A Sign Of Things To Come

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge prompt is ‘Signs’.

WordPress kindly let me know that Girl In A Pale Blue Dress was my 200th post, a good sign that I’m still managing to blog away.

Then I thought of the plight of my poor rambling rose: it succumbed to the first signs that our autumn is well underway as the first storm of the season brought it down, despite it having survived the vicious storms all last winter.

It went from this:

Rambling Rose at the front of the house earlier in the summer in full bloom (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Rambling Rose in full bloom at the front of the house earlier in the summer
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

To this:

Rambling Rose down (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Rambling Rose Down
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

I had planned to cut it back anyway but this called for a more severe approach.  Hopefully by next spring it will recover, in fact I have it by good authority (my mum) that it will.

But for now it looks like this:

 Poor Rambling Rose.  I knew her well... The outside lamp behind it was pulled right out by the weight of the branches but that is now fixed. (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Poor Rambling Rose. I knew her well…
The lamp behind was pulled right out by the weight of the branches but is now fixed.
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Thinking then about literal signs, I thought about a few that I have taken during my various travels. This one for instance caught my eye, taken at Goodwood Festival of Speed:

(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Can you think of a better way to keep calm than killing zombies? (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

And these:

If you are hungry after enjoying all that free beer – in the shed? – you can always pop over to the delightful seaside town of Budleigh Salterton in Devon and grab one of these for lunch (subject to availability of course):

Budleigh Salterton, Devon (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Budleigh Salterton, Devon
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

If shellfish isn’t your thing, you might want to hop across the pond to California and fill up on the best burgers ever at In-N-Out…

In-n-out Burgers, California (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

In-N-Out Burgers, California
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

An invigorating walk in the English countryside might be a good idea after eating all those burgers. The only problem is, which way do you go: left or right?

Overlooking Mintern Magna, Dorchester (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Overlooking Mintern Magna, Dorchester, May 2014
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

There is another sign that I will never forget: the one and only American stop-sign.

It didn’t take me long to get used to driving in California on the wrong right side of the road.  It took me longer to get used to the stop-signs that appeared at one intersection after another, so very different to the roundabouts we have in the UK which are designed to keep the traffic moving.  That’s the plan anyway.

The constant stop/start at four-way intersections got me rattled at first, because nobody seemed to know who should go first.  My father in law had the perfect solution to this: he didn’t stop at all.   How he never had an accident or got pulled over I’ll never know.

One blue-sky Sunday morning with my kids piled in my car, I headed out for church.  Approaching an intersection only minutes away from my destination and noticing that it was completely clear, I slowed right down at the stop sign, almost came to a stop, I say almost, then drove on.

That’s when I saw the flashing blue lights in my rear view window.  But then I should have known because this particular intersection happened to be right in front of the local Police Department and I had driven on that very street a thousand times before. So I pulled over immediately and awaited my punishment. My kids, who up until that moment were creating merry mayhem, now sat in wide-eyed silence.

The police officer walked over to my window and I couldn’t help but think of Eric Estrada except this cop didn’t have a motorbike and this was no TV show.  But he was wearing sunglasses.  He asked for my driving license and registration which I nervously handed to him saying nothing.   Then he said:

“Ma’am, do you know that you just committed a moving violation by not coming to a complete stop at the stop-sign back there?”

That Stop Sign

That Stop Sign

I gulped and felt my cheeks burn.  I had driven since I was seventeen and never had so much as a speeding ticket, never mind a violation.  What could I do but admit my crime?  After all, I was guilty and only had myself to blame.

“Yes Officer, I do realise.  I am very sorry Officer and it won’t happen again.”  And then, in the best English accent I could muster in the hopes that he might think I was a foreigner and therefore didn’t know any better, I added:

“But you see Officer, we are late for church!”

He looked first at me a little aghast and then leaned in to look closer at my children, still as posts and eyes like organ stops as if for verification that I was telling the truth and I think then he had mercy on me.   Standing back up he said:

“Ma’am, at this time I am only going to give you a warning but next time you make sure to come to a complete stop at a stop-sign, as not doing so is an offense with serious consequences.  You have a nice day now.”

“Yes Officer, thank you Officer, absolutely Officer!”

