Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Total Immersion
By Carole Robishaw
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“Liz, I need you to set the table, now!”
What am I going to do with that girl, trying to get her attention is nearly impossible. Walking into the other room, I called again, “Eliza T, I’m not calling you again.” Sigh, I should have known.
Eliza T was sitting up on the edge of the couch as if a string was attached to the top of her head, clutching her book, eyes rushing over the page, and breathing fast.
“I know, Grandma, I know. Please, they just found an important clue and they almost have the case solved.”
“That’s nice, but it’ll still be in exactly the same place five minutes from now, after you’ve set the table. Now, put the book down and come help me,” I commented over my shoulder as I walked back into the kitchen.
“Yes m’am,” as Liz reluctantly complied. “I’m sorry, but I just needed another few minutes. I was almost at the end of the chapter.”
“You know, child, you are so much like me, it scares me sometimes. I would rather bury myself in a good mystery than eat or sleep, or just about anything. Your grandpa often tells me he could set an atom bomb off under my chair and I would just say, ‘in a minute, just one more minute’ and keep on reading for another hour, or more. But, there comes a time when you have to learn that there are priorities, and getting our dinner is one of them.”
“I know, and I’m really hungry, too, dinner smells wonderful.”
“Humph, hold that butter for the biscuits, not me.” I turned my face away, to hide my grin while trying to sound stern. “Grandpa expects dinner on time, and you have to help me if you want to spend your summer here, that was the agreement, you help with the chores, and you get to spend the summer immersed in my library.”
“Immersed, that’s a strange word, it sounds like I’m going to drown in books. Or be soaked in them like you do the dishes. Immerse…hmm…”
“Immerse like when you were baptized.” I quipped. “Or totally absorbed into something, extreme concentration, like when we read.”
“Oh Grandma, I love to be immersed in a book, to become part of the book. My heart races as they rush to solve the clues, or someone is threatened, and I’m worried they won’t discover the danger in time. I feel like I’m right there with them, it’s so hard to leave it, even long enough for dinner.”
“I know, Liz, many a night I’ve sat up all night reading, because I just had to know ‘who dunnit’ before I could sleep. I noticed you had a flashlight under your covers in bed last night. Good thing this is summer, and you don’t have to get up early for school.”
“Ahh, potatoes and gravy, pass me the gravy please, Liz,” Grandpa asked as he held out his hand for the pitcher.
“Are you going to smother your potatoes, Grandpa?” Liz asked as she giggled. “Or are you going to submerge them?”
“What’s this? Is this some new game you’re playing?”
“We were talking about the words immerse and concentration, and all the ways they can be used.”
“Immerse, well, how about absorbed? Did either of you come up with that, I get to see a perfect example of it every time one of you picks up something to read, be it a book or a cereal box, or whatever has words on it.”
“Yes, Grandma already got me on that one.”
“What about plunge? You plunge into your reading! Or bury, as in ‘your nose is buried in another book’?” I piped up, chuckling.
“Oh, I have another one,” Liz cried, “Engage, as in totally engaged in the plot.”
“Or there’s always dip or dunk” Grandpa stated as he flourished his gravy dunked biscuit.
“Well, I think we better concentrate on our dinner, as I have a freshly baked apple pie cooling on the shelf for desert,” I laughed. “And we can plunge our forks into the pie after we smother it with homemade ice cream, and then we’ll need to sink into a comfortable chair while everything settles into place.”
Grandpa then retorted “I think we have been deluged enough with words, lets apply some concentration to our food. I think we’ve compacted enough into this dense conversation.”
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