Down A Dirt Road

by Sherry Riter in Holiday

At the end of the year, we tend to sum up the good and the bad and then proclaim high hopes for the new year. I’ve read many blogs over the past few days and they all seem to follow this same formula. Personally, this is the year I would like to forget, but that would sound very ungrateful. Since I am a very visual person, I will try to appeal to your eyes as well as your mind and heart. The long dirt road of 2010 was too long and filled with too many obstacles.

dirt road

I believe I cried more tears this year than any other time in my life.


I nearly lost my most precious gift – my sweet child in a horrible turn of events, but she is still very alive and I am grateful beyond words,


and that has basically left me feeling quite nutty. I am living in a mental state of mind that no one should ever have to suffer which I will explore with you this coming year. Knowing that millions feel the way I do now brings me much sadness for them because I know how it has devastated my own life.


My first computer crashed and burned beyond repair and my second computer is hanging on – barely. If Albert goes at least I know that Simon is still in the house.

laptop repair

Alyssa got a new puppy which she named Bella who a few months ago nearly lost her life because she ate a bra strap that got caught in her stomach and intestines. After emergency surgery, her life was spared for which I am so thankful and she is quite recovered.


Money continued to be tight because my husband remained out of work and the pennies in the car door have become much more important.


When I didn’t think it could get any worse, my father was diagnosed with cancer and then passed away a brief two months later. I felt cheated and yet I was so thankful that he didn’t suffer for years and years. I miss his phone calls every day and the trip from work is so silent without him.

The dirt road I was on had become a darkened highway where there was only pain and I didn’t know where or how to exit. I had no choice. I had to keep going. So each day I went to work to provide for my family and each night I worked online.

dark highway

My life continued to collapse around me. Peace, comfort and hope were elusive.

collapsed barn

I wanted to crawl in the bed, cover my head and never get up again. That was an impossible convenience.


I was trapped in the roaring river of life without a boat and quickly losing the desire to find one.

James River

In the midst of all the turmoil and darkness, I did what everyone does – I clicked my ruby red slippers so that I could go back home. I wanted to go back to the home, self and life that I remembered at the beginning of the year. Back to the happiness and peace when it was easier to embrace life.

red shoes

I struggled with praying and not receiving comfort. I felt like the black sheep of God’s children. I sobbed and cried and begged for relief. Everywhere I turned people were telling me the same things, “He is with you,” “I am praying for you,” “Hoping you will soon feel the divine power in your life,” and “Don’t give up.”

I am with you always...bracelet from Charm Factory

I suffered and I do not suffer well.

Now, it is a new year. A year where things have to get better because there has simply been so many horrible experiences in 2010.

Did I learn anything? Hmmmm, I truly can’t say for sure that I have learned anything that I didn’t already know before the bad stuff happened. I miss the old me who could do a billion things at one time without any effort. The woman who always “felt” together. Yes, I miss her and hopefully my mind will heal this year and she can come back.

I have new goals, opportunities and perspective.

I also have a whole lot of people traveling through this journey with me who are constantly motivating me to try harder.

I will continue down the dirt road this year with hope.

I can do it. I’ve never given up before and I’m not going to give up now. I’ve come too far and tried too hard to succeed to just throw it all to the wind.

This year will be better and I look forward to taking you with me as I experience it.

bright road to 2011

Thank you to all my family, friends, followers, readers, “riters,” tweeters, and fans. I appreciate you more than words can say. Thank you for being there for me through it all.

Happy New Year!

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.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bev January 1, 2011 at 6:33 am

You are so brilliant. I like your perspective. And it is so funny that perspective seems to be the word of the evening. Happy New Year. I am glad you made the choice to continue traveling the road with us too.


2 TJ January 1, 2011 at 6:35 am

You will never get her back, she will be better for the ware and tare, thats how it is suppose to be. Like gold when I took it from the cast. It was dull and the more I polished the hotter it got , but oh how beautiful when I finished. So like trials, they polish the soul and prepare you for another road even much harder or more crooked , to travel. The final destination is heaven so it we keep that in site maybe your road will not seem so bleak. Life is hard but worth it and I pray you get well soon I love you



3 StephAbbott January 1, 2011 at 7:11 am

Sharing such sorrow yet living for the future. This is something I could learn from. Pretty pictorial post. Best wishes for a wonderful new year.


4 Dorothy January 1, 2011 at 7:38 am

I've only "met" you very recently and am already impressed by how much you do. As you said, you work, you write, you take photos, you maintain a community and look after your family. That's no mean feat to keep all that going at the same time. Some days I struggle to get out of bed and some days I barely talk to my kids. But the next day is always better… Thank you for being here…


5 Adriana Iris January 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

Oh my new sister. Life is disheartening and it takes a warrior, a goddess to deal with the things we deal with.
Being a mother, daughter, sister is not an easy task and although like warriors and soldiers we keep rallying at times is ok to question, reevaluate and breakdown since from there comes the breakthroughs.
Stay strong!!!


