A Merciful Interview: Bite Size Memoir

Money is on my mind. Not so much because Christmas is fast approaching, but because of my disgust at the way the media whipped us up into a frenzy of Black Friday shopping last week.  Watching the news that night, I know I wasn’t the only one to be horrified at the scenes of violence unfolding in one department store in Bristol as muggers shoppers pushed, kicked and punched their way to a great deal on a television set.

Must be worth it then.

What has happened to our society?  I bet those televisions weren’t even top of the line (as if that makes it better), but cheaper models with the lowest spec, the store managers wanting them off the shelves before bringing in the all-singing-all-dancing specials just in time for Christmas.

But they were dirt cheap, so they must be worth the violence.

The other reason I’ve got money on my mind is Lisa’s prompt for this week’s bite size memoir which is ‘interviews’.

As with most of us, I have many job interview memories that spring to mind, some good, some bad, but the one speaking loudest to my heart this morning is a different kind of interview, one that took place in 1994 and changed the course of my family’s life forever.

In 150 words, no more, no less:

The Merciful Interview

Thanks to the madman neighbour, we lost our home, savings and good credit rating.

Desperate to move, but unable to buy another house, we scoured the paper for house rental ads, only to meet with despair: either no pets allowed, or no longer available.

Then, at last, we found the ‘perfect’ home in a safe, quiet neighbourhood.  One worry though was that small pets were allowed, but we had a Labrador.

Eldest Son and our Lab/Collie Bonnie - 1984 (c) Sherri Matthews

Eldest Son and our Lab/Collie Bonnie – 1984 (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

We arranged to meet the owner the next day. As she showed us around, I knew this house was the ‘one’. Swallowing hard, I asked about our dog, promising full accountability.

“No problem,” she smiled. “Your dog is family.”

Hours later, after interviewing other prospective tenants, she called to tell us the house was ours. Her decision changed our lives. We lived there for five, happy years because a stranger gave us hope and the chance to begin again.

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 Bite Size Memoir, Family Memoirs, Pets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

119 Responses to A Merciful Interview: Bite Size Memoir

  1. Allison says:

    So beautiful, Sherri, so so beautiful.

    And as for Black Friday – I’m so freaking over this BS. What are we becoming? Why?? 😦

    Much love and huge hugs, always, peace,

    Allison xoxoxoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh,, well Allison, I thank you for the read, but yes, like you, I am so disgusted by it all. BS is right…I just can’t stand it. The quote that ‘money’ is the root of all evil is actually incorrect as it should read the ‘love of’ money is the root of all evil. Yes, we need money, and yes, who doesn’t like nice things, but what kind of society have we become indeed where we witness these kind of scenes over a TV? I know this is nothing new (I remember that crazy Cabbage Patch Doll frenzy back in the 80’s and being horrified then) but still…
      So, I remembered back to the days when a stranger gave us something worth more than any dollars or pounds…she gave us a chance and that, as you and I both know, is priceless. Much love, hugs and peace right back to you dear… xoxoxoxoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Norah says:

    What a lovely story Sherri – the one about your new home, not Black Friday! Thank you for sharing it. It is lovely when others are able to see the beauty of your nature. And you really needed someone to do something special for you at that time! Thanks for sharing this warm memory. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Norah! Ahh, well, thank you and I’m so glad I was able to share this story. I have never forgotten that day, standing there on that pavement in the hot, Californian sun looking at the house and just knowing that it would be so right for our family but thinking that we probably didn’t stand a chance. Everything changed when we got the call…. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        It is so wonderful when things just fall into place. I’m so pleased it did that day for you! You not only needed it you deserved it. 🙂

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      • Sherri says:

        When things get us down and one thing after the other seems to go wrong, it is good to focus on the times when things do indeed fall into place like this…gives us hope that all is not lost 🙂 Bless and you and again, thank you so much Norah for your kind words 🙂

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  3. cardamone5 says:

    Lovey interview, and so much better than the job kind. Glad your adorable lab was permitted to move with you. Wouldn’t have wanted to stand between that precious boy and his friend.

