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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: Opportunities
By Marie Fink
11/17/09


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There are times in our lives when we covet medallions. We are desperate for them, but they don’t always deliver their desired result. Sometimes we work very hard to earn one of these prized possessions only to have our hopes nearly shattered.

Our lives are so busy and full of good things to do that we spin and sputter and can even become stagnate. This backward motion feeling can be awfully disconcerting; especially when it’s forward we intend to go. “Get organized!” they say. “Be all you can be,” they quip. “Bloom where you’re planted,” is sometimes the mantra.

But wait. I AM organized in my own way with notes written all over the page, and things done scratched out next to things yet to be completed. I AM almost all that I can be: a wife, a mom, a teacher, a nurse, a receptionist, a hostess, a cook, a servant. And about that “bloom” statement I must say: I’ve never really liked it. It’s so cliché now. But twenty years ago when it was very popular in my circles, I thought it was cliché then too.

So what am I to do when wonderful opportunities come across my proverbial desk? Ignore them? Sometimes, I try to. I find myself discussing loudly with my husband, “But you don’t know how many times I actually say, ‘NO’ to someone or something.” These many ‘opportunities’, as I’ve come to lovingly refer to them, can be a bit burdensome, yet fun too.

What do these opportunities look like? They are often for people in some sort of need: a ride, a meal, a little advice, or an extra hand at planning an event. Sometimes they are for exciting ventures such as the time a friend called and said, “The USO is holding free tickets for us in the city for that Broadway musical you’ve wanted to see.” “We need to be in the van by 4:00 p.m. with our husbands.” “Get a sitter because we’ll be out late.” It’s difficult for me to refuse any of these types of prospects.

When these situations present themselves, or rather, when God presents them to me; I am often in a quandary. These events take up time and are in addition to the life that’s already moving quickly. Some of my friends never seem to be perplexed. They just say, “No, I can’t do it now.” But I don’t want to miss out on a wonderful Broadway play, or I reason that, “It won’t take that long and I have the ability to do the tasking.” Consequently, I am faced with dilemmas time and again.

Our time in New York City to see the Broadway Play was fantastic (in the end). We were hurried getting there from about an hour south in New Jersey. The traffic was typical for that area of the country: horrific. We were running fairly late, but still in time to see the show. We had to park, find the USO, pick up the tickets, and get to the theatre. A bite of New York pizza was also on the agenda and we were going to ‘do it all’ in the short amount of time we had.

After we parked and started walking we realized that we could have parked more centrally located to all the places we needed to trek. We collectively decided to hail a cab for our last stop, the theatre. This idea was more difficult than we had anticipated. We took turns waving, thinking that perhaps one of us would be better at the job than the other or be looked upon more favorably. We waited and hailed, and stood, and shifted. It began to rain. Medallion after medallion stopped and picked up, squeaked and squealed and dropped off, picked up and dropped off, but NOT us.

After a fifty minute workout we were able to get inside our appreciated prize: one of the infamous, shiny yellow taxicabs of New York City often referred to as “Medallions.” We arrived at the theatre, a bit late, a little wet, but on time to annoy those already seated and to watch the opening seen of the flaming crystal chandelier descend upon the audience.


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Yvonne Blake 11/22/09
Great thoughts! I almost missed the topic, until I read it again. It might help to restate your theme at the end to tie things together. Keep writing.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/22/09
I liked your overall story, but seemed burried in some of the chatter about responsibilities, and such. Yet, I liked how you tied in the opening paragraph of medallions as rewards, and the ending of having to wait and work hard to possible obtain the reward.
I did not know taxi's in NYC were called medallions. How did that come to be?