Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)
TITLE: The Arrival
By Sandra Healy
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An old friend arrived today by Parcel Post: it came in a brown cardboard box wrapped in
newspaper from New York. It had traveled three thousand miles to come back to me. I knew what was inside, a big smile went across my face, and my hands where shaking I was so excited to finally have it back with me. It had been 40 years since I had seen it.
And it is only 100 years old as old as my grandfather when he passed away.
I lifted the silver horse lamp out of the box, and held it with care; it was tarnished, and not cared for. The lampshade was torn and falling apart. I knew I couldn’t fix that but I could polish the lamp and make it look new, even though it was an antique.
One of my aunts had taken it when my grandfather died, and placed it in her attic and forgot about it. Until my aunt passed away none of us knew she had it, my cousin told me they had found a lot of family things up in the attic, they never knew about. I asked her if the silver horse lamp was there yes it was. It was hidden away in a corner, behind old furniture, boxes dusty with age, and clothes hung with plastic over them.
For many years this silver horse lamp, provided a warm amber glow to the room at the end of the stables where my grandfather would spend nights, to take care of his horses.
When the fierce winds would blow outside his door a small heater was across from his bed in front of a maple chest that added to the warmth this room reflected.
Everyone was always welcomed in to share a cup of coffee and ginger snap cookies. And if you had a really bad sweet tooth, you were invited to take a sugar cube meant for his horses out of their sugar can.
I was the only grandchild out of five who took an interest in horses and staying around stables, cleaning stalls, feeding the horses, and bottle feeding a foul. The little room at the end of the stables was a special place for my grandfather and me. We spend many days sitting by this special lamp sharing stories and future plans.
Now that it is home with me it sits on my desk where it is seen every day and bitter and sweet thoughts come over me, and then I gaze up on the wall of the oil painting of my grandfather and me as we feed our horses. I reach for the sugar can and take a cube of sugar as a treat for me.
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