    Love,
    e

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  4. Denise says:

    When I think of the beautiful simplicity of your posts, I think there is no comparison between the things we can enjoy simply, and the things we need lots of money for. Sure, it’s nice to have enough money to travel and see films and buy books and entertain and visit friends too, and a fast enough computer to blog and keep in touch! But the frenzy for material goods is just depressing. In comparison to your uplifting story about your house.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh yes, Denise, It is great to have money to do all these things and more, definitely, and especially to have a computer that runs well which is what I don’t have right now, hence only getting back just now after being without internet all day since posting :/ But…yes…it is the attitude behind the greed and the feeding-frenzy that is just so appalling isn’t it? I suppose in thinking about Black Friday and having just had the boys home, I was thinking of our days back in California and some of the birthday parties they had in the home I mention in this post and, well…it reminded me that even when we had gone through such an awful time and lost so much, we were as happy as ever were in that house, rebuilding and getting back on our feet. It wasn’t easy but I wouldn’t swap that precious time for anything 🙂

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  5. I feel you on the Black Friday Sherri. What an odd way to usher in a season of gratitude and the Christmas season. I enjoyed reading about your “interview.” God’s mercy can find us when everything else says no. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, I agree Lilka, what an odd way indeed. Black Friday isn’t even a holiday here. Any excuse to get us to spend, spend, spend. I’m glad you enjoyed this ‘interview’, thank you… God’s mercy and second-chances always leave me astonished and very, very grateful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Black Friday and the retail madness surrounding it really is disappointing to watch. Matt actually went out to the stores on Thursday night just to people watch but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Too much commercialization. And I agree that when renting, it’s nearly impossible to find a place that allows for pets. Thank goodness you found a kind soul that was willing to extend a helping hand 🙂 P.S. The story about your madman neighbor still makes my blood boil…

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    • Sherri says:

      And what a sight that must have been…I wouldn’t be able to go either, it would make me ill I think. Great people-watching opportunity though, I agree! Matt was very brave! Ahh yes, it was so hard finding a place that took pets, so you can imagine how amazed we were at the way everything worked out after what that crazed madman put us through…and I remember you sharing with me about my post, so kindly, thank you again for that Heather. I hope you and Matt had a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂

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  7. Hello my amiga! I am sorry I have not been by to check on you and to read your wonderful words lately! My big fat Puerto Rican family is still here with me until tomorrow!

    Very nice story about your apartment find. Thank goodness there are kind people out there that give others a chance and make the world of difference! Very cute photo too.

    I am so not into shopping this year, Sherri! My sister in law is finished and has wrapped all her presents. Can you believe that? I have not begun and have not “fallen” for any black/blue or red sales as of yet! Probably the fact that the two tuition payments we are making have wiped us out, has something to do with my lack of interest! Hope you and your family are doing well. Cheers!

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello dear Maria! Please don’t worry…I too have been terrible about catching up with everyone and I need to catch up with you. How wonderful, your big fat Puerto Rican family visiting, and how kind of you to drop by and leave your lovely comment. I have no doubt that you have just had the best and happiest of Thanksgivings 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, thank you, and yes, I do love this little photo for obvious reasons 😉 And as for shopping, oh tell me about it. I have done some but I know of others who are as ahead as your sister in law. I have never been that organized. I also have to prepare for my family spending several days here over Christmas so there is all the food and drink to think of. Not much different to what you have been doing for Thanksgiving with all your family I’m sure! It’s so hard too when you are spending out on tuition payments. I’m sure that is not exactly easy. We are doing well, I thank you, as I hope you are and I will catch up with you very soon my amiga 🙂

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  8. First, loved the photo of oldest son and B. 🙂
    How wonderful to finally settle in a lovely home and neighborhood and escape the madman that had made all your lives a living hell. You have endured much my friend and my wish/prayer is for smooth sailing ahead for you and yours. As for Black Friday-bah humbug!!!! >3

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…yes, such a sweet photo that isn’t it 🙂 You know oh so well the story behind all this my dear friend and how much we enjoyed living in this house. Oh, so many wonderful, happy memories. Thank you so much as we pray and hope for the same things..and yes, I agree with you about Black Friday. Couldn’t have said it better myself 😉 ❤

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  9. What a lovely response to Lisa’s prompt, Sherri. And the photo…so adorable! As far as the Black Friday madness, it makes me sad. The example adults are setting for their children is sickening. These lunatics who are trampling other humans to get a TV or some other electronic probably don’t have two pennies to rub together, so they’re putting it on their nearly maxed out credit card. What is wrong with people? Enough of that! I hope you had a great birthday celebration with Nicky this weekend! xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Jill, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and the photo too…I am rather partial to it for obvious reasons 🙂 I agree with everything you say Jill, it gives me TV rage just watching it! I hate the greed. It isn’t exactly what is behind the ‘reason for the season’ is it? But yes, we had a wonderful weekend, thank you, and Nicky was thrilled with his high -tops, they were just the right ones, phew 🙂 I hope you and DFD had the most wonderful Thanksgiving and that you got lots of rest and writing in 🙂 xoxoxo

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  10. Ste J says:

    What bothers me about this Black Friday malarkey is that over here it isn’t even a holiday so why were all these people off work! You are right about the TVs though, I bet they were cheap and won’t last long.

