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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Horsefeathers!
By Elaine Potter



“Well, horsefeathers! Where did I leave my glasses now?” bellowed the voice from the kitchen. Hmmm, from the decibels he’s putting out, it sounds like Joe’s forgotten his hearing aid too, thought Evelyn, his wife. Even if his voice wasn’t as familiar to her as her own, “horsefeathers” would have given him away. That term had been antiquated 52 years ago when they met. With a sigh, Evelyn walked into the living room, picked up Joe’s glasses from the top of the end table by his easy chair and handed them to him silently. “Now Evelyn, what would I do without you? Sometimes I think you hide my things on purpose so you can laugh at me looking around for them,” he said with a teasing smile. “Joe, that book on improving your memory we read said always to put things away in the same spot every time so you won’t have to look for them.” “Well, I can’t remember where I put the book either,” grumbled Joe as he poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down to read the morning paper.

Today was their 51st wedding anniversary. Evelyn had prominently displayed the cards their children, grandchildren and friends had sent them, but neither she nor Joe had mentioned the special occasion today. Usually Evelyn was the one to plan a special dinner or evening out, but she hadn’t done anything this year. Could Joe have forgotten, she wondered?
Their children had made their Golden Anniversary a wonderful even last year, so maybe that’s why this year seemed anti-climatic in comparison.

The hours passed by in a comfortable routine, but still Joe was silent about their anniversary. Evelyn fought down her growing disappointment by focusing on her many blessings. They had their own house, a wonderful family, good health for their age, and each other. So many things had changed over the years, but some were the same. Joe’s black hair had faded to gray, but the twinkle in his blue eyes was the same. The hamburger joint that was the site of their first date was now a fancy Italian restaurant, but the church where they exchanged their wedding vows hadn’t changed.

Evelyn was taken away from her reminiscing by Joe’s announcing, “Hey, let’s go into town and grab something to eat. While we’re there, I’ll stop at the hardware store and buy a part to fix that leaky faucet.” Hallelujah, Evelyn thought. That’s an anniversary present in itself! She changed into something more suitable for their “night on the town” and they got on the road. Evelyn looked at Joe in confusion as he drove in the opposite direction of the hardware store. Had he forgotten where they were going? Soon he pulled up in front of the Italian restaurant that was the scene of their first date. “Bet you thought I’d forgotten” Joe chortled as he helped her from the car. Inside, the greeter ushered them into a private room where their family was already gathered. “Happy anniversary darling” Joe said as he gave her a kiss. “I thank God every day for you. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I don’t need a book to help me remember that!”

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Sara Harricharan 07/17/08
Awww! What a sweet couple! I loved how Joe had this surprise all set up for her and everything. She didn't suspect it in the least! The ending with "I don't need a book to help me remember that" was simply priceless! ^_^
Lynda Schultz 07/17/08
I haven't heard "horsefeathers" in a long time, either. And, I agree, that last line is great.
Judy Doyle 07/18/08
Wonderful story. Romanticism does exist, doesn't it. Nice to know he hadn't forgotten the anniversary and the scene of the first date. Thank you for sharing.
Hannah Hunter07/19/08
A sweet story. We all wish our husbands would remember like Joe, but we still love them when they don't.
Arlene Showalter07/22/08
Great piece. Are all the ladies out there longing for a "Joe?"
sheila gagen07/26/08
Shared memories are always the greatest treasures of all.