Grow Damn It is an inspiring and entertaining romp through memorable moments in the life of Cheryl Oreglia – ‘Living in the Gap.’ With her sassy attitude and clever wit, the author takes us somewhere between lost in the 70s and back to the now. Her stories will bring us to places many of us have been to in life, in tales we can relate to. From living life to suffering losses and everything in between, and even some tours of California Lake County wineries, well, because Cheryl loves wine, to her beloved lakehouse in Clear Lake, California, we get to take in a day of the life of Cheryl – which is never usual, by any means. As Cheryl likes to say, “Persevering after failure is learned behavior and it is the one damn thing that improves with age.”
“Middle age is a time for living unapologetically,” with a wealth of advice and reminders to live life to the fullest and stop focusing on our flaws, Cheryl does just that. You will laugh and you will cry, but you will laugh mostly as she shares hilarious stories, most of them including her good sport husband and wingman, Larry. And it doesn’t sound like these two waste much time with their living, especially when there is wine.
As she glides through life and continues to query where the time goes, the author asks, “How did we arrive at old age where energy is as extravagant as premium gasoline?” But nothing stops this woman. She is a force to be reckoned with. When she speaks about events concerning her children, she’ll take your heart with her, and make you pause for a moment as she’ll remind you of heartfelt stories of your own. “We never think of our time as finite. Instead, we saunter through life as if we will live forever. When the landscape of your life suddenly changes, you are left with the impossible task of repainting your life, minus the brilliant colors, or familiar forms.”
Get this book, and get some wine to go with it, and stroll along with Cheryl and her Bombeck-esque stories. Just a few to mention: When it’s Covid lockdown, and your whole family moves back in with you during their home renos, the boat ride and broken ribs, the Thai massage and the Larry factor, Colonoscopies and Coffee, Revisiting old friends and the bird on the Uber driver’s head, and hilarious biking adventures. I tell you, this couple needs their own reality show!
Cheryl is a whippersnapper with prose and humor. She’s tough and loving, and takes no shit. And she can tell a story that won’t make you want to close the book. “Idleness is not the root of all evil, as the Jones would have you think. It is the fertilizer, which is required, if you wish to Grow Damn It!”
A review by D. G. Kaye, author of Twenty Years: After “I Do”
Author, Grow Damn It, Chery Oreglia