And with that, he headed back to his car, turned off his flashing lights and drove off.  I thought about giving him a little wave as he drove past but decided against it, thinking it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

Hugely relieved and turning to the kids, I told them that all was well and not to worry, mommy wasn’t going to be hauled off to jail anytime soon.   The irony wasn’t lost on me when, arriving at last at church, upon being asked if everything was okay by the door greeter, my eldest son replied, “Mom got pulled over by a cop for not stopping at a stop- sign.”  Sinner that I am.

And the moral of the story is?  You might be interested to read fellow blogger Nicholas’s post for that one, particularly the last paragraph.  But if you do decide to drive through a stop-sign, you better make sure it isn’t right in front of the Police Department.

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 Family Memoirs, My California, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to A Sign Of Things To Come

  1. lbeth1950 says:

    Glad I found this.

    Like

  2. I can relate to your stop-sign story. I rolled through a stop sign one morning, VERY slowly, but still rolling, when out of NOWHERE there was suddenly a cop. It was a female cop…they are the worst. She asked me why I didn’t stop and I said: “If there had been something coming I would have stopped.” She wasn’t amused. She gave me a ticket. Now I come to a COMPLETE stop whether there is anything coming or not. I hate it when they’re right…

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yikes…that’s a tough break Bev, so sorry about that. I was convinced that I was going to get a ticket but somehow this cop showed me mercy. I think it was the kids’ terrified expressions that did it. I did the same as you after that, always made sure to come to a complete stop every time 😉 Hope you have a lovely weekend and see you soon 🙂

      Like

  3. Yolanda M. says:

    loved your story Sherri 🙂 I have never been pulled over by a traffic cop but that is not because I’m perfect it’s just because I’m very rarely behind the wheel 😀 Hubby though is guilty of several traffic violations. Lovely pics! Poor rambling rose! she was a beauty! let’s hope she makes a comeback.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Yolanda 🙂 I was mortified when it happened and it’s so typical, that the first time it happened I had all three kids with me, just great 😉 Ahh…thanks…yes, poor rambling rose indeed. I’ve nurtured her since I planted her 6 years ago and only one foot high. She will recover though, she’s survived a few near disasters. It seems to be very windy where we live. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you soon 🙂

      Like

  4. Lol – I’m reminded of that old joke:

    Cop: Didn’t you that Stop sign, madam?
    Driver: Sure I did. I didn’t see you, though…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Denise says:

    200 posts, that’s brilliant. And all of them beautifully put together and thought provoking.

    I like your rose pictures, they are really evocative of the whole life cycle of the garden: bloom, fade, and the need to cut back to make it come back.

    Your police car story reminded me of an episode of Shameless where the little girl is hauling around some dodgy loot and gets stopped by the police. When he asks what she’s up to, she thinks quickly and looks up with big eyes and says, “Have you found the Lord?” and he backs off in a hurry.

    I think your innocent looking kids did you proud that day.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I was surprised when that notification came through on my Reader wondering how on earth I managed it, but thanks Denise, you are very kind. Yes, poor rose but as you say, all part of life’s cycle and I know she will bigger and better next year (but not too big this time, we’ll make sure of that, and at least now we won’t have to panic every time the winds blows and spend time in the howling wind and rain trying to fix it back up again). I only watched one or two episodes of Shameless but yes, I can just imagine that scene, haha, that’s funny. Also reminds me Withnail and I, did you ever see that film, where Withmail gets pulled over by a cop, drunk as a skunk, and tells the policeman ‘But Officer, I’ve only had a few ales!” Ha, yes, they are great kids 🙂

      Like

      • Denise says:

        I’ve not watched Withnail, but seen it on many Favourite Films lists. I think I need to give it a go.

        Shameless went off the boil severely towards the end, which is um, a shame. It had a great energy at the beginning.

        Hope you are well and it’s all going well with the writing.

