About Me

Hi, I’m Sherri & welcome to my blog!

Greetings to you from me!

Greetings to you from me and thank you so much for reading my blog!

Here is my story in brief (famous last words, ha!)…

A born and bred Brit widowed at the age of 21, I remarried and moved to the US with my American then-husband to the Central Coast of California in the mid 1980s. There, we raised our three children for the next seventeen years.

Then my marriage broke up.

Trials and turns have twisted in and out of my life, leaving behind their footprints.

For one, my dear jailbird dad has left a few of those footprints on the cold, hard floors of the many prisons and halfway houses where he has lived for most of his adult life, thanks to an addiction to alcohol that he cannot defeat. *

But please know this blog isn’t about blame and recriminations:
it is about forgiveness and healing and living joyfully in a New Day.

Returning to my ‘home’ in the UK in 2003, I faced life as a forty-something single mum with the prospect of finding paid employment,  And then, life took  me completely by surprise the day I met the man who is today, my lovely Hub.

He took my hand and led me back into the sunshine.

We are now settled in the West Country of England with my youngest adult child and assorted pets which, to date, include two black kitties and a grumpy bunny but once included a family of Chinese Button Quails, a corn snake called Charles P. Snake, an African Land Snail called Vladimir and three degus called KPS: Kevin, Peter and Sam. This is what happens when your youngest is an Aspie and a consummate pet lover.

Turning fifty wasn’t so bad (what better pay back than rocking out with your grown up kids at my first Metallica gig?), but things took a downturn in the coming years. My youngest struggled for years with debilitating social anxiety before receiving a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome (High Functioning Autism) at eighteen.

Job loss (mine), financial reversal and two car accidents followed. That old ‘black dog’ became my constant companion and for a long time I felt pretty damn worthless, insignificant and washed-up.

So I got down on my bended knees and prayed.

Not one, but several doors, slammed firmly shut in my face.  Well, don’t ‘they’ say that when one door closes another opens?  This is true, but it’s no good if you stand still and don’t actually walk through that open door.

It took me a long time just to get the self-belief that I could actually attempt it, never mind achieve any measure of success, but one day I said, “Enough!” I got up off my knees.

With renewed courage and faith, I stepped over the threshold of that doorway to follow a new path towards my life-long dream, in which I dared to call myself a Writer.

What's at the end of your path?  Selworthy, Quantocks, Somerset (c) Sherri Matthews

What’s at the end of your path?
Selworthy, Quantocks, Somerset October 2012
(c) Sherri Matthews

“Rise up; this matter is in your hands.  Take courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4

And it was on the other side of that door that I was at last able to find the answer to the question I had asked myself all my life: how can I turn my life experiences into something that others will hopefully find valuable, worthwhile, and maybe even inspiring?

Is it even possible? Risky, yes,  but as I always say, better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. So here I am.  Writing.

Weaving stories from the past, making sense of the present,
giving hope for the future.

Why the name, ‘A View from My Summerhouse’ you may well ask?

Summerhouse in Spring

My Summerhouse in Spring

Some of my most endearing and happiest memories from my childhood are of playing in my grandparents’ summerhouse at the back of their glorious garden in Cheshire, and I longed for one of my own one day.

I had to wait a long time, but a couple of years ago, lovely Hubby built one for me in our garden as my office.

My summerhouse is my writing haven.

My hope is that in sharing my stories here, you are encouraged and inspired to chase your dreams and to never give up.

No matter how side-lined or insignificant you feel, or how dark your days may seem, I urge you to remember that there is always hope, always a light shining in the darkness, always the knowledge that you are not alone.  And if I can change my life for the better, so can you!

The view from my Summerhouse may not always be rosy, but I hope you will share it with me, rain or shine.

Love Sherri x

*At the time of writing this page, my dad was 81 and living in a half way house.  He returned to prison almost a year later for breaking parole – he had ‘a few pints’ – and remained there until, very ill, he was taken to hospital.  He died peacefully, five days later, surrounded by the love of his family, on 17th July, 2016, three weeks before what would have been his eighty-fourth birthday.  He gave me the one gift he could: his blessing to write his story. My blog is dedicated to him.  Be at peace darling dad.