    You cheered me up though with your interview memories, people who are laid back and know that pets count as family are great. It is all to easy to think of everybody as like the animals on Friday, it is nice to have our belief in humanity refilled sometimes.

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    • Sherri says:

      Exactly Ste…that is just what I was thinking! Off work and punching one another over cheap TVs? Something clearly is wrong with this picture… o_O I’m glad the interview part cheered you up though…I wanted to bring in something with a positive message after my sense of outrage at the recent happenings in this land of ours… so let’s forget all that and bring on the nice smiles again 🙂

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  11. Sherri, so touching. Pets are family. What an appropriate story for this time of year!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you Hollis, I’m so glad you enjoyed it…we had lost so much but giving up our pets was non-negotiable 😉 I had promised the kids and that was that. It was nothing short of a miracle to find that house and to be treated so kindly by somebody when we really, really needed it 🙂

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  12. That’s awesome, Sherri! What a cute photo! Labs are great dogs; I used to have two when I was married before. They had 12 puppies once! That was an experience!!!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Patsy, and oh, how cute! We had another Lab, Monty, some years later and for a time had both of them together. They are wonderful family dogs aren’t they? There was no way we were going to give up our pets! Wow, 12 puppies, now that’s pretty awesome too 🙂

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  13. Mumblypeg says:

    I so agree with you about Black Friday. What a nightmare. Such behaviour makes me ashamed to be British at such times.But your lovely memory of the kind and caring landlady was very touching and beautifully told. Love the picture too of eldest and sweet B, who always remembered me. Lots of love M xxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, sweet Bonnie always remembered you didn’t she? I loved how she would speak to you in her special little way 😉 Ahh…yes, it is a day I’ll never forget, we were truly blessed in that house weren’t we? And as for Black Friday…well, it is disgusting.
      Much love to you ❤ xxxxx

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  14. Sunni Morris says:

    Your story shows there are still some kind caring people out there. Glad the lady let you have the house even with the big dog. I do wonder though, how did a neighbor who was a lunatic cause you to lose your house and get a bad credit rating? You would be responsible for paying your billls, so I can’t see how that would happen. There must be a lot more to that story.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Sunni! Lovely to read your comment, thank you, and yes, I thought it would be good to share something positive in light of the greed of Black Friday. You are right, there is a lot more to this story. I wrote about ‘The neighbour who stole our dreams’ some months ago. Due to his actions we had to give up our house. We couldn’t sell it because the market crashed right after we bought it (the first crash in the 1990’s) and the bank weren’t interested in a short sale so we lost it through foreclosure. We did buy again eventually and restored our credit but it took a long time.

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      • Sunni Morris says:

        Sherri,

        I guess I missed your post about that awful neighbor. It does take time to rebuild credit and be eligible to buy a house again, but it all worked out.

        One of my sisters lost her house to foreclosure, but it was because she couldnt keep up with paying an exhorbinant amount in taxes each year. She was trying hard with working three jobs, but still couldn’t do it. So she moved into a rental she had and is still there. She may buy another house one day down the road.

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      • Sunni Morris says:

        Scherri,

        On another note, some of the stores here in the US have started opening on Thanksgiving day. So sad really, taking away from family time and all thoughts of gratefulness for your blessings. This started a few years ago and each year it gets earlier. I hear they are now calling it gray Thursday, so I don’t think it’s going away any time soon.

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      • Sherri says:

        Oh I’m so sorry about your sister Sunni, it is so hard. I hope things work out for her down the road but that she is happier in the meantime without the stress of worrying over a mortgage and taxes. And as for ‘Gray Thursday’…well, again, I am just so sad to read this. Soon there will be no family days left on both sides of the pond to gather and be happy just spending quality time together. I guess for some, this just isn’t a priority anymore. All about the great green dollar…and pound…

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  15. Sherri, I read the beginning of this post and the following comments with a great deal of sadness.
    Where we put our attention ensures the way we will feel and our emotional state colours every day. I knew nothing of Black Friday until I read this and I feel a big black hole of despair in my solar plexus at the awfulness of materialism and disrespect for and of fellow human beings and the stuff they deem worthy of debasing themselves for. The sadness is there too for the items the media chooses to send into homes and the news items people choose to watch.