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          You should watch it Denise if you can, hubby got me onto it, it really is well worth it for so many reasons, if not hilarious in parts.
          Thanks, things better now that Aspie D is recovering and I’m writing away you’ll be pleased to know. Hope with you too in all ways…keep in touch 🙂

          Like

  6. I’m so glad you got a kindly traffic officer, Sherri. I’ve often been let off very minor violations. Once I was stopped by two officers, who just wanted to say hello and have a closer look at my car. I got such a fright when they stopped me though, as I was sure I hadn’t been speeding. I’m gradually getting used to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road here, but the older one gets, the more difficult it is to adjust to such a change. Love your signs, and I wouldn’t mind one of those crab sandwiches. 🙂 Have a great weekend. xx:)

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Sylvia, yes, me too! Wow, just to look at your car? Were you driving that gold Porsche, lol 😉 I do have one or two more cop stories, including my first time seeing one with a gun on his hip (coming from England to LA in 1979 as a 19 year old and never seen that except on TV, it was quite something to see for real!!) I found it really scary. Things are very different here now of course, having seen policemen with automatic rifles walking through the airport and such. A very different world. Glad you are getting used to driving on the ‘wrong’ side but yes, it doesn’t get any easier. Strangely, when I came back to England I found it harder to adjust to driving on the left again, and especially all the country roads even though I had learnt to drive on them. Also getting used to a stick shift again after driving automatics for so long. Yes, I had one of those crab sandwiches and it was delicious! Glad you enjoyed the signs, thank you Sylvia and you too, have a lovely weekend 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Heyjude says:

    We had a lovely cream tea in BS this week – didn’t see any signs for crab sandwiches though 🙂

    Like

  8. Congrats on your 200th post Sherri. All wonderful as is this. I know how you must have felt being pulled up. Like you I stick to the rules and just am mortified on the odd lapse I get caught out. Loved walking around with you looking at all your signs and I agree with your Mum – the rose will come back better than ever. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks very much Irene 🙂 Yes, I was mortified as I like to think of myself as a law-abiding citizen and the one time I slipped up, wham, there was that cop o_O Typical! Glad you enjoyed the signs and yes, I’m sure that Rambling Rose will be back to full glory next spring. Have a great weekend my friend…maybe we can squeeze in a walk or two. Autumn or spring? Take your pick 😀

      Like

  9. I needed this laugh out loud moment today. One of the roughest of my life by the way..will fill you in later. I know which city you were in, the same one where I hit the motorcycle cop!! Oh my…….. anyway thank you for giving once again a wonderful read and your Mum is right the rose bush will return just like we do after each blow! I am still smiling thinking of your encounter!! Oh and by the way I am always extra cautious in that above mentioned city-always!!! 🙂 ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh no! What happened? After we just caught up and everything, can’t believe it. I’ll be over to FB. But dearest friend, I’m so glad this made you laugh at the right time 🙂 You will know too exactly what intersection I’m talking about and yes, how can we ever forget that motorcycle cop incident…oh boy o_O Yes, Mum knows best, right? And you are wise to be extra cautious there…looks like things haven’t changed, lol 🙂 😀 ❤ xoxo

      Like

  10. This must be Murphy’s law that as soon as you cheat just one little bit, you’ll get caught. Not the guy before you, or the one afterwards. I can see the looks on your children’s faces.
    The minute step out of line just one cm, I get caught. 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…you got that right Tess o_O Typical isn’t it? To think, I handed that cop his first victim of the day on a platter. Made it so, so easy…I beat myself up about that for a long time. Great to see your lovely smiling face back here again, hope that is a good sign for other blogs too. Have a great weekend and see you soon … 😀 😉 😮

      Like

      • Have a lovely weekend and yes, it’s nice to be back properly in comments. I started getting comments that I’d ended up in Spam folders yesterday. Glad my second complaint took care of the problem. 😛

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      • Sherri says:

        Thanks Tess, a good weekend and hope for you too. So glad you are up and running again, that’s great news and glad it all got sorted out. Here’s to a better week ahead 🙂 ❤ 😀

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  11. restlessjo says:

    Hugs, Sherri! Hope you have a good weekend.

