Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)
By Megan Starbuck
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Our one-room shack had no electricity nor running water, but it was conveniently located in the backyard of Catherine's parents' house, which we called Cranford Hall. They didn't mind letting us use their outlets to charge our cell phones & laptops. They even let us use their bathrooms. The three of us would each pay $35 a month, along with assisting in the gardening and household chores.
We had tried to think through everything before implementing our plan. We'd get part-time jobs...the kind that don't follow you home: at bookstores, coffee shops, libraries. We'd ride to work together and spend the evenings reading the books we'd collected but never gotten to read because our time was so filled with school and work that we barely had time for family and friends, much less reading. We'd climb our favorite tree to discuss what we'd read--and anything else interesting from our day. Once a week, we'd put our clothes on the line to dry after washing them at Cranford Hall.
After paying our small bills and student loans, we'd put at least half of what was left of our paycheck away in savings for our next big adventure. Our trip to England had been full of memories...and writing material. We'd save for smaller endeavors but also for another big exploration of a foreign country. We'd seek to get some of our writings published but in the meantime enjoy each other as our audience.
Finally we moved in. The shack contained three beds, with room underneath each one for storing clothes. Above each bed was a shelf, a home-like reflection of its owner. One wall was lined with books, and there were three windows which would remian open throughout every season but winter.
Catherine was forced to keep her stash of sweets in her parents' home so as not to tempt Elinor and me. We also agreed to learn important life skills during our free time at the shack--skills such as how to do a backflip.
We were all thrilled to go barefoot any chance we got. We ran a roadside vegetable stand three days a week. That's where we entertained one another with our stories...between customers, of course.
We weren't really afraid we'd get in fights because we knew we were strong enough friends. We just wondered what it would be like and if it would really happen. We sort of expected it to after a while because it happens to everyone after spending enough time together. It was bound to happen eventually. But we couldn't imagine it; none of us had ever been mad at the others before.
We made it through week one like a breeze. It was pure joy. We could hardly believe we were living one of the most exciting dreams. In many ways, it was better than we had expected. After a while, we settled into a routine. Some things were more difficult than we had anticipated, but nothing was big enough to daunt us. We'd walk to the gas station about a mile away whenever we were out of lighters for the candles. We looked forward to such little things.
We didn't like not having room for our belongings. I had left my furniture at my mom's house. Eventually we knew we'd have to move out and live a different lifestyle. But for now, we took it one week at a time.
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