Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
TITLE: Just Right
By Mary McLeary
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Living in Southern California was a blessing that Barb Ackerson could not ignore. The moderate temperatures were a welcomed contrast to the hot and cold temps of the mid-west. Today while she and her husband, John, sunned on the beach and the kids rode the waves on their boogie boards, Jan closed her eyes and thought back to the house they had just sold on Elm Street in a small Kansas town.
For seven years the historic house had been their home. They bought it from a state senator who actually loaned them the down payment. In a small town everyone knows the new comer. The senator wanted to sell right away, so he made them the offer they couldn’t refuse. Another financial plus, it was empty and John would be able to unload their furniture directly into the house. This kind of quick, decisive action had enabled John to progress quickly up the corporate ladder, but it provided some surprises when buying this house.
Built during the early 1900’s, it sat next to the famous Santa Fe Trail. There were three working fireplaces, a built in mahogany china hutch, two staircases, three bed rooms , two baths, a living room, dining room and kitchen. The high ceilings and enormous windows were beautiful. The family had moved in March and that summer had been the hottest in recent history. The only air conditioning came from the four window units that could not generate enough air for their home’s 4500 square feet. As miserable as the summer heat often was, Barb had preferred the heat to the icy cold of the winters.
In the fall when the temperatures first began to tumble, the family quickly learned to layer up when they dressed for the day. At night the kids slept in snuggly footy pajamas and Barb and John tucked them in under two or three blankets. The night the first snow of the season arrived they awoke to thirteen inches. Barb turned on the television and waited for the notice that school had been canceled. It never came. The streets were quickly cleared and everyone carried on as usual. Matt had been in second grade and Stacy in kindergarten and they were glad to go to their warm classrooms. Barb envied them. The house stayed so cold that some mornings after John took the kids to school, she and Holly would crawl back into bed to stay warm under the covers.
John had thought they could make it through the first winter with the heat that came from steam radiators and some floor heaters. He realized his error when they came downstairs one frigid January morning and found a chunk of ice in the bathtub. He had called the contractor immediately. The new heating and air conditioning system provided a steady environment for their family. They were no longer really hot or really cold. They were “just right”! It was a huge blessing that enabled them to appreciate the wonderful qualities of their home.
As salty drops of water brought her back to the present, Barb realized she desired the same steadiness in her spiritual life that she did in her physical surroundings. She wanted to stay steady for the Lord . She would commit more time to reading her Bible and praying to ensure that she didn’t run hot or cold and she would continue to appreciate the blessings of this perfect Southern California weather.
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