Living Life in the Profile Photo

by Sherry Riter in Memory

The Redhead Riter in 2nd grade, 1970
I was happy in 2nd grade.

Oblivious to any discord between my parents, I thought that everything was good and it was good in my limited view.

It was 1970 and I was the ripe old age of seven years. The era of love, peace and 1950’s rock n’ roll always playing on the stereo in our home. I was tall, skinny, very freckled, fair and donned an orange bouffant.

In those days, life was filled with…

Japanese beetles swarming on the wisteria in the back yard.

Fans in the windows trying to stay cool in the hot summer because our home didn’t have air conditioning.

Lincoln Logs put together and taken apart all day, wistfully dreaming of building my own cabin.

Buttered bread for snacks in the shade of the back porch overhang.

Building boats out of leaves for the ants to float on a little river I created between the edge of the cement pad and the grass in the back yard.

Rubbing baby oil on Mom’s back while she tanned.

Sleeping in the middle between my parents…smelling Old Spice on Dad and Chanel on Mom.

Lavender bedroom walls and dotted swiss curtains.

A little sister who became Miss Destructo while awake, but loved to sleep fourteen hours straight most every night.

Swinging on my blue and white swing set, staring at the clouds and dreaming.

Threaded throughout all my childhood memories is the running movie of Mom cutting, pinning and sewing new clothes for me. She loves to sew and made everything I wore. I always felt beautiful in her lovely creations.

So during the days of Ms. Gallagher and 2nd grade, Mom made the gold and brown plaid dress you see in my profile photo. That was a special dress to me. It suited my personality at the time. Mom told me the first time I put it on that I wasn’t to play with the ribbon bow or the ends would fray. I wanted the dress to last forever, so I didn’t play with the ribbon.

During these days of “fat” pencils and “green paper with the large section at the top to draw a picture,” I remained happy with school, home and family. My world was very small at seven years old and free from trials, sadness, conflict, depression, or pain.

Life isn’t stagnant and I grew older just like everyone else. I’ve learned and progressed and experienced all the emotions that I couldn’t even imagine when I was living the life of a seven year old.

Each time I bring up my blog, I see a naive and extremely happy seven year old staring back at me. She gives me hope that life can be good and happiness is not always elusive.

Photo taken by my daughter, Alyssa

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kelly June 12, 2010 at 11:08 pm

i just love reading your blog. you give me a lot of insight to great writing.

by the way…i love your photos too!


2 Coleene VanTilburg June 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Hi. I came over from Blog frog after you visited me, (I think?) anyways, You are a beautiful red head I might add. My mother sewed just about all our clothes as well, and all my prom dresses. I still have her sewing machine, a Phaff (Spelling?) I have not used it since she passed, but opening all the drawers occasionally fulled with all her little sewing doodads brings back great memories. Thanks Coleene


3 Anything Fits A Naked Man June 13, 2010 at 12:32 am

Oh, how I love how you recounted those days! You have such a lovely, nostalgic writing style, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post! Thanks so much for sharing these precious memories!


4 tahtimbo June 13, 2010 at 1:23 am

That brings back a lot of memories! We didn't get A/C until I was about 12 or so and then it was an in-the-window type. We would have fans going and my dad even put one up in the attic to help get rid of the hot air. We would play around-the-block hide and seek, spend our summer days at the pool, build forts behind the bushes and we even gave some ants a ride on a leaf or two.
I had a fantastic childhood and all without cell phones and video games…how did we survive 🙂


5 Katie's Dailies June 13, 2010 at 1:40 am

Thank you for reminding me of my entire childhood growing up and how full of adventures it was. Thank you.


6 Vicki June 13, 2010 at 3:12 am

I loved my childhood and think about it often. My mother was a whiz with a sewing machine and made most of my clothes when I was small, she even made me a few dresses and top/bell bottom sets when I was in high school and I LOVED them!!


7 Ashley June 13, 2010 at 4:23 am

I've always wondered the story behind that classic picture! And the story is more insightful than I ever thought, so thanks for sharing.


8 June 13, 2010 at 4:32 am

Great stuff! I like the fact that you are a red head, as I am.
When I was little I thought being a red head was a curse. I hated being teased about my hair, being freckled, and being tall and skinny didn't help matters much. I just wanted to change, but maybe so did every other girl my age.
Now I think that being a red head is a total blessing.
Love your blog, glad I found ya!


9 jineen June 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

hi there!!!!! i came via seeing that you visisted me from blogfrog? i think…
anyway i enjoyed your posting:) will def be back!


10 Carol June 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm

This is so much my life. I love the photo and remember mine. So young so innocient. I love that time. Thanks for reminding me.


11 Bossy Betty June 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm

OH! What a wonderful post! I loved all the images you brought up that brought back all sorts of memories. Love the pictures too! Beautiful then AND now!


12 tsue June 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for sharing!

Hopping over from Blog Frog.

I am now following you on GFC & twitter. Was already subscribing via email.


13 Bringing Pretty Back June 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

This post made me think of my own childhood, I loved it! What a fantastic blog you have! I'm your newest follower.
Have a pretty day,


14 Suzie Q June 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Maybe I should put up a photo of me at that age to remember the innocent girl I once was 🙂 Thank you for sharing.


15 Teresha@Marlie and Me June 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

You have a very vivid memory! When are you going to publish the memoirs? It's always gives my spirit a boost to remember the simpler times.


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