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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: Grandma Ruth and the First Robin of Spring
By Laura Manley


Ellen sat in the porch swing on the deck of the home she shared with her husband, Kevin. She was watching the first robin of spring, something she waited for each year. To her, that, and the first sign of a bumble bee, meant spring had arrived. She guessed her way of thinking was because Grandma Ruth believed that to be true..

During her childhood, every spring break was spent with Grandma Ruth in a small town about 100 miles from her family home. Grandma Ruth lived on a farm where practically as many animals lived there as at the zoo, or so she thought as a child.

Many balmy spring nights were spent with Grandma Ruth on her porch swing. How Ellen loved that swing. She knew that some day when she married and they bought their first house, that it had to have a porch large enough to accommodate a porch swing.

Grandma Ruth taught Ellen much more than just what her perception was of when spring had sprung. Those hours with Grandma Ruth in the swing also taught her about Jesus. Grandma Ruth loved the Lord and passed that love onto Ellen. Ellen was seven years old when she accepted Jesus as her Saviour and from that time in her life, she learned to love the Lord more and more each day, just like Grandma Ruth did.

On the farm, Ellen and Grandma Ruth fed the many animals together. Her favorite was to throw grain out for the chickens. It was Ellen's job, although she never considered it that, to gather the eggs each morning. She would carry the eggs up to the farmhouse in one of Grandma Ruth's aprons which was twisted to make it fit her. Whatever Grandma Ruth did, that's what Ellen wanted to do.

Ellen remembered the walks along the brook with little ripples making its own music. Oh, how she loved those days. Grandma Ruth and Ellen were inseparable during those spring breaks.

Ellen was deep in thought when Kevin came out on the deck and sat in the swing with her.

“It's just about time to go. How soon will you be ready?” asked Kevin, putting his arm around his wife of five years.

“I don't know that I'll ever be ready, Kevin. Today seems somewhat bittersweet. Do you know what I saw today?

“No,” answered Kevin.

“My first robin of spring. God must have put that little bird here in our backyard to remind me that I'll always have Grandma Ruth with me,” Ellen said with a tear falling from her right eye and others on their way.

Ellen got up from the swing and gave Kevin a soft kiss on his lips. “I'll be ready shortly. Give me just a few minutes.”

Ellen went into the master suite where she had laid her clothes out on the bed earlier that morning. She washed her face to erase any telltale sign of crying. After freshening her makeup, Ellen picked up the dress from the bed and slipped it over her head. Next, she put her favorite pumps on, as if that mattered any. Her necklace of white pearls might be nice, she thought, and she aimlessly put them on.

Ellen took one last glance in the mirror, then made her way from their bedroom and through the French doors out onto the deck once again. “I'm as ready as I'll ever be,” she said, careful not to start crying again.

Kevin got up from the swing and just as they were walking down the steps of the deck, her first robin of spring flew down close to them.

“Oh, Kevin, how wonderful is that? I wonder if this little robin could possibly know that today we say goodbye to Grandma Ruth? I think it would have loved her.”

“I'm sure it would have, Ellen,” said Kevin. “No doubt about it.”

Please critique

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This article has been read 617 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Clyde Blakely07/30/09
I like the feelings "through time" on this and wrapping the ending with the beginning. It has special meaning throughout.
An added critique would be to drop "Ruth" after the first introduction, makes it more personal and adds a little more "power" to the story. It was not distracting through and I would not have mentioned it except you asked for a critique.
Well written and there's obviously some good talent behind the writing.
God bless and keep serving Him.
Daniel Kane07/30/09
This is a good story. I really liked the significance of the robin. I found it a bit hard at first to figure out what had happened to Grandma Ruth, but it's nothing too serious.
Jackie Wilson08/01/09
A sweet story whioh reminded me of my relationship with my own grandmother. Thanks for sharing.
Eileen Knowles08/05/09
Enjoyed your piece:) You've painted some very nice pictures for the reader. Keep writing!