    I want my attention to be placed where real humanity is shown – your story contains so much more than it actually tells and I am once again encouraged. I believe there is so much good in the world, but we focus on the ‘not good’. Which makes us feel bad/awful! – or superior, which is also not a good feeling!

    Yet the real focus of this post is a story of recovery and hope and the goodness of strangers. A family that survives an awful time and is given new hope. Now I feel light again! Sounds like a story that should make the news to me!! 🙂 xo

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    • Sherri says:

      What really got me about all this Pauline is that Black Friday has come over from the States where the day after Thanksgiving, always a holiday there and always a Friday, was and is the traditional day to kick off Christmas shopping, but it has got way out of hand. It isn’t even a holiday here yet people were off work, provoked by the media into this crazy frenzy of greed. We put the news on and were hit with this outrageous story and I wasn’t able to forget about it. Just horrifying. So that is why I thought about my ‘interview’ as a way to counter-balance all the negativity and show the kinder, better side of life. You are very perceptive Pauline, there is a great deal more to the story I shared and I am so happy to know that it left you feeling encouraged, light and hopeful once again…and I love your punchline 🙂 You have, in turn, given me a huge smile this cold, November day. Thank you so much for your wonderful, heartfelt comment, you have made my day 😀 xo

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      • Do you know reading your post gave me new information – I saw an advertisement for a ‘Black Friday’ sale and finally understood where it came from – I don’t know how long this advertising has been going on here, but this is not the first year I have seen it. Isn’t it incredible how stuff jumps about the globe and without any understanding of why or where, is picked up by the advertising moguls and used. I have no idea if the same awful behaviour accompanies our sales, but I do hope not. Thank you for adding to my education 🙂

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      • Sherri says:

        I’m glad I was able to send some more information your way Pauline, even if not the best information! Isn’t blogging great? Thank God for the good things in life…and on that note, I hope you have a great day and thanks again for the wonderful dialogue 🙂

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  16. Thank you for sharing that heartwarming story, Sherri. It was a welcome counterpoint to the Black Friday madness. I’d heard a bit about what happened in Britain. I don’t know if there was any shopping-related violence over here across the pond, but I just find all the hype and commercialism so off-putting. Here in Canada, Black Friday sales have been adopted, I guess so our retailers won’t lose so much business to the south. It does feel a bit like one more erosion of our Canadian identity, though. But in the interests of full disclosure, I have a small business and last year I offered a Black Friday sale. I won’t do it again, but suppose I shouldn’t cast the first stone.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Marlene, I ‘m glad that I was able to balance out all the negativity…and have a little rant in the process! Phew…I feel better now 🙂 I fully understand the reason for the traditional Black Friday that I knew of years ago when living in the States, always the Friday after Thanksgiving and a national holiday and a time to kick off the Christmas shopping. It made sense, and some great deals were to be had. But it has got way out of hand now and over here it is whipped up but it isn’t even a national holiday! What were all those people doing off work, hitting up the sales, and punching and hitting too? Just utter madness :/

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Black Friday made idiots of a lot of people. I shake my head.
    Some people are just gosh darn wonderful, quite the opposite to the neighbor who forced you into the position of finding a new place to live. What a dilemma. Great story, Sherri. Glad you crossed paths with good people. ❤

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  18. Heyjude says:

    Black Friday / Cyber Monday both American imports. Some things should just stay where they belong. Here in Oz I can almost pretend Xmas isn’t coming! It will be a very quiet one this year, I shall probably be hiding under my duvet!

