enabling me to tie in those ‘blue skies’ with a family celebration filled with joy but also one that had me doing my fair share of soul searching 🙂

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  15. Imelda says:

    Congratulations to your Uncle and Auntie. 50 years of marriage is a significant achievement anywhere. 🙂 True, 50 years of marriage does not come on a silver platter. Marriage is a lot of work.
    Having come from a broken family, I understand pretty well your statement that the brokenness of the family is a perpetual ache. To this day, I cry when I think about what pour family has lost and the unacknowledged aching loneliness that everyone suffers because of it.

    P.S. I love your picture. How awesome that your Mom was able to keep it all these years. Oh, by the way, I so liked the term “bees knees’ but being a non-native English speaker, I had to ask my husband for the etymology of the phrase. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Imelda! It was wonderful to share in my uncle and auntie’s amazing achievement and I feel there will be many more years ahead for them 🙂 Oh I’m so very sorry that you understand that perpetual ache from your own family’s brokenness. No matter what happens afterwards and how things seem on the surface, the painful consequences of that brokenness never go away nor the life-time ripple-effect. I wish I could give you a big hug…
      Ahh…that’s so sweet, I’m glad you liked the photo and yes, my mum has a box full of old black and whites…and I think that’s so cute about ‘bees knees’ and your husband explaining it to you 😀 I forget which sayings are American and which are British so I confuse myself 😉

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  16. Pingback: Blue Skies Won’t Wait for You « Carrot Ranch Communications

  17. Now you’ve got me wanting to read more than the 99 words! That was good!
    Yes family does make up the tapestry of our lives. It is always good when we can celebrate and reflect back on the years. Our blue skies are there for us Sherri, we just have to reach up to them 😉

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    • Sherri says:

      Well I’m so pleased about that Lilka! That kind of response gives me wonderful encouragement to keep writing these flash pieces so thank you very much 🙂 You are right my friend, let’s keep reaching up for those blue skies…and the sunshine 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. bulldog says:

    How is the book coming on Sherri…??
    Loved the post as the wife and I celebrate 41 years this month I still think back to my grand fathers speech at his 50th when he said that the first 50 years are the worst that it only gets better from then on… he said the same progressing by one year as each year passed all the way to his 59th… he died 6 days before his 60th…
    I think of your saying “that it isn’t good to look back too much on the things that are painful, but sometimes we have no choice.” I found when writing my book, when looking back and remembering the bad things, they didn’t now seem so bad… They still let a chill run down my back occasionally, but the intensity of the feeling had diminished… maybe with time we finally forget it all…

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Bulldog, great to see you here again! You’ll be pleased to know that it’s coming along…or should I say, I’m still writing the first draft but it’s been a bit slow lately (shhhh..don’t tell…) but I’m getting ready to hit it hard when things calm down from next week on hopefully…
      That’s so great for you and your wife, many congratulations to you both on your upcoming 41st 🙂 What a wonderful story about your grandfather, thank you for sharing it, I was very moved by it…
      Yes, I know just what you mean and maybe we might not completely forget but at least those chills will become a thing of the past…

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  19. Letizia says:

    I love that the little dress you wore (I love the photo!) has so many different memories attached to it. The dress is its own character.

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  20. Wow! A golden anniversary is so amazing! We will celebrate our 20th in December! So I will be in my 80’s if we last that long! He is four years younger than me. Your flash fiction reminds me of my first marriage! I shouldn’t have ever walked down THAT aisle! 😉

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  21. Sherri, what a wonderful picture! It is always magical to look (stare) at an old photo and wonder what the people in the picture were thinking at the time. Especially when it is yourself you are looking at as a child. How fun that you got to be a brides maid at such a young age.

    Congratulations to your aunt and uncle, what great examples of love and what it means to be married, in spite of the curves along the way. 😉

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Maria, and yes, what a wonderful example they are 🙂 I love black and whites and I do just the same, wondering what was going through everyone’s heads at that exact moment in time. I’ve only ever been a bridesmaid one other time in my twenties and that was a bit of a disaster (will save that story for another day!!) so I’m glad to have this memory and of my blue dress which I adored 🙂

