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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: Prosperity of The Heart
By Theresa Vogel Millward
05/18/06


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Lori Sanders was carefully studying a map. She knew somewhere in these winding foothills was the location of the antique show. It was good to get away from her hectic job in the city. She usually worked ten-hour days, six days a week. She liked the pace, and the money, but decided to take a breather for a change. Lori thought she had the correct directions given to her by her best friend Cindy. “Somewhere I may have made a wrong turn,” Lori said to herself. Lori decided to drive further up the road and stop at the next house for directions.

After a few minutes, Lori spotted a small house on the left side of the road. The front of the house was a faded yellow as if it hadn’t had a coat of paint in years. The front lawn was small too. Yet, it had these beautiful, well cared for red rose bushes. “The person who lives here must love to garden,” Lori thought. Lori pulled into the driveway and turned off her engine.

As Lori opened her door to get out of her car, a gray Mini Schnauzer came bounding to her barking and wagging its tail at the same time. “You seem friendly,” Lori said as she stretched out her hand for the dog to sniff. A woman emerged from the house while Lori was being approved by the dog. Lori saw that the woman was short, slightly over weight, and had gray hair. Lori guessed that she was in her 70’s. The woman had few wrinkles, and her hair was short and curly. She had on an apron that had a bit of flour smudged on it as if she had been baking. Lori observed that she looked friendly too.

Lori walked over to her and extended her hand in greeting. “Hi, I’m Lori Sanders and I’m kind of lost,” she said awkwardly. The woman wiped her hands on her apron and shook Lori’s hand. “My name is Martha Holloway. Getting lost up here is easy to do.” She added, “Where are you headed?” Lori went back to her car and pulled out the map. She opened it up on the hood of her car and pointed to a spot marked with a yellow highlighter. “How do I get here?” Lori asked. “Oh, that’s easy,” Martha said cheerfully. “Make a left turn out the driveway and go about two miles until you see Hadley’s General Store. Make a right turn and go up the hill. You’ll see a big sign on your left saying Kelsey’s Antiques. You can’t miss it.”

“Thank you.” Lori said as she was folding her map. “I appreciate your help.” As Lori was about to open her car door, Martha asked Lori if she had time for fresh baked cookies and some coffee. “I don’t get many visitors up this way,” Martha remarked expectantly.

Lori glanced at her watch and realized the antique show wasn’t to start for another hour. “I guess I have time for a cookie and some coffee,” she said.

As Martha ushered Lori into the house, Lori caught a whiff of cinnamon and molasses—
“Those cookies smell good.” “Baked them this morning,” Martha said.

As Lori and Martha sat down to cookies and coffee, Lori learned that Martha lived alone. Her husband of forty-five years died two years ago. Although Martha lived alone, except for her dog Mr. Wiggles, she seemed quite joyful. Martha further explained even though she wasn’t a wealthy woman, she was happy “in here,” as she patted her heart. “Jesus is all I require; He meets my needs.” Lori smiled and pondered Martha’s words.

Lori glanced at her watch. “Oh, the antique show starts in ten minutes. I better get going.” Lori took a last gulp of coffee and rose to leave. “Thanks for the cookies and coffee, and the directions.” Lori hugged Martha and gave Mr. Wiggles a pat on the head.

As Lori walked to her car, Martha’s words echoed in her head. Jesus is all I require. Maybe slowing down a bit wouldn’t hurt. Money isn’t everything.


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This article has been read 522 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 05/18/06
Nicely done, and the message is entirely appropriate for all of us — SLOW DOWN, AND LIVE doesn't only apply to driving at the speed limit.
Jan Ackerson 05/22/06
This is a sweet little story. It lacks conflict, which is what will really hook your readers. Your old lady is a really endearing character.
Shari Armstrong 05/23/06
A nice story of putting things in persepctive. Try breaking up the paragraphs, using a new one for each new speaker. Gppd descriptions (the smells, the dog, the flowers).