    Good memoir as usual. Life can be good 🙂 Take care my friend xx

    Like

    • No! I don’t want it here, either! 😉

      Like

      • Sherri says:

        Oh Sarah…now I hear that shops are opening even earlier over there, on the Thursday! We have Boxing Day here, the day after Christmas Day, which is always a national holiday and used to be an extended family time, but for a lot of people this is a chance to hit up all the ‘great’ sales. Me? I don’t go near a shop until after new year. Come Christmas Eve, what I haven’t got in, well too bad. Once the freezer is empty, that’s it 😛

        Like

    • Sherri says:

      Had to bring something good after my Black Friday rant Jude! In the States, it was/is always traditional for the Friday after Thanksgiving to be a day when all the sales kicked off for the Christmas season and it made sense, it is a national holiday and some great deals were to be had I believe, although admittedly I rarely hit the shops on that day, preferring to go at quieter times. This was before online shopping. But why have it here? It isn’t even a holiday. You are in the right place, escaping the madness! Glad you enjoyed the ‘interview’, thanks Jude. 🙂 xx

      Like

  19. Oh, you know I needed to read this Bite Size Memoir. ❤ Happiness, kindness of strangers changing our lives… Or, as in the case of Black Friday… I am Hulking out just thinking about it.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh yes Sarah…we are definitely on the same wave length ❤ I just commented over on your posts…it really is in the kindness of strangers that our lives are made so much the richer. Unlike the idiocy of Black Friday (although, you will see in my reply to Jude, I did explain that it has been around in the States for a long time and we have 'adopted' it here but for the stupidest of reasons…oh wait, I meant, for the greediest of reasons… 👿 ) Let's get back to what really matters… 🙂 xo

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  20. What a contrast between the tragedy that was “Black Friday” in England this year and your story! Sadder still is the fact that this year many large stores were open on Thanksgiving day in the United States (one of two days off for retailers) until the wee hours of Friday morning so that “shoppers” could get cheap items, leaving no holiday for the many and their family/friends who had to work in those stores. At what point did violent shopping grow so popular?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      At what point indeed my friend? It is just horrific, and that isn’t too strong a word for it. I have read similar on other comments and posts about Thanksgiving becoming shorter and shorter. What about family time and the real reason for these celebrations? I was glad to be able to share my story…and I would thank you for your kindness 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Mahesh Nair says:

    “Swallowing hard, I asked about our dog, promising full accountability.”
    Sherri: You kill with simplicity, but I see depth, not death.
    Great post!

    Like

  22. Rachel M says:

    That’s so nice. I know what it’s like trying to find a rental place with pets. When we first moved to Auckland – and we were escaping from the Christchurch earthquakes – we had a terrible time trying to find somewhere that would accept our two dogs. Some places even say no kids which is just amazing. I’m glad you found a happy home.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks Rachel. Yes, we had the same about the ‘no children’ rule too. I was shocked. What are families supposed to do when they need to rent? That landlady understood the importance of pets for families and I am eternally grateful to her. I’m so glad that you found a happy home too…both sides of the shining sea 🙂

      Like

  23. Letizia says:

    Dogs are family, yes!!

    Like

  24. Luanne says:

    What a happy story! Xo

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  25. TanGental says:

    Bum. Wrote a great comment and it’s been eaten! Basically it said 1. Great post 2. reminds me of our dog at Battersea when we were told his owners gave him up when their new landlord wouldn’t allow dogs 3. this triggered a great story idea. I hate wordpress sometimes! But I love your posts!!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Aaaarrrrghhh…I had no end of troubles commenting yesterday Geoff, wasted a lot of time with it. Never mind…what counts is that I got this one and I thank you so much considering you are probably water rafting or such 😉 So glad this triggered a good story…I love it when that happens 🙂

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      • TanGental says:

        It is based on a what if. What if the new owners meet the old in a park. It might trigger all sorts of emotions. Guilt at abandoning the dog, regret, anger at the partner who insisted when the other failed to win the keep him argument. The new owners too might be apprehensive and under their own strains. I see this as a story with legs!

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        A wonderful story with legs…go get it boy 😉

        Like

  26. jennypellett says:

    I loathe the run up to Christmas. I used to work in the west end and Christmas started in August. The greed has grown exponentially and has cumulated in the scenes we saw on the TV last week. I want no part of it which is why we opt for a very simple time without the razzmatazz.
    I’d heard your landlady story before but it’s a gentle reminder Sherri that thankfully there is still goodness in this world. It’s just taking us longer to find it these days 😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It is awful isn’t it Jenny? I was enraged by the sights beaming into our living room from the news. I’m glad you enjoyed the story (and thanks for the read, as always…) 🙂

