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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: Tiwanda's Tea
By Shannon Redmon


“Thanks Honey! I appreciate you watching the kids for me this weekend!”

I hung up the phone and could not contain my excitement!


A quiet, restful weekend retreat at the lake cabin. My laptop, hot tea and Bible, ready to write!

No interruptions, no demands, no “Mommy!”.

I packed my bags and headed out the door. Just two stops to make before my destination, gas and groceries. Can’t write on an empty stomach! Walmart here I come…along with 30 million other people on their way to the lake. Men and women waited for buggies, kids screamed and forget maneuvering in the aisles. It took me forever to gather up the few items I needed and fight my way to the checkout lines backed up to the dairy section.

“Great, I’m losing writing time as we speak!”

“Price check! I need a price check!” My cashier announced over the loud speaker.

“Well at least I still have tomorrow.”

The sun rose bright and cheery through the naked windows announcing like a rooster it was time to get up! To bad I’m not a morning person or I really would have loved it. Instead I dragged out of bed and stumbled to the tea kettle.

“Open eyes, open.”

6:30 am.

“Oh man, you’ve got to be kidding me. It’s as bright as noon time in here.”

Well, at least I could start on my writing. I sat down by the window and peered out over the lake.


My laptop loaded up.

“Wonder what the boys are doing right now? Probably sleeping.”

Their faces flashed through my mind. Calm and serene, like the lake.

“God sure does know how to create.”

My tea began to take effect and I entered writing mode. Like a dream come true… silence, great scenery, no interruptions…

The beeping of my laptop grabbed my attention.

“Oh no!”

The words on the screen screamed,

“Error! Please contact your technical support.”

I worked all morning trying to fix it until my mind was fried and my tummy hungry.

“I will just take a break, fix some lunch and come back to it. Maybe it will boot up after a rest. Good thing I keep pads and pens in the cabinet drawer.”

I began to dig through the drawers.

“I’m sure I left some in here from the last time we were down.”

The dust on the counters proved it must have been some time ago. I grabbed a towel and began to wipe them down.

“I can’t concentrate on writing when the place looks like this.”

I scrubbed the sink, shook out the rugs, the curtains and swept the floors.

All the cleaning made me sweaty and in need of a shower. I turned the bathroom light on.


Darkness surrounded me.

“Great, just what I need a blown light bulb. Where in the world are the lightbulbs?”

Time to head back to WalMart! I drove around thirty minutes looking for a parking spot. Another fifteen passed as I waited for one to clear. I started to pull in when a Beamer ushered in a “Tiwanda!” flashback from “Fried Green Tomatoes”.

“God give me strength and another parking place!”

I grabbed a sandwich on the way back to the lake cabin since most of my day had vanished. I snuggled into my chair, watched the sun set behind the water and sipped my hot tea.

“Ahh, this is more like it.”

I could focus on my writing now. All was quiet. I took a bite of my cookie, watched a crumb fall to the floor while a mouse scurried across to retrieve his newfound treasure.

Arrgh! A mouse! I jumped up in my chair, spilling my tea and frightening the mouse back to his hole.

“That’s it! I can’t take anymore!”
I grabbed my bags threw them in the car and headed home!

The lights in my home were out when I pulled into the drive. I opened the door and discovered my boys in hibernation for the night. My husband slept on the couch, one child in his arms and the other on the floor at his feet. An unfinished monopoly game seemed to be the sleeping pill. I tiptoed up the stairs, turned on the lamp in my office.

My office. My home. My family. No greater retreat than these.

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This article has been read 906 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debra Brand08/08/05
I liked this! That's the way it goes sometimes. Great story!
Shirley Thomas08/08/05
Sometimes the grass is not always greener. I love your story...great job.
Phyllis Inniss08/11/05
Great story written with much humour. You retreated into a more peaceful home than the one you went on. Good writing skills.
dub W08/11/05
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Bravo!
karen McLamb08/11/05
AWESOME! OH! WHat a joy out of this one, I got tickle about the cookie crumb and the mouse.
karen McLamb08/11/05
Oh what a joy I got out of this one! Thanks for sharing.
Crista Darr08/11/05
A wonderful winning entry! Well done!
Shari Armstrong 08/12/05
Home sweet home :) Enjoyed the humor and irony.
Nita Frazier08/12/05
You described my day. Being a writer is not always about the writing. Great use of descriptive words and phrases, epecially in the 10th paragraph.
Julianne Jones08/13/05
I liked this. Thanks for sharing.
Beth Muehlhausen08/13/05
This is real life, isn't it? We look and look...and then find the prize right under our noses. :-)

Enjoyed this immensely. Good description, good flow, good point.