    Like

  12. Very cute story about the police officer!! Your photos are gorgeous, and the contrast from full bloom beauty to pruned and stubby is amazing.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Susan, glad you enjoyed the story and the photos too. Yes, quite a contrast isn’t it? Hopefully my lovely Rambling Rose will return to full glory next spring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this story, Sherri! I think he pulled you over to get a closer look. He probably thought, “Hey, I’m going to write Dianne Sawyer a ticket.” 🙂
    Don’t you just love a comical sign? I needed my glasses for the crab sandwich sign.
    Happy Weekend! xoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh Jill, you had me laughing out loud, you are so funny, I love it 😀 Can you imagine? Maybe I should have kept my English accent quiet lol 😉 Yes, that disclaimer on the crab sign was rather small. I can’t read anything without my glasses now…
      Thanks Jill, you and DFD too, have a great weekend 🙂 xoxo

      Like

  14. Oh, Sherri, among your many charms and talents, you can now add that you talked a patrolman out of a ticket…and not stopping at a Stop Sign can be very expensive. I’m sorry about the fate of your lovely rose bush. The changing seasons take a toll.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…well, I don’t know about charms and talents but I’m sure that my kids’ terrified expression helped me out with that good cop 😉 Ahh…thank you Marylin, but I’m sure that Rambling Rose will recover and bloom next spring. Ever hopeful, right? I just can’t believe that it survived all those awful storms we had last winter and then, the first storm in ages and down it came. That’s life though isn’t it 😉 Have a great weekend, I’ll be over to you soon my friend 🙂

      Like

  15. Thanks for the uplift for today,Sherri. I’m smiling big about the cop story. I know that feeling. Makes me want to write my own experiences with that. 🙂 I’m sorry the rose bush is going to need work but looks like Divine intervention to me. Sometimes they need to come down a little to put more energy into the root system and then they can really take off again. Cutting all mine back this month and moving some forward away from the house so they can breathe. Congrats on 200. I’ve been going almost 3 years and am nowhere near that. Loved your collection of signs.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      So glad to give you a smile Marlene, that’s what I hoped 😀 We have to laugh at these things don’t we? Not funny at the time but afterwards, with a little reflection, we can have a good giggle 😉 I look forward to reading about your experiences if you do decide to write them on your blog. Talking of which, I was surprised at 200 I admit. I manage one or two posts a week at the moment but at the most I’ve done is four in one week. It’s hard keeping it up as well as all my other writing. And keeping up with the stuff of life, as we both know! I love that, ‘Divine intervention’. Yes, perhaps you are right! It was getting far too big and needed cutting back, so perhaps our hand was forced to give it the cut back it really needed so it will more beautiful than ever next spring…let’s hope 🙂 Your roses will really benefit from that and this is the perfect time of year to do it. Your garden will be lovely next spring Marlene. Thank you for the read and glad you enjoyed the signs. Have a great weekend and see you soon 🙂

      Like

  16. I’m an avid Outlander fan and there’s a scene close to the beginning of the latest tome, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” in which Jamie takes Claire into a shed and rams the meaning of “what happens in the shed stays in the shed” very soundly home! I think I’d probably be more at home at the double-double burger joint myself :-).

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yikes…I can only imagine what kind of message he is ‘ramming’ home in the shed. Certainly not drinking beer I imagine…but yes, I’m with you. I am a sucker for In-N-Out and I’m not even a huge burger fan but I do miss those 😉 Thanks for your great comment Tally, have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Like

  17. prior says:

    I love the free beer sign – with the 20 on the corner – and then the tomorrow – – also the in & out burger place – my cousins who still live in CA lovvvvve it there – and I recall going there with them in the 80’s – but cannot remember if I liked the stuff – I am sure I did – but do not recall at all!

    and laughing at your stop sign story – it is so nice when cops give us a break – or warnings – oh – and we are getting more round a bouts in the US – a while back I read that a couple hundred have been developed – and well, the one we have at the local shop center has many people confused a lot. Probably like you were with the 4 way stops signs at first – but argh – it seems folks cannot “get” the roundabout and they stop!

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…I know, funny how it says tomorrow, lol 😉 As someone who isn’t a burger expert, as in I’ll eat them but not crazy about them, I am mad for In-N-Out. There is something about the burgers there that to me are just perfect 😀 That’s so interesting about roundabouts, wow, but I did have to laugh reading how you describe people still getting confused and stopping! It seems that we all have our problems. There is a small roundabout down the road from us and the same exact thing happens there and we’re used to them!!!!! Argh indeed. Thank you Y, so glad this had you laughing. Have a great week and catch up soon, promise 🙂

      Like

  18. cardamone5 says:

    Too funny! I absolutely loved Chips, and Eric. Oh man, I had a crush on him 🙂 Glad you didn’t get a ticket.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Like

  19. bulldog says:

    Oh you need to come and drive here… stop signs mean go… red robots, go with speed and see if you can beat the others… and this they do in front of cops who sit there sleeping… if you can drive on our roads without having an accident you can drive anywhere in the world….