      Like

  27. Marie Keates says:

    A great story of kindness and understanding there Sherri. As for Black Friday, I just don’t get it. No one in our house went shopping this weekend except for food and there is no way I would ever put myself in the way of crowds like that. I’d rather pay full price and keep my dignity, as well as all my bodily parts.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, Marie, you put it perfectly. You explained all the very same reasons why I steer clear of the shops at times like this. I’m glad you enjoyed the story, thank you…I wanted to show that not all is doom and gloom and there are some very kind and caring people left in this old world of ours 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I love your story about getting the house, Sherri, and the fact that Bonnie was also welcome. I so agree with you about this time of year. In fact, these days, I’m inclined to agree with Mr Ebenezer Scrooge, when he described Christmas a ‘Humbug’. The whole meaning of Christmas, and the peace and goodwill towards all men, has been totally lost in the greed and avarice which has become synonymous with this season. It sickens me more every year, and the ‘Black Friday’ violence is so disgusting. I like to remember the simple and happier Christmases of my childhood, when we were grateful for small, thoughtful gifts which were given with love. (Sorry for the rant.) 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Sylvia. We went on to get another dog, Monty too 🙂 Nothing to be sorry for, I’ve been on a week long rant ever since Black Friday, and I totally agree. We might have ‘more’ as a society, more than ever before, but we have so much less it seems in the things that truly matter. I think a lot of us are saying ‘Bah Humbug’ at the moment Sylvia. Let’s hope the true spirit of Christmas returns soon 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  29. We were just talking this morning (in our book group) about the times in life when people need to “start over,” and about redemption, when the past is wiped away and we’re given a new future. Thank God for mercies, large and small.

    There will always be those who value the accumulation of “things” more than they value the accumulation of kindnesses. It’s sad…

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  30. Love the two parts of your post, Sherri. Like you the shopping frenzy is not my cup of tea.
    And the second half is so lovely. Labs are my favorite dogs. We lost ours two years ago from cancer. The photo of your son and Bonnie is adorable. Your landlord was great! We had to hide a small cat once because we couldn’t find any rental accepting pets. Hush, don’t tell anyone!

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    • Sherri says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the happy part, thank you Evelyne. I was glad to get my anger over Black Friday off my chest 👿 It makes me so ashamed. What ever happened to the values that our nation once upheld so proudly? I know that most, decent, law-abiding people still do, but it is always the minority that spoil things for the majority it seems. Ahh…I’m so sorry about the loss of your beloved Lab ❤ They are beautiful dogs, we had another one, Monty. Both lived to 14. As for hiding the cat, don't worry, your secret is safe with me…we 'forgot' to mention an extra cat and a hamster once too 😉

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  31. Sherri I am shopping online this year and at my local art/craft gallery it has been stress free. I hate the stress of waiting to hear whether you get the job, house, loan. Its that waiting time in-between that is hard. How lucky you were that the lady considered your dog family. So many places would not do that. Sometimes we just get lucky.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh that waiting is the worst isn’t it? It was pure agony waiting for her call that day and what rejoicing when she did 🙂 I couldn’t believe when she said yes to our dog, it was incredible. I do a lot of my shopping online too Kath, glad things are stress free for you, sounds as if you have got the right balance. Long may it rein 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Yolanda M. says:

    Don’t hate me Sherri but we appear to be a more restrained lot here in Vancouver 🙂 no Black Friday madness. The reason being of course that people seeking greater savings have to cross the border leaving the (saner) less wealthy lot like ourselves behind to stroll through the stores in peace 😉 What an adorable pic! When we first arrived in Canada we were told it would be ‘near impossible’ to rent a home without ‘Canadian references’ and after a few days of trying to find a home we started believing it until we Let God (as I like saying) and we found the most awesome suite and the most gracious landlord. I am glad you too had an angel when you needed it most.

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…Yolanda, I would never hate you, not in a million years ❤ I am ashamed of the way our British culture has been portrayed on international news lately. What happened to that great British restraint, morals, values and politeness? Gone to the dogs by the looks of things. I still believe though that most people here wouldn't dream of behaving like that…
      I love that… 'Let God'. And believe me, I know just what you mean. Look what happened to us both when we did 🙂 Thank you for sharing your lovely story with me Yolanda, what a blessing ❤

