Little Things

Little Things

You know… A lot can happen in a year. A lot of little things and a lot of big things that change the colors of the blanket we are weaving. 

Sam and I sold the place in Anderson and are renting an apartment back in Paradise. It’s funny for that to fit into one simple sentence. What led up to that and the actual process could fill a book. 

I waited to write to you, waited to be inspired to connect, to share, to have thoughts come to me that were worth the effort. After a year I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. I asked myself where I turned the corner from inspired to what’s-the-point. The fire certainly triggered it and the pandemic locked it into my cells like a slamming door. I wondered whether or not I would ever again feel that zest for writing and life in general. Was this yet another piece that aging has ripped away.  

The trouble with self-help books is, a million authors are saying the same thing with a different twist. But when Getting It Done When You’re Depressed popped onto Kindle suggested reads amidst my usual genre of sci-fi and light reading novels, the word “depressed” hit me with a strange familiarity. Besides it was on sale that day for $1.99 – not much to lose.

I didn’t read the entire book, but within the first couple of chapters it offered up the trigger, a shocking realization that if I waited for the inspiration that used to flood through me like a river, I’d never write another word. Just start the author said – motivation may come or it may not. Stay with it, finish it. The hardest part was getting past that small voice in my head kept repeating what is the point. 

Shortly before our move from Anderson to Paradise, my dear friend, Jan Greenwald passed from a stroke. More than a friend, Jan is one of my soul people. Jan is (not ready to say was yet) the artist who shares the website with me. He and I talked regularly on the phone, speaking an earthy, metaphysical language that covered a range of topics from our families to the condition of the world, to that bright thread of divine light that flows through artistic work. We held up the mirror to each other, the one that allows you see things in different way. I will miss this man of kindness and wisdom.

Nearly a month later and I mostly only cry when I talk to sweet Rosemary, Jan’s wife. We cry together. It may always be that way.

Sam and I are now semi-settled into this apartment. We’ve let our shoulders down and have already fallen into a comfortable rhythm. The sense of isolation I felt for the three years in Anderson has lifted. “Depression” seems only a word now. Sadness washes over me at times, but I invite it in like an old friend. 

Iris, my friend who owns the gift shop, Nothing But Love Paradise, invited me to sell some of my art there. Her excitement to see me infected my spirit with a dose of healthy enthusiasm and a renewed sense of purpose.

We’re shopping for a vacant lot to build on back here in Paradise with the help of a grant from ReCoverCA, a process that could take some time. The population here is only about 8,000, compared to 27,000 before the fire, so there are a lot of choices. We’re taking our time.

More than ever, I have the sense that life is orchestrated and if I can stand out of my own impatient way, things will fall into place according to plan. 


We were so glad to see Paradise Lake still green and beautiful. The fire came close. I'm still working on the selfie thing… oi!

Apartment living is not so bad. It's quite spacious, has a den which I have commandeered as my art room/office. Neighbors are great. What more…

Looking at vacant lots is our latest entertainment. Hard to envision a home growing up from this flat piece of dirt.

Little Things

19 thoughts on “Little Things

  • July 25, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    So glad to see you write again, so gifted. I was fortunate to take a class with you in Fallbrook-been awhile. Please keep sharing your adventures.

    • July 26, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you Dana. I remember that class. Somehow I felt you as an ally amidst the critics. I carry your kindness with me.

  • July 28, 2022 at 2:24 am

    I relished every word you wrote my friend. With heavy sighs I can say I feel your pain! I am soooooo happy to hear of your plans for the future.
    It’s amazing how Iris is doing a similar venture I did with Seekers and I couldn’t be happier for all of the local artisans. Let’s set a coffee date. I have missed you so!

  • July 28, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve missed you too. I’d love to get together.. Where should we meet?

  • July 28, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    I absolutely love reading your stories!! Even though I get to talk with you weekly, your words on paper are somehow so powerful and resonate deeply! I’m so happy that the oppression you experienced in Anderson has passed. You are back where you belong. The best is yet to come! Love you Mom!