 

402 Responses to About Me

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Well Hi Sherri from another west country blogger!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Lucid Gypsy! How lovely to meet another west country blogger, thanks so much for coming over, I hope you like what you find here! I’ll be over to visit you tomorrow, late now, one of those days!
      It’s lovely to meet you … Sherri 🙂

      Like

  2. Nice to meet you Sherri!
    I discovered you via Lisa and her “Bite-Size Memoir” project. This is my first visit to your blog but I will definitely be back to read more. Your “About Me” post is inspiring; I so wish though you had not had to persevere so through much in your life. Hopefully you will have smoother times ahead.
    Suzanne
    P.S. I love your little summerhouse!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Suzanne, how lovely to meet you too! Thank you so much for coming over here and visiting me in my summerhouse 🙂 Lovely to know that you came over from Lisa, I have only just joined her challenge and this is my second attempt!
      How very kind of you, I do appreciate your sweet words so much. Life has its challenges for us all but I hope that smoother times are ahead, I have to admit 🙂
      I’m looking forward to coming over to your blog which I will do very shortly, and also to sharing our writing and blogging journeys…great to have you here 🙂

      Like

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  4. jannatwrites says:

    You have an inspiring story… what I take from it is that we shouldn’t give up and that it’s never too late to follow a dream. Best to you!

    Like

  5. CrazyGuyinThailand says:

    Great blog.

    Like

  6. Kev says:

    Well as long as you’re happy now and doing what you dreamed of doing…that’s what matters. 🙂

    Like

  7. ltownsdin says:

    What a nightmare! I’m so glad your true story has a happy ending.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much for visiting Linda and for your kind words and yes, writing about these things now shows me just much life has changed and gives me hope for the now and for the future 🙂

      Like

  8. Hey Sherri! Long time no speak!!!

    I have nominated you for The Liebster Award 🙂 Check out the link here http://sereneaspergia.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/the-liebster-award-goes-to/ and please answer questions and follow rules on my page. (11 facts, answer questions and post your own questions) 🙂

    Hope you’re well! I love this award!! xxx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Maria! What a lovely surprise and thank you very much for the nomination. It does seem a long time but glad to see you here..
      Will take a look asap…
      All well, as can be expected thank you for asking, and with you too it seems… 😀 xxx

      Like

  9. elisa ruland says:

    It was so nice to meet you through Jo! Your blog is beautiful..and inspiring.
    Take care,
    Elisa

    Like

  10. Wow! It is uncanny how similar our lives are, Sherri! ((hugs)) You have no idea just how much! I absolutely LOVE your summer house – what a writing haven indeed! I adore your blog and I admire your transparency (took me a long time to get there) gosh, we could talk for hours! Be well. ❤ ~Karen~

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Karen, I’m so glad you came over to my summerhouse, and an open-armed welcome for you. Let’s pull up a chair, a nice glass of wine and start talking…we’ve got all night 😉 I’m so glad we met here and I look forward to sharing our journeys with a joyful heart. Bless you – and thank you so much. 🙂 ❤

      Like

  11. thatssojacob says:

    Hey there, just tuned in and gave you a follow. Come visit my weird world over at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com if you like to return the favor. Have a great day!

    Like

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  14. jenniferkmarsh says:

    You’ve received this award already, but I just wanted you to know: I think you’re a dragon 😉 http://jkmarsh12.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/the-dragon-of-dreams/

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Jenny Jen Jen! I know this is horribly late, but thank you so much for thinking of me. I loved your dragon post, which should change the way we think about them forever 🙂 Hugs ❤

      Like

  15. reocochran says:

    Your personal stories give me hope, Sherri! I have been married to 3 men, raised 3 children (single the second time with a 5, 3 and 1 year old, yikes!) and I still have hope the ‘right man’ may be by my side, in my golden years! I love my 6 grandchildren, (2 came in a package deal with my son) and they all live in the town we started ‘afresh’ in 1986. Hoping to get to know you better, too. I love your ‘new’ writing place summerhouse and the memories of your childhood one with your grandparents.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Robin, thank you very much for sharing your story. It seems that 1986 was a big year for us both. I’m so glad that you have your children and grandchildren together with you in the same town. I’m so glad too that all three of my children live here in the UK and that I see them as often as I do. No grandchildren yet though, so I am very keen granny-in-waiting but shhhhhh ….don’t tell the kids I said that 😉 You have been through so much and I do hope that you find ‘Mr. Right’…life is full of surprises isn’t it? It’s great meeting you and I do really look forward to sharing our adventures, which we have to believe will be good ones ~ Sherri 🙂

      Like

  16. Pingback: My Workspace Blog Hop « Jo Robinson

  17. I’ve tagged you in the Workspace Blog Hop, here http://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/my-workspace-blog-hop/ just in case you’d like to hop along. 🙂

    Like

  18. You have lots of interesting stories in your background to write about. People love to read about human interest stories, especially when the subject rises above the challenges like you did. I look forward to reading more! The most interesting “story” that stood out for me is the one about your father…now there is a story to tell! Will he ever see the outside world again? Has he managed to rise above his plight and make the best of his situation? What is it like to live out your life in prison? (I don’t expect you to answer these questions…I just wanted to point out that the little bit of information you gave about your Dad raised a lot of questions in my mind…I would love to read a book on his life!)

