Hi, I’m Sherri & welcome to 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.
“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?
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.