      Like

  33. I loved your reminiscing story. Beautiful writing. As for Black Friday, I’ve never done it and the thing that bothers me even more is (in the US anyway) Walmart was open on Thanksgiving and began a new tradition of of starting Black Friday sales, Thursday night at 6:00 pm. My husband and I went into Walmart to buy some milk and one or two other things and there were people sitting on the floor, waiting for 6:00 pm, it was only 4:00. I stopped and looked at somethings people were sitting by and just their attitude and the cold glare in their eyes made me afraid. Got what we came in for and left before the madness started.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      What a blood curdling story Donna, wow. I’m so glad you got out of there fast. What is so sad is that you are talking about Wal Mart yet it sounded like it was soon to become a war zone. So, so sad to hear of the early opening. Greed is a terrible thing. But moving on from that, I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I’m so glad you enjoyed the happier part of this post, thank you Donna…always good to remember the good things and our very many blessings 🙂

      Like

  34. Amy says:

    That is a moving, heartwarming story. Thank you so much for sharing, Sherri!

    Like

  35. restlessjo says:

    Nice sentiment about the dog, Sherri 🙂 My Algarve friends have a Dalmation, Louie, who is an essential part of the family. (you might remember him standing at the window of the house opposite ours, ‘keeping watch’ in one of my posts) He will be a major factor in the decision whether Marie returns to the UK to live, now that Bill has gone.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh yes Jo, I do remember Louie from your post, how sweet 🙂 Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I hope that Marie will keep Louie no matter what. I brought my two cats back with me from the States under the Pet Passport Scheme but had to leave our Lab Monty (Bonnie had long gong) with my ex. I didn’t see him again and it made me sad, but the kids did when they visited their dad in California. Both dogs lived to 14. Daughter would love another one. We say not yet, but who knows… Hugs dear Jo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  36. reocochran says:

    I am sad that someone had ruined your credit for awhile and feel so happy that you were blessed with a new beginning, with a happy part including your labrador retriever. Dogs (and pets) are indeed part of our family and loved ones. The photograph was so sweet of son and dog, too.
    I am appalled at the way some people act. I used to like to go shopping the day after Christmas, but not so anymore. I could not get motivated by lower prices to leave my Mom and family to shop! Sherri, it is good that someone points this out and wish the companies who ‘prey’ on those who are on tight budgets would just lower prices from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I have to admit my own son and daughter went out on the day after Thanksgiving to purchase gifts for the family. I did not say a word to them, since I know they live on a ‘shoestring budget.’ Smiles!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…you are so kind dear Robin, thank you so much. I am honoured to be able to share stories such as these,for I do believe that God works in mysterious, powerful and very surprising ways so many times 🙂
      Yes, appalling is the right word. The behaviour exhibited over here (by a small minority I’m pleased to say) made many of us so ashamed. I hope your son and daughter got some good bargains, for there are definitely some to be had, and hopefully weren’t affected by the madness of the frenzy. As you say, prices should be lowered in real terms and not just for one crazy day like this. It’s like throwing gasoline onto an open flame. Certainly takes away from what this season is really about! 🙂

      Like

  37. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, Sherri! First you got me all fired up–I was ready to go out and knock some sense into those Black Friday bullies. I’m sad to hear that you have Black Friday in the UK. It must be a fungus.

    Then I got weepy, reading your memoir! Bonnie looks adorable. When we rented this place it was “no dogs.” We didn’t even realize it until we were signing papers and mentioned our dogs. It was a tense moment while we awaited approval. And I know the gratitude you must had felt when a stranger took a chance! ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh Charli, you and me both, we are on the same page for sure. I was outraged when I watched the news that night 👿 So much for that great British restraint. It is like a fungus, you are right, creeping out everywhere turning people into greedy, horrible idiots. But thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed the bite…ahh, yes, we got Bonnie as an 8 week old pup when M was 2, they grew up together 🙂 M commented on my FB page when he saw the pic, “I love this photo!” Oh gosh, now you have me all weepy too! Goodness, what a tense moment you certainly had there…and yes, we both know that feel Charli, most definitely ❤

      Like

  38. meandcoffeefairy says:

    My sister who passed away two years ago, started the family tradition of standing in line on Black Friday to buy present that her nieces and nephews wanted. I know from my mama that only once was there so pushing and shoving, most of the time just long waits in lines. Now, we don’t think of music events as times people get out of hand, personally I seen plenty of bad people getting out of hand at music events. My two cents worth, to me, the media needs a story, no reason to show bored people waiting in line 99 places, the one places with drama is the place to get ratings up.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I totally agree with you and thank you for your great comment and feedback. The media definitely whipped this frenzy up for some ‘great’ stories to beam around the world. It is always the minority who ruin it for the majority. I remember Black Friday from when I lived in the States and no doubt about it, some great bargains could be had and many sensible shoppers like your dear sister (and I am so sorry for your loss) I’m sure did very well with their shopping. But it got out of hand in some places and now we have it here in the UK and it isn’t even a national holiday here. I despaired at the mayhem in so many shops all over our country and it has made many of us wonder at the deeply troubling state of our society and this desperate need for the media to get good ratings.