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Beverly for leaving your kind, considered comment. I have come to realise just how much people enjoy reading human interest stories but I didn’t think anyone would be remotely interested in mine until I started blogging. At the time, when going through painful times, you never give it a minute’s thought that one day you might be writing about them! I do indeed plan to write a book about him, with his blessing (which is the best gift he could give me) but should you like to read some more in the meantime, I have written a few posts under the category ‘My Dad’s Alcoholic Prison’ and of course ‘Alcoholism’. These stories will give you a little more insight into my dad and our life together. The first article I had published in Prima magazine (UK) was about growing up with my alcoholic dad but of course it barely scratches the surface. The thing is, is wasn’t all doom and gloom and in fact, we had some absolutely crazy, hilarious times. I never wanted to be this ‘victim’ or write to illicit sympathy for my plight as it might be perceived (and yes, it hasn’t been easy all these years, classic understatement there!), merely to show that even out of the most dire situations, love, forgiveness and redemption is possible. This is why I can write about it all now. All this to say, you have encouraged me so much with your interest in my dad’s story and for that I am so grateful. It’s lovely to meet you – Sherri 🙂

      Like

  19. I hear you Sherri…my Dad was also an alcoholic and at times violent, so I group up in a battle zone so to speak. Despite this, like you pointed out, there were also crazy, fun times to remember with nine children in our family and my Dad being a part-time musician…lots of music, visitors and family gatherings. As a child I used to ask my Dad why he behaved so badly and he never knew the answer. I forgave him a long time ago before he died…and yes, he is a character in one of my books! I will definitely read more of your posts! Thanks Sherri for putting me on to them!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this with me Bev. As with you, I have forgiven my dad and in his twilight years we have an easy, peaceful relationship despite all that has gone on before. He is 82 now and due for release soon…so another adventure begins. It’s been great chatting with you and thank you too for taking the time to read my posts about my dad. You have inspired me to write more 🙂

      Like

  20. Pingback: 777 Challenge: An Excerpt About Naughty Schoolgirls | Sarah Potter Writes

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  22. Sherri, I’ve just nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award, but no hurry to do a nomination post of your own (if you want to do one), as you’ve already got your guest storyteller post to do.
    http://sarahpotterwrites.com/2014/11/22/one-lovely-blog-award-the-breadmaking-machine/

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dilip says:

    You are a very courageous lady and God always helps those wh help themselves. Many good wishes coming your way.
    Cheers 🙂

    Like

  24. Merryn says:

    I enjoy reading your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Award. No obligation to participate, but if you are interested, you can find the post here: https://humbleheartscribbles.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/a-liebster-award/

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Merryn for your kind award nomination and for thinking of me. I have left a comment on your blog in reply, and I do apologise for the late response but I have been away for the Christmas holidays, only just returning to blogging now! Happy New Year, may it bring you everything your heart hopes for. It’s lovely to meet you ~ Sherri 🙂

      Like

  25. A very happy New Year to you. I look forward to following your blog in 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. You too Sherri! Those are cool pics with your article – you are a dark horse cruising around in Rolls Royces and dining in halls. 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thrilled you liked them my lovely Jo 🙂 But I have to say, I’m not sure I’ve ever been called a dark horse before, but I love it LOL 😀 😀 😀

      Like

  27. Les says:

    Hello there, Sherri. Pleasure to meet you. I’ve read your story and find that there are many, many others out there that can relate to you and what you have been thru. I am wishing you well and hope that Life will continue to improve for you. Best wishes from the USA.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Les! Thank you so much for dropping by my Summerhouse and for leaving such kind good wishes. Always so lovely to meet someone from the USA 🙂 It is great to know that we can all share our stories here, hopefully bring encouragement and inspiration along the way, and make friends while doing so. I hope you continue to enjoy what you read here (many thanks for the follow!). I look forward to coming over to your blog to catch up with you there. It is a pleasure to meet you and may I send warmest wishes right back to you across the shining sea from merry old England ~ Sherri 🙂

