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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)

TITLE: Reflections
By Paul Potenza
11/14/05


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REFLECTIONS

Short gray days and long cold nights are the hallmark of the season. It’s easy to be depressed. You go to work in the dark and come home in the dark and you wonder if you’re a mole. If the sun comes out at all, YOU couldn’t swear to it in a court of law.

The holidays make things better because there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, all peppering you with feelings of good will, and Auld Lang Syne, but all in all you’d rather be in the Bahamas. Especially through January, February and March when it seems like you’re trudging through slush in a daily battle that you’re not going to win.

And then one Saturday morning, when you’re miserable with cold, it happens. You step outside to let the dog take a leak and it’s there.

The air catches you just right and snatches your breath. The sun glints blindingly on the hard snow. There’s a light scent of pine in the air like a ladies perfume in a crowded restaurant that makes your head turn to see if you can catch it again.

And your day is better.

You suddenly realize that someone provided the cold and dreariness, so that you could appreciate the warmth and light.

The dog is done, so you step back inside and you notice that your wife looks EXTREMELY pretty in her sweats, with her hair all frizzy from being cuddled under a big comforter all night. She’s singing quietly to herself while she makes bacon and eggs for her old grouse of a husband who seems to have been in a bad mood for so long. She wonders if it’s something that she’s done.

Right there you make a pledge to NEVER make her wonder about that again. You sweep her into your arms (causing her to drop an egg) and kiss her right into her soul. (And then YOU clean up the egg.)

A few minutes later, you stand on the back porch with her little hand engulfed in your big old ugly paw. She’s wearing your old varsity letter jacket over her sweats. (She never looked better.) The dog is sniffing cheerfully away at the snow.

Winter has become your friend.


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This article has been read 637 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sandra Petersen 11/21/05
An extremely well-constructed article, the piece flows beautifully from beginning to end.
The phrase about the dog taking a leak was the only tiny thing that appeared a bit harsh in this jewel of an article. Maybe it could have been stated "do his business", "take his morning constitutional", I don't know.
I loved the pictures of the paragraph that begins "The air catches you just right and snatches your breath", and then all the way to the end. The last sentence "Winter has become your friend" is a perfect conclusion to this article. Thank you for sharing.
Nina Phillips11/21/05
Awww...this was so sweet, and I loved the whole thing. Says alot..God bless ya, littlelight
Jan Ackerson 11/21/05
I loved so much about this piece--but I wonder if it'd be even more effective if the "you" perspective was changed to "I." After all, you were talking about yourself, not me. But it was very well-written, and with considerable charm.
terri tiffany11/22/05
I loved you kissed her right into her soul! I would have liked it "I' too but still it was so very true and so very nice..you captured that moment so well..I know the moment..and wish we caught it more often!
Debbie Sickler11/22/05
I really enjoyed this entry, but I agree that writing it 'I' instead of 'you' would have been better. If you do rewrite it that way, you would need to change the part about the wife wondering. (That would be a point of view shift).

The taking a leak was also something I'd agree was too harsh for the flow of the piece. (I personally don't like the phrase, seems so crude.)

What I really loved was the line about kissing her into her soul and the husband cleaning up the egg! Seeing her as pretty in her sweats and frizzy hair was nice too, I could relate to that. :)

Overall, nice entry. You made me picture the couple in the scene. Good job!
Marilyn Schnepp 11/22/05
Only a man would use that expression about the dog..(smile). It killed all the beautiful phrasing before and after. Being blunt, but honest. Good thoughts, however.
Phyllis Inniss 11/22/05
I just love this article. It's beautifully written and paints a warm scene inside against a wintry one outside. Yes, winter has become your friend.
Alexandra Wilkin11/23/05
Lovely article, well constructed and full of little touches that made me smile. God bless.
Margaret Goins11/23/05
I enjoyed your piece. I saw my husband in you.
Mary Alice Bowles11/24/05
You paint beautiful pictures-wonderful writing. Thanks
Helen Harris11/26/05
I Love these Reflections lines:
”Short gray days and long cold nights are the hallmark of the season.” “The holidays make things better because there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, all peppering you with feelings of good will, and Auld Lang Syne,” “Winter has become your friend.”
Well Written. Thanks for sharing. Helen
Tisha Martin11/27/05
"Especially through January, February and March when it seems like you’re trudging through slush in a daily battle that you’re not going to win." This is a winning sentence!! I liked it!

Nicely written, with struggle against winter season, and at the end you give us a satisfying sigh. Thanks.
Edy T Johnson 09/29/06
I'm so glad this story received recognition. Congratulations, Paul! Your message: "You suddenly realize that someone provided the cold and dreariness, so that you could appreciate the warmth and light." touches on the heart of our experience in this wilderness journey. Thank you!