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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: There's Nothing Like A Good Stick Of Wood
By Annie Sledge


I remember vividly the ice storm of 1995. The day was cold and rainy, but I liked those kind of days. I loved nothing better than to grab a cup of hot chocolate, light some candles, and enjoy a beautiful piece of music on the radio, in front of a roaring fire. And I did all of those things, then the rain began to form ice crystals on the branches of the trees surrounding my house. The branches were beautiful, swaying in the wind, with the look of diamonds hanging from their tips. The sight was so awe inspiring, that I dashed to the kitchen to put on a hot steamy pot of tomato soup! Then a pan of corn bread was whipped up and tossed into the oven. Perfect! What could be better!

My Mother was with me that day, in fact, she had been with me for awhile, as she had become ill and I was caring for her. She was like a little child, as silly as me about loving a great bowl of hot soup on a cold wintry day. We had such fun watching the weather from inside our warm home and eating together. Everything was going so right until we decided to catch the news and heard the ice was beginning to be a danger in some parts of our area.

Well, what could we do? Nothing! So we continued to peep outside. The ice was becoming heavier and heavier on the trees, their branches hanging lower to the ground. The backyard took on the look of an ice skating rink. My black Great Dane, Belle, and Dachshund, Sam, welcomed the opportunity to come inside, and gathered by the fire to warm their paws, curling up closely together.

I continued to man the fireplace over and over, slipping and sliding on the back deck of the house to bring in sticks of wood. I was beginning to regret my procrastination. I had thought many times about calling the man who delivered wood, as the wood pile was getting small, but I had always put it off for another time. Now as ice covered the roads, another time was too late! About four logs remained on the deck as the electricity went out!

To my good fortune, my neighbors, who had a huge stack of dried wood, were out of town, and with one phone call, they graciously made the wood mine. With a wheel barrow, the next couple of hours was spent hauling wood up to my porch, while the wind and freezing rain ripped through my body. It was a time I shall never forget. The electricity was off for seven days. The wood was very old and dried, burned quickly, and needed replenishing every thirty minutes. Day and night. My Mother slept on the couch in the den, I slept in the same room, on the floor in front of the fire, with Belle on one side, and Sam on the other. Outside of this room, the house was freezing.

Needless to say, when the roads were clear, the first call I made was to the man who brought my wood. I learned my lesson in the ice storm of 1995. Now when something needs tending to, I get on it asap, after all, we are given many ice storms in life, we never know when they’re coming, but we know for sure they’re on their way.

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This article has been read 449 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 01/10/08
You surprised me! I thought it would be about "a trip to the woodshed". (smile)
Very good descriptions of the ice storm!
Keep writing
Jan Ackerson 01/11/08
Great title, and highly entertaining story. I loved the image of the Great Dane and the daschund curling up together.

You probably don't need the last sentence...you've told the story very well. Trust your story-telling skills to impart the lesson to the readers, and don't summarize for them.

I felt chilly reading this--you did a great job.
dub W01/15/08
Loved this highly descriptive story. Very vivid, great moral. To strengthen your writing try eliminating exclamation points. A couple of other minor things, but this is a well written piece. Thanks.
darlene hight01/15/08
Well done! Very engaging story
Joanne Sher 01/18/08
Congratulations, Annie, on placing ninth in level 1. Great work!