Shut Away Breaking Free

Greeting, dear friends, and a long, dark stretch this has been. This interminable separation from my children. Where are our friends and visitors? Are we… okay? We are safe and well but loss takes many forms. Anxiety is real, sorrow lies deep, the toll is great. But we are here and we are grateful. Thank you, special ones, let’s keep those fires burning. The right kind ❤

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

California is hot. Sun-blazing, earth-baking, dry-dusty hot. I came there from England and I didn’t know what hit me. I held my breath from May to November until the rains came.

Except they didn’t.

‘When will the hills turn green?’ I naively asked my neighbour a few months after moving there in 1986.

‘Around November time,’ she replied, neither one of us knowing a seven year drought lay ahead.

I had moaned about the rain back home. Now I longed for it. Was it true it never rains in California? I started believing it so. Decades hence, how I wish now I could send over our rain.

But at the time, the novelty of being able to plan a barbeque or a picnic without worrying about a cloud burst felt almost decadent.

As a girl, I went camping with my family, once or twice. Long before “glamping” was a thing…

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About Sherri Matthews

Sherri's work is published in magazines, anthologies, her Summerhouse blog, and memoir column at Carrot Ranch, an online literary community. As a young mum of three, she emigrated from the UK to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country with her family and two beautiful black kitties. A keen walker and photographer, she is working hard on her memoir. Her 2021 entry to Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize was shortlisted and also received a special mention at Spread the Word Life Writing Prize.
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10 Responses to Shut Away Breaking Free

  1. Norah says:

    Such a great article and worthy of sharing again on your real home, Sherri. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jools says:

    Hi Sherri. I always love reading your pieces. Sad to learn that you have struggled with lockdowns and the other unsettlements of the last year. Would you still happen to have my email address or mobile number? If so, I would love to be in touch with you again. Julie x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie, Julie! I thought of you very recently… lovely to hear from you. And thank you, you’re always so supportive, glad you enjoyed the read. I do indeed have your number and I’ll be in touch shortly! 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MikeM says:

    Beautiful writing so apt for our times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pat says:

    Just starting to venture out and see our children a little at a time. It feels glorious. Missed a lot but sometimes just don’t know how much until it’s not there for awhile. Love and hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

Lovely to chat...

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