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well, I’ve driven in a few different places in the world including France and through inner city London, in a mini, on my own, and got horribly lost, but I’ve never driven in your part of the world and that does sound wild! Sounds like the cops aren’t exactly on their toes either…yikes o_O

      Like

  20. Luanne says:

    That’s a California stop. hehe Love that I can come visit you and visit In n Out (I love their fries and shakes) and then go for a walk in England! Only at Sherri’s!!! Your signs are great, too. Whenever I see a good one I can’t get a camera ready fast enough. I’m starting to get frustrated about it! Oops, gotta go check for my maggots again (no kidding) . . . .

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yep, that’s what I like to call it too Luanne! Well, you know when you come over here you never know where you might end up, lol 😉 Thanks, I’ve take a few of signs over the years for some strange reason which came in handy here but I’ve missed a lot too. Now, you have me intrigued…maggots????? I’ll be over to now 😀

      Like

      • Luanne says:

        I didn’t even write about it. Ugh. Something died in the attic and then little maggot starts showing up on the floor. Luckily, I think when they turned to flies they couldn’t get through the cracks that the maggots did. End of problem. Except that little mouse skeleton that must be up in the attic.

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Yuck…and yes, just as well they turned into flies and took off. Oh I hate maggots but they have job to do so I suppose we should be thankful for them, ha! My daughter would be fascinated with the mouse skeleton…she is strange like that, haha 🙂

          Like

  21. Okay: my story about driving past the cop shop, with my lights off, at night….

    I picked up supper to-go from the local pizza parlor, with my 2-year-old strapped into his car seat, and pulled away from their blazing overhead street lights. So, I didn’t turn on my head-lamps. (It was like daylight there!). 2 blocks later, the policeman pulled me over, when I passed his front door (he was thinking, probably, that I was inebriated). Looked through the window, sniffed (and detected no alcohol on my breath) and said, “mmm, Pizza!”

    My cute little toddler leaned forward out of his car seat and said, “Yes. But you can’t have any!” Mr. Copper laughed out loud.

    I’m convinced my son saved me the price of a traffic ticket.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha….oh Tracy, this is priceless, I love it 😀 Isn’t it great the things kids say, and your son was obviously not in the least bit intimidated by the cop – he had one thing and one thing only on his mind and that was supper! I’m only just getting to your reply on Monday morning and on this windy, wet and thoroughly grey day, your wonderful story has made me smile from ear to ear, so thank for much for this great share 🙂

      Like

  22. Hahaha, that story made me chuckle! American stop signs are so annoying, and they are literally everywhere. My auntie told me a story of how she got pulled over by a policeman for not stopping at the stop sign for the full three seconds! (It is three seconds, right??) How ridiculous. I think she played the whole I’m-English-doey-eyed thing herself, and got off with a warning 😉 The sinner you are indeed though, Sherri 😉 Disgraceful behaviour.

    I absolutely love the picture of that English countryside sign though! Very pretty 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Glad it made you laugh Jenny Jen Jen…it’s good to be able to look back on times such as these and have a giggle isn’t it? Yes, I think it’s something like that but so many times I would be stuck at those 4 way intersections with a stop-sign at every corner and nobody knew who should go first, so we would all be staring at one another. I longed for roundabouts at times like those 😮 Haha…well if it worked for me then it also worked for your auntie and why not? But of course, I am suitably chagrined for my disgraceful behaviour and repented for my sins accordingly 😉 As for the photo, it had to be your favourite…and what beauty to return home to. Thanks so much as always for the lovely comment…I hope you have a good week ahead and see you soon 🙂

      Like

      • Haha, yeah, my auntie told me her own horror stories of those 4-way intersections. You’ve got to chuckle. While there, I did see a few of these infamous intersections, but alas, there were no other cars whenever we drove by 😛 I’m surprised how much I learnt about American roads while there, actually. Maybe I could give it a bash sometime, if I’m ever there for any length of time again 😉 Hahaha, no. I would be a hazard to myself and everyone around, and obviously drive on the wrong side of the road. Though it would be a laugh, eh! 😉

