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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: Aunt Lizzie's Lesson
By Mandy White
02/11/08


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“That rooster must be blind,” Rebecca thought as she opened her eyes and glanced at the clock. “No, right on time – 4:45.” She looked over at her sleeping husband. In her eyes, Jonathan had turned their lives upside down. Rebecca started to wake him, but she thought about the grueling work he had done the day before, and decided to leave him be for a while. She stumbled across the creaky, cold wood floor to the bedroom door that had fallen off the hinges . . . again. “Stupid door,” she thought.

As she started the coffee, she sat down and stared out the kitchen window. The purple glow of the rising sun made the usually familiar rolling acres of the farm seem mysterious. The old farm house was a far cry from the luxurious home they previously owned. A lot had happened in the past year, and Rebecca was not adjusting well to this new life. Jonathan’s former business partner had talked him into investing in a “sure thing” without even discussing it with her first. It was a “sure thing” alright - the thing that surely made them go bankrupt.

Now here they were, living and working on Uncle Elton’s farm. Jonathan was no stranger to this farm. He grew up working on the farm, but had moved on after college. Making that phone call to Uncle Elton and Aunt Lizzie was the hardest thing Jonathan had ever done.

“Why didn’t you wake me?” Jonathan said with a yawn as he entered the room. The aroma of the strong coffee wafting through the drafty old house roused Jonathan from his much needed sleep.

“I thought you could use a few extra minutes” Rebecca said rather dryly. She still harbored obvious resentment toward Jonathan. He leaned over and gave Rebecca the customary good morning kiss.

The phone rang and Aunt Lizzie was on the other end as usual calling them to the main house for breakfast. She had been so kind to them. “Aunt Lizzie, you’ve outdone yourself again,” said Jonathan as they sat down at the table laden with blueberry pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit and cream, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

“Nonsense,” laughed Aunt Lizzie. “I wouldn’t have it any other way, God has truly blessed us.”

After breakfast, Jonathan and Uncle Elton went outside to load bags of seed. Rebecca stared out the window, while washing the breakfast dishes. “Penny for your thoughts,” Aunt Lizzie’s words brought Rebecca back to reality.

“How do I live this life? If only he had asked me about those stupid shares. We worked so hard. For what? To throw it all away? Aunt Lizzie do you realize we were financially set for the rest of our lives? Rebecca was sobbing by now.

Aunt Lizzie put her arms around Rebecca and let her cry . . . for a minute. “Are you done now, because we need to talk? So you think Jonathan planned this all out. He purposely ruined his name and career just to make you miserable and have you remind him of it every day of his life. Is that what you’re saying? Rebecca, have you looked at your husband’s face? Have you noticed he grins like a little kid out there until he comes face to face with you?”

Rebecca knew Aunt Lizzie was right, she had noticed how happy Jonathan looked while he worked, but she was so angry! “That’s easy for you to say, you own this beautiful house and farm. You have what you’ve always wanted.”

“Rebecca, this farm wasn’t always ours. When Elton was Jonathan’s age he was a pretty sharp business man. We lived the good life. We lost it all 40 years ago. I won’t go into what happened. Let’s just say Elton and Jonathan are two peas in pod. We were broke. We had just enough to buy the little house you live in now and a few acres. We started over together and never looked back. What good would it have done? What good is it doing you now?

With tears in her eyes, and a smile on her face, Rebecca looked out at Jonathan as he worked alongside his elderly uncle. Yes, these men were two peas in a pod but suddenly thanks to Aunt Lizzie, Rebecca realized that may not be such a bad thing.


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Laury Hubrich 02/14/08
Thank you for sharing this story. It was very engaging. Keep on writing!
Laury
Seema Bagai 02/17/08
Great advice here. I enjoyed reading this story.
Marlene Austin02/19/08
Engaging characters. I'm sure Rebecca had some difficulty conforming to her new found attitude. Would love to see you write some more about these characters. :)
Sara Harricharan 02/20/08
This was pretty good, the characters were interesting and I liked the way the story flowed.

May I give you a few pointers?

Next time, don't tell us that Rebecca is harboring 'obvious resentment' show us.

And watch to be sure you put quotation marks on both ends of a sentence. It was missing in a few spots and I thought that the dialouge was actually her thoughts. You did well with this.
Marlene Austin02/21/08
2nd place, wow!
Congratulations.

Marlene
Marita Thelander 02/21/08
Hi Mandie. Great story, and you did a good job with the topic. Care to join me in Level 2? Will watch for your work in the future. Congrats on placing.
Celeste Ammirata02/21/08
I love this story. It's a great example of how we should trust God, let go and move on.

Congratulations on taking second place. You deserve it. :-)
Joanne Sher 02/22/08
Congratulations, Mandy - not only did your entry place second in your level, but you came in 32nd overall. Great work!