Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Diet - deadline is 8-9-12 9:59 am NY time. (08/02/12)
By Kristine Baker
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“Woo hoo! We leave for Alaska on Monday!” Caitlyn squealed while adding a hop to her step.
Missy, the receptionist at Planet Now Travel Agency, greeted them kindly and paged their agent, Jack. When Jack appeared from around the corner, Caitlyn and Joel felt a jolt of excitement race through their blood.
“C’mon back to my office” Jack offered with a smile.
They were seated in front of Jack’s desk. Joel slid his hand out from the inside pocket of his jacket and looking up at Jack said, “Here is the five-hundred dollar check for the balance of our Alaskan cruise next week.”
The look on Jack’s face was disconcerting as he spoke, “The airline sent a notice yesterday explaining the new fee structure for checked-in luggage. Each of you can have one carry-on bag, but all other luggage needs to be checked at the gate for a fee of one-hundred and fifty dollars each. If you had paid the balance before yesterday, I would not be mentioning this today. However, you are going to have to decide how many pieces of luggage you will be bringing with you and pay me today. “
Caitlyn thought back to how they scrimped and saved for this vacation of a lifetime. Joel picked up side jobs fixing computers while she took in alteration jobs in the evening and cleaned houses on the weekends. As Caitlyn and Joel looked at each other, they both wondered the same thing, “Where are we going to get the extra money…today?”
“Jack, how can they do that to us now?” Joel demanded to know.
“All the airlines have been doing this lately. They are trying to find ways of increasing their income as air travel has slowed down within the past year” Jack replied solemnly.
“Wow, this is unexpected. We are going on a two week cruise, and we need at least one bag each, making that an additional three-hundred dollars today,” Caitlyn calculated with a quiver to her voice.
“We will go home and see what we can do and call you later today, Jack” Joel interjected before Caitlyn started to cry.
The ride home was quiet as Caitlyn and Joel sat thinking how they could come up with three-hundred dollars in just a few short hours.
Caitlyn retreated outside near the garden and started to pray, “Dear God, Joel and I have been faithful to you while we were saving for this vacation. We continued to tithe our full-time income as well as our part-time income. Please grant us your favor and let there be a way for us to come up with the additional money we need for this trip. Please, Father, may this be in your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”
As Caitlyn walked around the garden, she waved to the mailman who just made a deposit into their mailbox. For a diversion, Caitlyn approached the mailbox and removed the contents.
“Junk mail, junk mail, junk mail” she said as she sifted through the handful of envelopes and postcards.
“Wait, what’s this?” Caitlyn curiously thought as she saw an envelope addressed to them both with the return address of their doctor’s office.
Making her way into the house, she dropped the junk mail into the recycle bin and quickly opened the envelope and read the letter inside.
“Thank you for participating in the Double Your Loss - Weight Loss Challenge this past year. Congratulations on your combined weight loss of one-hundred fifty pounds! As stated in the agreement, we pay two dollars for each pound lost.”
Just then a check fell from the letter onto the floor. Picking it up, Caitlyn let out a blood-curdling scream which got Joel’s attention to run to her side. With tears of joy streaming down her face, she showed him the check.
“Three-hundred dollars, baby! God answered my prayers from five minutes ago,” Caitlyn exclaimed. “Thank you God, you are so good!” she continued, now looking toward the ceiling.
“Joel, call Jack! We are going to Alaska!“ Caitlyn sang out as she weightlessly danced around the kitchen.
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