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  22. Great post Sherri. Fifty years is a long time and it is lovely to hear that people do make it there. Congrats to your Auntie and Uncle. Just done a quick calculation and doubt that we will make it – though we both come from long-lived lines so you never know. You made a lovely bridesmaid. I think that we all look back on our past (or at least most of us) it is just that not that many of us write it. Your comment brought to mind something I read which I don’t know that I can remember as eloquently as the writer – memoir is a writing of memories and reflections of the past. You have to be alive to write the memories as long as you don’t stop living in order to write. I know you don’t stop living and hopefully nor do I but it is an interesting concept.
    I absolutely loved your flash. The happiest day of your life. A moment’s hesitation. An understanding man giving you permission to flee and before the decision is made you are man and wife. I’m left wondering what if, what happens, does it work? Great. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Irene for your congrats 🙂 Same here, I doubt we will make it either (been married 8 years so newlyweds by comparison!) but stranger things have happened and you are right, you just never know 😉 That is a very interesting concept…we do indeed write about the past (and I like that we reflect) but it is in the living of the now that we are able to do so. I suppose the danger is if we live in the past so much that we stop enjoying the life we have now but I know that we definitely don’t do that 🙂 I’m delighted that you enjoyed the flash…but this was not going to be a happy ending methinks :/

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      • It didn’t sound as though it would have a happy ending but when your interest is piqued you just want to know anyway.
        I guess if you live long enough and you had stopped living in the present just to write the past you would get to a point where you had to start living again in order to get something to write about. Sherri forget everything I just said there I think I’m having a mad moment. XD

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      • Sherri says:

        Haha…actually Irene I know just what you mean and I think you have a very good point there 😉

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  23. It is beautiful my friend Sherri to look back and once again see the world outside our Summerhouse. To feel that childhood joy and laughter, to be free of heartaches, to simply chase after the many blue skies unafraid, carefree, full of Optimism. Yes, there will be painful memories too but then considering the many happy memories it will bring, it’s worth going back. I am happy for you that you get to celebrate your Aunt’s and Uncle 50th anniversary. Congratulations to both of them. That is rare and truly is inspiring. A celebration of love and many dreams shared. I do believe each one of us have their unique blue skies with lots of happiness and love in it. Some comes sooner. Others longer. Perhaps in installment for some. I hope and pray that many great blue skies will come your way and that life will be full of blessings. Wonderful wedding picture. Memories keeps us inspired and appreciative of what we have. Just like you, memories keeps me smiling, even more when my blue skies seems harder to catch. God bless and regards to your family.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much IT, it is indeed a wonderful thing to be able to celebrate with my auntie and uncle on their 50th anniversary, it was such a happy day filled with joy, love and laughter with the happy reunion of extended family and their friends of many years. Ah yes, those carefree years when we play beneath those blue skies as innocent children, oblivious to the storms brewing on the horizon threatening to take away our joy…yet we do indeed remain optimistic and hopeful, looking for those blue skies once again and believing in the good both for the now and the future. Bless you dear friend, thank you so much for your kind, loving words and I hope that you too will continue to smile at your own beautiful memories as you head out to your blue skies. Although they are harder to catch at times, you know that they haven’t disappeared and they will keep calling you no matter where you are, you and your lovely family. As you hope and pray for me, I do the very same for you. Blessings galore to you,now and always 🙂

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  24. Allison says:

    You light me up, friend! What an amazing and beautiful post. Oh, the places in our souls you take us to with your words. You are so precious, Sherri.

    Big love!

    Allison xoxoxo

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  25. Luanne says:

    You really took me on some twists and turns here, Sherri. I love not only hearing, but seeing! you in the light blue dress. I also remember so well the few times I got really really sick when we were somewhere else–eating creamed herring at the Smorgasbord and being sick that night in my grandmother’s apartment (sleeping on her floor), etc. I love reading your stories!

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    • Sherri says:

      Just the thought of eating creamed herring makes me gag…although as kids my dad used to make cod’s roe which I think is similar, with bacon and eggs for breakfast, not forgetting lashings of ketchup all over it…and I loved it!!! Couldn’t do it now… o_O I’m thrilled that you enjoyed these stories Luanne, you give me wonderful reasons to keep writing so I thank you very much for that 🙂

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  26. Sherri, I just love this, it’s perfect!
    Tally 🙂

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  27. Well done, Sherri, and the bridal picture of darling little you is delightful.

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  28. Well done Sherri, on both counts. 50 years of marriage is hard if not impossible to achieve. I’ve seen many marriages last a long time but few where the couple still loved each other. I understand how what you wear when it’s special gives significance to the occasion. The bride is looking at the groom with such love while everyone else is looking at the camera. Loved your flash fiction piece in contrast to the happy occasion of a 50 year anniversary.