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Haha…yes, well if I did it and your auntie still does I’m sure you could too. The main place I saw those 4 way intersections was in LA which is crazy busy as you know but where I lived on the central coast, it was less so, so usually it wasn’t too bad thankfully. My father-in- law lived in LA and he honestly never stopped at one. It was terrifying to say the least o_O

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          • Did you drive an automatic car while there? My auntie does, though my uncle’s GT Mustang (you know, the one I had a mini heart attack in ’cause it was so fast) is manual, as he refuses to drive automatic. I saw the bigger intersections when we were around Dallas, as opposed to their home city – or town? And the ‘freeways’ spanned over about a thousand lanes! Unbelievable. I imagine it was terrifying! I was terrified on those freeways, even though we were just driving along!

            Like

      • Sherri says:

        Yes, mostly automatic but I always preferred stick shift as that’s what I was used to. Still, in those big cars automatic makes driving much easier especially on the freeways. I didn’t have too much problem with them as it was not too bad where we lived. Although I did live and work in LA when I very first moved over there as a wee young thing of 19, ha, and drove through the mean streets and everything. In an old beaten up Vega. Ugly green it was. Don’t think they make them anymore. Can’t imagine trying that now. Yes, my ex’s Mustang was stick shift (sorry, manual….) but as you know, he rarely let me drive it. Wonder why, lol 😉

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  23. jennypellett says:

    Oh I’ve never been stopped for speeding, Sherri, or for ignoring a sign, but my mother has which we all think is hysterical. She got away with a caution, though. I think that was the policeman being ageist.
    Nice segue into the story from your rambling rose – you’re very good at making random connections 😄

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jenny…you know how my mind works…in a very strange way, haha 😉 I was mortified when I got pulled over like that as I expect your mother was, but can laugh about now. I did go on and get pulled over one more time for speeding a few years later, also in CA, and that was worse – not only did I have all my kids in the car but my ex (who had just warned me to slow down, rich coming from him, ha, and who I’d just taken over the driving from after a mammoth road trip from central California to Arizona) and my mother who was visiting! Just my luck… o_O

      Like

  24. simplyilka says:

    Lovely post as always Sherri! The Zombie one is a little – well – different 😉
    I do remember the Stop signs while living in the US. Especially in the middle of the night with nobody around. Should I stop or should I …???

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, it is very different isn’t it? Not the way I would plan on keeping calm, that’s for sure! So you know just what I mean about those stop-signs…and that is exactly what it’s like! Thank you dear Ilka, so lovely to see you again, I always love to read your great comments 😀

      Like

  25. So funny, Sherri, and as always, your photos are terrific. Got your email. Thanks. Praying.

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  26. Happy 200th post, Sherri! I feel for you and your roses, but they will bloom again, and then you will be in awe. Your collection of signs is cool. I love signs too. Like you I learned to drive in another country, and although on the same side of the road, the rules are a little different between France and the USA. I went through a red light once as I was making a left onto a major avenue. I understood my mistake when I saw that no one was following me. A police car happened to be right there and the offficer stopped me. I had my three little girls in the back, babies really, and he was such a nice guy that he let me go, telling me that I carried the most precious cargo and was probably just tired. I was so relieved! The only time I got a ticket was when I tried to follow my husband on a New Hampshire highway. Fearing to get lost I sped up, only to be stopped by a trooper. That time I got my ticket! And that marked the end of my encounters with the American police officers. I always love to read your posts, Sherri. Many echo my experiences in so many ways that I enjoy them even more. See you soon, Sherri. Happy fall!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Eveylne, I do love to hang out with you and chat about our mutual experiences of life in America as ‘foreigners’. What you share here is so very similar in every way. Not only for the let-off by the kind cop in the first instance, with your three babies in the back of your car (and thank goodness for understanding cops like that, right?) but also for your follow-up incident which mirrors mine almost exactly. The one and only time I got caught for speeding was a few years after the stop-sign incident. We were driving from Central California to Arizona and after hours of driving along virtually clear highways, I offered to take over from my ex as he was tired. We had a mini van and not only were the three kids in the back but also my mother who was visiting from England. We were ready to end our journey, so I gunned it but immediately realising I was pushing 80 started to slow down to the speed limit only to see those flashing lights behind me. The trooper came out of nowhere, I swear. He gave me a ticket, I paid the fine and did traffic school. As with you, that was the end of my run-ins with the cops there and here…long may it reign!
      Thank you, yes, it was a nice surprise to know I’ve somehow managed a few posts and glad you enjoyed the signs. Also, just to say, I’ve driven in France too and found it just fine, even the roundabouts going the other way round…but then it was in rural France and not a big city so that helped a lot…and no problems with the police there 😉