    • July 28, 2022 at 10:35 pm

      You are my treasure. Those phone calls and your love save me.

    • July 31, 2022 at 10:50 pm

      Your most favorite son in law is so glad you are happy and back in Paradise!!

      • August 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm

        Thank you, most favorite son-in-law. We’re so grateful for all your support and love. Love, S&S

  • July 28, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Oh honey I am so so sorry about Jan I’m sure that’s been a huge heartache.
    I love your story and your sharing of the path that you are now on. It does my heart good to feel the joy in your heart again
    Life certainly unfolds in many different ways and you have always found your way. I treasure our moments of connection be it by phone or words on FB.
    My love to both of you ❤️ 💕 ♥️

    • July 28, 2022 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you Linda,
      If you were here I’d be sobbing all over your softness.
      Love to you always

  • July 28, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    I understand. Optimism seems a tricky crow, flitting from sky to branch, teasing with a shiny bit of hope.

    I am so sorry you have lost your dear Jan. A palpable sadness. Great sympathies, Sheri.

    So happy to hear your voice again and to feel the relief of your creative surge. You give so much inspiration. Thank you, friend. Hugs.

    • July 28, 2022 at 10:57 pm

      Thank you Dawn
      Loving your poetic visions. So glad we can still be connected. I hear your voice often as I write.

      I never let myself think about life without Jan. It hurts. Now I look at Sam and… well you know.

      Life itself can never hurt as much as the coming in and going out.

  • July 28, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    As usual I love your writing. So sorry to hear about Jan. Made my heart skip a beat. So happy you’re back in Paradise. It feels more light and airy than Anderson. Yay!!!! Love you muchly !!lol

    • July 29, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you dear sister of mine. Yes, it feels like when it’s been overcast and then you wake up and the sun is shining again. I’m still reeling from the shock of Jan passing so quickly. We were not ready for his Light to be snuffed out… not ever I suppose.
      Love you muchly too.

  • July 28, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    So sorry for your loss.
    I left Paradise the end of May. I was staying in a friends travel trailer for the past 6 months. Trying to find housing I could afford. I lost my business in the fire, making it almost impossible to find permanent housing I could afford. My granddaughter found me a place in Lakeport. So I am living in an apartment, with a 2nd bedroom that has become my “studio,” storage of many projects.
    Good luck with your adventure of looking for a location for your new home.
    I do still have things to take care of in Paradise, so I will contact you when I get over there next time.
    I was really happy to get your email. I had just been thinking I would call you to see about getting to Anderson again. Our adventure never did work out. Funny how things work out. I was just days later I heard from you.
    Take care…enjoy.

    • July 29, 2022 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Patti, Good to hear from you. Is Lakeport on Clear Lake? I’ve been through there many times on my way to Willits. Always wondered about what it would be like to live there.
      So glad you have some space to create. That’s a lifesaver.
      We have a comfy rollaway bed for overnight stays.
      Yes, the fire ripped so much from us, and yet, our poor wounded selves are still creating, still moving forward.
      See you when you get here.

      • August 3, 2022 at 6:17 am

        Looking forward to seeing you. Still want to do that crazy rabbit riding a bicycle.
        Yes, Lakeport is on the other side of Clearlake. I do have a nice view of the mountains & a sliver of the lake. It’s been hot, humid, but beautiful.
        Are going to Willits this year? I seem to remember you said when ever the last time was, you wouldn’t be going again.
        Happy hunting & creating.

  • July 28, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Welcome home, Sheri & Sam! We’re so glad to have you back home. Sheri, I understand that depression thing. But as strong women, denial made more sense than acceptance. Been there myself, and not as a willing resident! I love the spirit of those who are returning to the Ridge, bringing their pioneer spirit with them! I think most of us are really ready to get on with things!

    • July 29, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Roxanne,
      I went to the Nothing But Love ribbon cutting yesterday and had a sampling of the supportive community. Shane Grammar seems an icon of that. Check out the new mural on the side of Iris’ building.
      See you soon

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