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    • Sherri says:

      Many thanks for your lovely comment Marlene, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed both parts, especially as attempting flash is a relatively recent endeavour of mine, one I’ve discovered I really enjoy…who knew? 😉 And yes, one or two here have commented on my auntie lovingly adoring my uncle in this photo. It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it, and to think they have kept their love alive for 50 years and still going strong. It truly is an incredible achievement in this day and age 🙂

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  29. This is such a lovely post, Sherri. I like how you tie this beautiful marriage story with yours. The photo of little you is so sweet. See you very soon.

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    • Sherri says:

      I’m very happy to know that you enjoyed it Evelyne, thank you so much. I’m really enjoying writing flash for Charil’s prompts and also the surprising way that writing takes us when we want to tell one story and then merges into another, albeit one with a completely different angle. Hope all is well and yes, see you soon 🙂

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  30. mariekeates says:

    Funny I was just writing about my sister’s wedding and a white dress with a blue sash. I loved the fiction piece, it left me wondering what happened next.

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    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, many thanks Marie. Your story sounds interesting, I’ll be over to you as soon as I can…you know how it is, once more playing catch up thanks to having my boys home for the weekend but not complaining about that! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the flash. So far as what happened next, all I can say is it doesn’t end well as you’ve probably already guessed… 😮

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  31. Behind the Story says:

    Of the many lovely words in your post, these are my favorite: “Our lives are woven into the fabric of family life giving us continuity and a sense of our place, our fit in the world, and celebrations of this kind remind us of that, giving us renewed hope, particularly when so many parts of this fabric are so threadbare that they eventually disintegrate.”

    I’m not a memoir writer, but my novel was influenced by the past of my late husband. In a way, his past is my past, part of the fabric of my family’s life. Sometimes I get tired of looking back, but even when I move forward, that history is still a part of me and my family.

    Congratulations to your aunt and uncle. I love the photo.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Nicki! I want to thank you very much for coming over to my blog and for your considered and thoughtful comment as this gives me, as a memoir writer, wonderful feedback. It helps me know that as I share these memories from my past not only in blog pieces such as these but also as I write my book, that I’m hopefully able to look back to the past and bring it back to life in a way that resonates with the reader: in a way that they remember their own story and memories so that they are encouraged in the now with hope for the future. Hope that makes sense, I’m waffling a bit here! I’m fascinated that you wrote your novel based on your late husband’s past. I won’t be able to write anything until I’ve finished my memoir and told the particular story in that book but I have often wondered about doing the same with a novel using my dad’s past and life. I’m learning that through writing flash fiction I can take real experiences and run with them for the sake of fiction which is so very different to writing memoir. Writing is wonderful isn’t it? Many thanks also for your kind congratulations for my auntie and uncle and glad you liked the photo. Again, it is lovely to meet you – Sherri 🙂

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  32. Tom Merriman says:

    Memories are memories, Sherri, good or bad they make us who we are today. Visit the bad ones but don’t dwell on them, and cherish the good ones. Randomly, I have some memories from before I was born – centuries in fact – for which I’m always looking for answers to. Memories are actually quite fascinating when you think about them!
    Pleased to hear you popped up to my stomping ground for your celebration.. I do hope our Cheshire weather didn’t show us up!.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…wonderful Cheshire! The weather was actually quite lovely thank you Tom, although a little chillier 😉 I do love your part of the world and always feel a sort of homecoming when I return, a feeling of belonging and comfort. Strange because I never lived there, just visited a lot as a child. Probably because I associate it with happy memories of my earlier family life before my parents split up and we moved to Suffolk. But that’s another story… 😮
      You are absolutely right about not dwelling on the bad memories of course and I’ve found that since sharing stories from my childhood on my blog, which I thought I would find hard at first, I’ve actually come to see that I have some really good ones! Like this one…apart from the stomach ache! Now your memories from centuries ago do indeed intrigue me…

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  33. reocochran says:

    This was a precious memory, so glad that you were around to celebrate their wedding and their 50th anniversary, Sherri! I am running out of time, but wish to say, I loved the photograph, your meeting the girl all grown up who was the other one in the photo, and her memories of your father are so kind and warm of her to say. Smiles, robin

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this post Robin, so kind of you. Yes, it was wonderful to meet the other lady. Who would have thought, 50 years later? I do really enjoy reading your thoughts. See you soon 🙂

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  34. Pingback: A Sign Of Things To Come | A View From My Summerhouse

  35. simplyilka says:

    Congratulations on your 200th post. Wow and Well done 🙂

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