      Like

  28. Hello, I came over here from Tracy’s blog.
    You write well and I LOVE your summer house.

    Like

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  32. Wow, what a story and you’ve been through a lot. I admire your courage to share about your life to the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I’m intrigued by your 777 project. 7 is my favorite number. I call it “God’s signature.” It’s throughout Scripture, beginning with the 7 day week. Also 7 feast days in Leviticus 23. 7 high holy days (in addition to the weekly Sabbath) within the 7 feast days. And in the natural realm, there are 7 colors in the rainbow; menustral cycle divisible by 7, number of days in an average pregnancy divisible by 7, etc. I like your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Sheryl for dropping by to visit the Summerhouse, I’m glad you enjoyed what you found here and many thanks for sharing your intriguing thoughts about the numbers 777. Fascinating 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  35. What a beautiful, touching story of hope, faith, and courage, Sherri. I’m completely teary-eyed, but inspired. You are a true shero! I feel so encouraged. And yes, the title of your blog is fitting and perfect. More power to you on your life and writing journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. susan says:

    Found your article by chance and feeling bit depressed. It cheered me up thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Susan, I am so glad to know that you feel more cheered after reading this…and I send you a cyber hug right now, hoping you have a better day… Sherri x

      Like

  37. Pingback: My Meet-up With Fellow Blogger, Sherri Matthews | Sarah Potter Writes

  38. So glad you have finally found your path! Discovered you through Sarah Potter’s blog, and look forward to sharing the view!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Naomi! Thank you so much for coming over to the Summerhouse via our lovely friend Sarah 🙂 I am very much looking forward to sharing the view with you also. It’s lovely to meet you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Hi Sherri. I have just found you through Sally’s interview with you and wanted to come and say hello. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Hi Sherri, so nice to come across your lovely blog via Sacha Black Bloggers Bash. Looking forward to meeting you. Marje. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marje, thank you so much for coming over to visit me at the Summerhouse! How wonderful to know you will also be at the Bloggers Bash, I very much look forward to meeting you too, it will be an amazing time, I’m sure 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  41. jwuollife says:

    Good Morning Sherri, I hope you don’t mind but I’d like to nominate you to answer a few questions on your reading habits, if you’re interested you can find it at https://wanag1yata.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/reading-habits/

    Like

  42. Elissaveta says:

    So nice to have met you Sherri!! Finally got round to paying your blog a visit! 🙂 I like it here and look forward to reading more of you. x

    Like

  43. Hi Sherri … I just found your blog through another woman who writes about her healing and other things similar.. its nice to connect with others who also write about the same things… I like your blog and look forward to reading more of your blog …. its amazing how many people are connected to the blog world and I am excited to connect with so many new people … I look forward to following your blog and to connect.

    Karen
    http://www.findingthegracewithin.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Karen, thank you so much for visiting the Summerhouse and taking the time to leave your lovely comment, I’m so glad you like what you find here and a very warm welcome to you. The kind, loving, caring and wonderfully supportive community found here in the blogging world is really quite incredible. It’s great to connect with you Karen, I hope you will continue to enjoy my posts and I look forward to visiting you. Lovely to meet you ~ Sherri 🙂

      Like

  44. Erik Von Norden says:

    Came across your blog via First Night History. Love the photos, especially. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Annika Perry says:

    Hi Sherri, this is such a touching and open about, packing a punch with emotion. Your life has obviously been fraught, with great ups and downs but reading this sounds as if you’ve finally found your calling and your soulmate. You live in a great part of the UK and I imagine you can take a lot of solace from your surroundings. I love the idea of your summerhouse for writing and bless your hubby for building you one! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Annika, thank you so much for taking the time to visit the Summerhouse, I do so hope you enjoy what you find here. I am deeply moved and humbled by your heartfelt message. I do indeed take great solace from my surroundings, even in the ebb and flow of life and its rich pattern. Such is the way of life! I am blessed indeed with hubby and still cannot quite believe that I have my own summerhouse at long last. Although, nothing will ever quite match my memories of the one I played in so many years ago in the back garden of my grandparents’ home in Cheshire 🙂 It’s lovely to meet you … Sherri 🙂

      Like

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  47. Mahevash says:

    Such a lovely introduction! You summed up your life very well. Love your blog name too…nice meeting you:)

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Love your always optimistic view Sherri and so happy your life turned out well when faced with dark times. My dad also shared this wonderful trait of always looking on the bright side and I try to as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for reading Kathy. It’s not always easy to look on the bright side, but I find that it helps make the day go better than when I don’t. Lord knows, I’ve spiralled too many times into despair and negativity as the years have gone by, but coming through the other side and back into the sunshine is what’s important. And so I hope that your days are filled with sunshine, smiles and joy as often as possible … 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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