Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)
TITLE: Surprise, Surprise!
By LaRue Kendrick
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What lousy timing, Becky thought. Tim was turning 30 this year, and she had hopes and plans for a surprise birthday party for the occasion. Then he had come home with the news that he had to be away on a business trip over that special date. How could she make it special when he wasn’t even going to be around? Their oldest daughter, Jill, had been in on some of the brain storming for her dad’s birthday surprise, and she was even more disappointed.
As Tim’s departure came closer, Becky’s brain went into overdrive to come up with something to make this birthday memorable for Tim. At last, she conceived a plan. In running it by Jill, both got more and more excited as new ideas began to embellish the original one.
A trip to the local Big Box Store produced a new pair of running shorts, a bottle of new cologne (Stetson – HER favorite), new sweat pants and shirt and a card bemoaning someone turning 30. All this should give her guy the idea that he needed to keep in shape and smelling good now that he was crawling over the hill. These she lovingly wrapped with strict warning not to open until his birth date arrived.
The best was yet to be, however. After a phone call or two to arrange her scheme with a kitchen person at the hotel where he would be staying, there was only one task remaining; the note. That would clinch a memorable time for Tim.
Tim had arrived at his destination calm as a cucumber. The drive with two other associates had been pleasant and jovial. The first day of the trade show was uneventful and even a bit tedious manning a booth touting the benefits of “their” product. The evening meal had been quite delicious, and he enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow booth sitters before turning in for his last night at 29 years of age.
Birthday arrived and found him singing in the shower before going down for breakfast with the other trade show people in a separate hotel dining room and at the designated hour before the day’s business began. He seated himself among his driving companions and also some new acquaintances. All was seeming normal until the kitchen door burst open and a parade of kitchen workers proceeded to his table and directed a tall stack of pancakes with a big “30” candle atop to his very place. Then the “Happy Birthday” chorus rang out as he turned several shades of red and then faded purple. The serenade ended with much clapping by the ladies and back slapping by his cronies. He was just short of mortified.
Back home, the phone rang with a report from the kitchen worker she had made the arrangements with a few days earlier. There was much laughter and praise as the success of the plan became apparent. Yes, Tim would remember this birthday.
By evening of his big day, Tim really was tiring and longing for the trip home the following day. He had the last task remaining to celebrate his birthday; the packages in his suitcase needed to be opened so he could call home and thank his lovely wife and daughter for embarrassing him nearly to death.
As he opened the card, he had to chuckle at the message. He didn’t feel a bit old, well, maybe just a little after this day. He got the message of staying in shape and smelling good with the exercise gear and cologne. The little note card with hearts adorning it was the last thing to open, and it would be the very thing he would go to sleep on and dream sweet dreams over, after he made the phone call. He read these words from his loving wife: “To my darling mate and love of my life. May you forever remember this day and all the love I have for you. I thank God for blessing me with you for a husband and for the wonderful father you are to our children. Don’t be too mad, just be thankful your family loves you and remembers you on your special day. God bless you always. Love, Becky.
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