      Like

  27. Typical that on the day you ignore the stop sign there’s a policeman there to see it – but then you did choose your place to do it 🙂 Love the keep calm and kill zombies sign!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, typical and story of my life Andrea and you have such a lovely way of saying that it was my own stupid fault, lol, which it was 🙂 Yes, I love that zombie sign too, you and Ilka are the only ones who commented on it. We obviously think alike 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Of all the photos in this post, I think it’s the directional sign in the English countryside that drew me in most. Lovely!

    Like

  29. Dina says:

    Great post, Sherri! 🙂 You’re a good storyteller!

    Like

  30. quirkybooks says:

    That’s hilarious. I mean it wouldn’t have been if you went to jail, but the bit about not stopping at a stop sign outside the police station. Budleigh Salterton is near where I live in Exeter. I can give you my phone number if you want to meet up some time. My landline number I use for work is on all my websites, but if you want my mobile number I can email it to you. Or I can give you my more personal email. I get a lot of spam through my business emails.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Sandra, thanks for your comment. Yes, I know, I was so stupid to do that, I drove by it a million times and was so relieved that the cop let me off. I was very careful after that and can laugh about it now 🙂 Yes, that would be lovely. Next time I’m in your neck of the woods I’ll let you know. Here is my email: sherrimatthews@btinternet.com if you want to send me your personal email. Not sure if you read it, and forgive me if you have already, but I did a post recently with some more pics of Budleigh Salterton (love it there!). Here’s the link if you’d like to take a peak: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2014/09/09/in-the-fear-of-writing-memoir/ I feel much better now since writing that post btw. Happy Tuesday to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Lyn Buckley says:

    I drive thought that intersection every month or so on my way to the new hair salon across from the train station. Oh gosh, yes I always stop completely and peek to see if anyone is watching. I think next time I’ll pull a California stop in your honor. xo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, go on Lyn, I dare you. Maybe you’ll get the same Police Officer just waiting to pull you over and you can relay this story to him. I’m sure he’ll remember… not 😉 xo

      Like

  32. Mahesh Nair says:

    Great post 🙂 Killing zombies must be a fun thing to do, now that The Walking Dead season 5 is on. Watched all 4 seasons on Netflix and loved it!

    My latest post is very close to me, and I’d request you to read it. Thanks 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yesssss…We just got The Walking Dead back last night (taped it though so will catch up later today and can’t wait. It’s great isn’t it? We got fully up to date with that one…and, talking of which, BB…still going through slowly with hubby but daughter and I are up to mid-fourth season so the heat is on. I can’t believe the way the pressure is building. I thought it was bad before, yikes! Walt is a getting harder and harder and poor Jessie…just watched the part where Mike takes him along with him to ‘test’ him and Walt and Skye try to convince the family of Walt’s gambling addiction. My daughter keeps saying, ‘Oh Mom, just you wait….’ So my friend, I’m getting there.. 😉
      Saw your post pop up yesterday but didn’t make it and planned to read today…heading over right now… 🙂

      Like

  33. Marie Keates says:

    Nicholas’ theory is interesting but I’m too much of a coward to give it a try. I’m glad you didn’t get a ticket, or whatever they do in America for traffic offences. The stop sign thing does sound much more confusing than our roundabouts. Having said that a lot of people don’t seem to understand the concept of give way to the right.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Marie. Yes, I would have got a hefty fine and points on my driving license, plus would have to attend what they call traffic school, so not pleasant. Roundabouts are definitely better but yes, they have their own problems. I’ve been rear-ended twice by someone driving into the back of me while stopped watching the right. Said they didn’t see me both times. I drive a people mover. Go figure…

      Like

  34. Rachel M says:

    Kids always give it all away don’t they??? They’re too honest. Great story.

    Like

  35. willowmarie says:

    too funny! here’s to you for quick thinking.

    Like

  36. mihrank says:

    I enjoyed the details of your post. Bravo!

    Like

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