      Like

  39. Black Friday D: I shuddered at the horror of it. Were those really my fellow humans? I wrote a most disparaging comment about it on Facebook, but was most disappointed that nobody bothered to “like” my comment, let alone echo my sentiments. Oh well, the one thing I bought that day was one of my dear blogging friend’s ebooks, which was much better value than any of that stuff people were fighting over in shops.

    As for your tale, Sherri. It brought tears to my eyes. Firstly, out of sadness for you having had to go through such hard times because of a neighbour’s spite, and then, out of wet-eyed gladness that someone treated you with such kindness. Like you, we lost everything at one stage, but we were darned if we were going to lose our Labrador (the predecessor to our present one) because of landlord rules against pets. We had to move twice and, each time, we found a sympathetic landlord.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I would have liked your comment Sarah!!! Actually, thinking about it, I had several ‘views’ on my Facebook Page but no ‘likes’ either…except from eldest son to say how much he loves this photo of him and his Bonnie 🙂 Goodness, we share a few similarities don’t we, and I’m so sorry that you also lost everything, but how amazing that you had your Lab too and found understanding landlords. It is a powerful thing isn’t it to be able to share such stories and realise that we are not alone in our struggles and that in those struggles, we find strength, joy and so many blessings. Thank you so much for your kind words Sarah and for sharing your story with me, I am very moved by it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  40. prior says:

    wonderful bite sized nugget of warmth – ““Your dog is family.” woof woof

    Liked by 1 person

    • prior says:

      oh and it is funny you should mention the televisions because that is exactly what we noticed were the main things being promoted -cheaply made TVs that are junk….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Who let the dogs out…haha 😀

      Like

      • prior says:

        my mom used to love that song – ha! and the white in your black lab was so cute – and his fur looks so soft in that vintage shot 🙂
        here is a small shot of our black lab – he loves to chase shadows and he will wait by the fence for as long as it takes – and then we walk over – toss up a rock (or anything) and he goes crazy for the shadow – he comes from a line of bird hunting dogs I guess and well, he is funny.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Oh so cute, I love this photo of your Lab with the shadow 🙂 Bonnie was half Lab, half Collie, hence the white chest, but our Lab Monty was like yours, pure Lab from a line of hunting dogs. They are just the best dogs for family pets I think. We haven’t had a dog ever since we came back to the UK in 2003…maybe it’s time to get another one, lol 🙄 Have a great weekend mon amie, keep warm and safe ❤

          Like

      • prior says:

        Hi Sherrie, oh I bet that Collie Lab mix was one amazing lovable dog that was also brilliant! and now I see why the soft fur – 🙂 – and our other lab has some golden retriever in it – we think – but these dogs fell in our lap after a much needed break from pets – and the timing was a God send for a few reasons. anyhow, hope you have a great day and I enjoyed your memoir. I also went over the host of this bite sized challenge and it looks like a great one – I like the option of ten I remember statements – super cool. 🙂
        ttys ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Yes, it is a wonderful challenge run by Lisa, I am always amazed by the things we all come up with as we write, and writing a ‘bite’ is a great writing discipline, as with flash fiction. And yes, Bonnie was adorable, she was as smart as a whip, didn’t miss a trick, and she absolutely adored the water. Ahh…what a great blessing our pets are to us 🙂 Enjoy your day and weekend dear Y and I’ll see you soon… ❤

          Like

      • prior says:

        yeah dogs are such gifts – and I hope you have a nice weekend too – 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  41. Absolutely, Bonnie was family. WONDERFUL picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Pingback: Christmas Green & Red (food and Black Friday memory) | priorhouse blog

  43. Pingback: Life, Inspired ❦ The Weekend Review | Life Through the Kitchen Window

  44. Your story is beautiful and heartfelt. I found you via Pauline at The Contented Crafter. Alys

    Like

  45. Black Friday hasn’t made it here yet or if it has it passed me by. That was one good interview Sherri. I bet you jumped for joy at the news. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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