6 Holly January 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

You have certainly been through the storm in 2010!! I am praying for you to have a better turn of events this go round! Through it all, there are the glints of blessings that have shown through and you have shared. Thank you for sharing your roller coaster journey. Here's to a BETTER 2011!! (((HUGS))) <3


7 sweepyjean January 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Hi. This has been quite a year for you. I'm sorry for your loss. Though times are hard, I do hear the strength in your "voice." All the best for the new year.


8 Danielle-Marie January 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I was definitely ready to say goodbye to 2010. I am so sorry to hear about your father. My dad had a lung cancer scare in 2010 and it was truly the most terrifying time of my life. I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel and I agree, I am so glad he didn't suffer for years.

All the best in 2011. It can only get better from here 🙂


9 Doreen Lombardo January 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I loved your story, your feelings and your pictorial. I made a similiar post in response to The Nut House's Thankful Thursday weekly event, and I have to say that I understand completely where you are coming from. What does not kill us makes us stronger. Good luck to you and Happy New Year. May 2011 be easier for you in all ways.

I'm a big fan of your blog and of you as a person. Keep up the good work!

Whether you realize it or not, you inspire. Thank you for that.


10 Bossy Betty January 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

What an incredible year. Hope the next one brings you joy and happiness Thank YOU for being there for all of us.


11 January 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm

May you feel His presence and His strength more every day as you press on toward the High Calling…


12 yolospat January 2, 2011 at 5:45 am

My heart goes out to you in the most meaningful way. This last year has been a year similar to yous for me. I'm so ready to put last year behind me and move forward in the best way I know how. :: hugs ::


13 Home In The Hollow January 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

First time here & definitely not my last! Remember: when things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road your trodding seems all uphill, remember to simply fight along the way, keeping love in your heart all the way!…:)JP


14 Bella @ If This is Motherhood January 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Gosh. I just want to give you a hug. I hope this year is better for you.


15 Carla Burke January 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Your writing reflects just how much you went through and how much love you have for your father. This is brilliantly written!


16 Teresha@Marlie and Me January 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm

It has been a rough and bumpy road for you, but you held on and crossed the finish line with a lot of class an grace. I wish you a happy and healthy new year Red…You deserve it!


17 Sandie lee January 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I'm sorry for your loss. I did, however, love the pics.

You have a wonderful blog and I joined as your newest follower =)

Here's to a great New Year!

Sandie lee


18 katlupe January 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Red, you have had a tough year. It seems that a year is made up of ups and downs. Some years there are more downs. As it was with you this year. I pray this will be a better year and you will have much to smile about.


19 notactuallygod January 3, 2011 at 12:46 am

Hello Riter!
I want to thank you for following me on blogfrog. I just read your Dirt Road post and it's good to see that you've kept on keepin' on.

I wasn't sure how a satire site like mine would fit in with deeply faithful communities like yours. I sure wasn't trying to offend anybody, but you never know how people will take things. You took it in the spirit in which it was intended. It just goes to show that if you give people a chance they just might surpise you. It's also true that laughter is the best medicine, and who couldn't use a good one once in a while? Hope I was able to give you a chuckle when you visited, and there's more coming in 2011! Thanks again for your support and god bless!


20 Susan Beth January 4, 2011 at 12:41 am

sounds like your year last year was a doozie! I checked some old posts, as this is my first glimps into your life. I'll be back to check some more!


21 RetroCollage January 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I am sorry for your loss. I wish we were all taught when we were young how to handle and live with serious loss, as I have found that just about everyone I know has been dealing with various kinds of losses in recent years (death of spouse or parents, divorce, or job loss.)

I also want to thank you for following me on so many platforms.

Someone very close to me who suffered an extremely abusive marriage (which she eventually left after 28 years) kept upbeat with a philosophy of "also this is for the good." We cannot see the big picture of why things happen in our lives, but the good cannot happen without the bad happening also.


22 Mary January 8, 2011 at 12:05 am

One thing I liked about your post was your transparency. You shared you heart and your life and and we, your readers, are blessed by your openness and trust in the Lord to carry you through your life. We learn from your journey, and support you in it.

I look forward to seeing all the new adventures that take you down the road God has placed before you.

One thing I love about the Lord is that he says that He has works prepared ahead that we should walk in them. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Go with God! Happy New Year, sister, Yours, in Christ, Mary Hudnall


23 Sandra Kent January 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I love reading your blog. I appreciate your honesty so much. Your beautiful pictures go with your carefully chosen words so well.

You have been through a lot in 2010. I too lost my dad in 2002. I wrote about him as a way to keep him alive. It takes time to get over someone so important to your life. I know my dad is with me, its just his body is gone. One time when I was sitting on my moms couch I felt him give me a big hug.
He said I love you. I would like to give you a big hug too.


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