Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Achievement (03/08/12)
TITLE: Silver Pens and Golden Memories
By Vicki J. Cypcar
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Rosemary lit the candle on the end table as she did each morning. Her husband Aaron was on his way to work. Her twin sons David and Devon were now living away from home and attending college in Chattanooga. The silence was deafening.
After her prayers she dressed for her morning walk. Looking in the mirror she noticed wrinkles she had never seen before. So much of her time had been focused on her family. She now felt like a stranger in her own body. She brushed her long auburn hair before gathering it into a ponytail. Walking past the boys’ room she noticed Finn, their Newfoundland, sleeping soundly on his dog bed. Rosemary called to Finn, “C’mon boy.” The black curly dog rose to his feet and yawned so wide it looked like his head would disappear. Rosemary’s heart ached for the beast - for he too, had been left in the wake of change. He hadn’t wagged his tail or eaten much since the boys left for college. On impulse she dragged the large dog bed into her writing den. A literal welcome mat – maybe they could even become friends. Finn followed her down the hall and into the foyer. Rosemary grabbed an umbrella before stepping out into the Smoky mountain drizzle.
Down the driveway she ventured with Finn clumsily following. As she passed the barn she stopped and looked at the rusty basketball hoop as tears misted. Finn looked at her with his dark brown eyes. She regained her composure and decided to take the long route, down along Johnson Creek to Bass Lake. Once there she stood on the pier and fondly remembered how her daring sons would dive in after hours of fishing. Finn nudged her with his wet nose before jumping into the water. The dog loved to swim. He was a walking klutz but the dog could swim with the grace of a swan. He loved paddling after the ducks. After his swim he seemed to have a bounce back in his step, and it made Rosemary smile.
Back home she brewed some coffee and contemplated the next chapter of her novel- and her life. Her first novel was published and receiving great reviews, but because she didn’t have a job outside the home and the boys were grown, she was now described as a retired empty nester. Truth was, next to raising two rambunctious boys, writing was the hardest vocation she had ever attempted. She enjoyed social networking, but she still found herself grasping for a sense of balance. She was a successful author with a loving husband and two wonderful boys, but her soul was in a state of unrest.
As the thunder rolled she strived to weave her next chapter. Suddenly there was a large pop and the electricity went off. After phoning the electric company she went into the kitchen and lit a candle before sitting in her favorite chair. A soggy Finn followed and managed to climb into the chair next to her. Rosemary looked at Finn, “If you and I are going to become this close you need to clean up your act.” As the candle flickered she closed her eyes as memories entered her mind. In grade school she had loved rainy days because instead of going out for recess, the teacher would read aloud – and it was magical.
The following weeks Rosemary struggled with writing in the solitude of an empty nest. Her friends were busy raising children or immersed in their careers. Then a friend at church mentioned a writer’s group that met at the library every Tuesday.
The following Tuesday Rosemary dropped Finn off at “Pup and Suds” on the way to the library. She walked into the conference room and was immediately welcomed by members of the Silver Pen Writing Group. She sat down and pulled out her notebook and a pencil. The leader gave the writing prompt, and in silent synchronicity they all began writing stories and memoirs. An hour later members took turns reading their work aloud. Rosemary looked out the window as a gentle rain fell onto a carpet of leaves. At last, she had attained the peace she had been searching for.
With a joyful heart she stopped to pick up a well-manicured Finn. Clearly happy to see her he wagged his tail and jumped into the front seat to sit next to Rosemary, after all - that’s what friends do.
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