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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

By h o'hara


I love my little family.

But let’s just say that it suffers from “estrogen deficit disorder.” Even our cat is male!!

Jesus himself had to row to the other side for a rest, and so do I.

So Thursday nights, the men of the house ( both big and small); are on their own. Then I steal away like Max did in the children's story Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak:

...Through night and day, and in and out of weeks, and maybe over a year...

...to where my wild things, uh... aren’t!

I specifically chose Thursday nights for my weekly retreat because that’s when most of my girlfriends have their “girly –girl” home parties.

So if I’m feeling social; and in need of creamy creams for my terrible eyes, and nail polish for my terrible claws, and belching kitchenware so that suppers can stay hot;I go to the party.

But if I’m in a reclusive mood, undoubtedly pushed there by my two adorable boys who that morning made mischief of one kind, or another; I skip the party and head for the mall.

Specifically, I go to the Barnes and Noble, in Greece. (As in Greece, New York. No, no, not that "other" Greece! Unlike Max,I don’t have a private boat. In fact, I don’t even own a passport.Please refer to last weeks “Writers Challenge” entry for the pitiful details.)

The thing I love about Barnes and Noble is that they have those big cushy chairs to relax in. If I time my arrival correctly, one chair is empty for me.

If not, I end up in a stern, wooden, hard-backed chair over near the diet book section; where they make the…“SHWIWSHISHKCKCKCWIWWWWWW”…cappuccinos*. This is a considerably less desirable location; but it will do in a pinch.

I sit and peruse my stack of books. If I end up in the wooden chair, I occasionally look up and fantasize about roaring my terrible roar and gnashing my terrible teeth, and telling one of the cushy seaters to “git outta my chair,” a la Archie Bunker. However, I restrain my flesh, as imitating Norman Lear television characters in public is not a very good Christian witness.

So I go back to my stack of books. Though the subject matter is widely varied, from art, to fitness, to the spiritual; my choices usually have one thing in common: most of these books I already own and have at home! Yet reading them at the store the only way I can actually get near them!

Then all around the world I smell good things to eat...

So after I finish reading, I head to the Taco Bell near Wal-Mart. I order and eat my usual,a burrito. No matter how many times I read Where the Wild Things Are to my kids; It seems that Max always escapes his imaginary monsters. In my case, however,the half pound beef and potato burrito gets the upper hand and starts a wild rumpous in the lining of my esophagus!

I check my watch and that love me best of all.

So I travel back over Greece, through Parma and Ogden, in and out of Spencerport, and maybe over to Brockport,(if I take the long way); and back to Clarkson... to where my "wild things" are. There’s no denying that about two-thirds into my weekly retreat, I started to miss my husband and kids.

Even so, I try to return so that the kids are already in bed when I get home. I love to see their adorable, sleeping faces; snuggled in their beds. So peaceful, so content.

Yes, I slip in quietly, and find my wild ones waiting for me.

And,(more often then not) they are still...


* comments cheerfully accepted on how to spell the sound that comes out of a cappuccino machine. A shameless ploy to solicit reader response, I know, but, hey, I’m new here.

Words in italics from the children's story Where the Wild Things Are,Trophy Publishers

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This article has been read 981 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tisha Martin 08/08/05
A funny story. I giggled and laughed. Excellent imagination! Thanks!!
Gloria Laroza T.08/10/05
I like the humor in your story. It's fun to read and at the same time, it reminds me that Barnes and Nobles is also one of my favorite place to hang out, not to mention Taco Bell afterwards. Smile!
Debra Brand08/10/05
Adorable! Great work! Hey, we're neighbors!
dub W08/11/05
I like the humor. An editor can clean up some of the grammar, but an otherwise enjoyable piece.
Beth Muehlhausen08/11/05
Having read Maurice Sendak's book at least a million times to my 4 kids, I found this a fun and lively application!!!
Lauren Bombardier08/12/05
Hey, I think you spelled the cappuccino noise just fine! This brought back to me how much time I would spend at my own BN store. Thanks for sharing!
Julianne Jones08/13/05
Funny and well-written. And with 6 males in my household I can relate totally! Keep writing - I'd love to see more.
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/13/05
I really enjoyed this--it was great! I've never read the book you quoted, but I still enjoyed the quotes worked in. :-)