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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Rest (01/17/13)

TITLE: Family Week-End
By Sheldon Bass


Family Week-End

The whistle signaling the end of another shift blew the much anticipated note, and his mind allowed some of that built up work tension to ebb away. Pondering the week-end ahead, hopeful for the coming rest, Charlie punched his card through the time clock, stamping the final hours for this pay period.

"Hey Charlie," hollered a voice over the sounds of a giant crane winding down and the whir and thump of power-tools being silenced one by one, cascading down to a level of semi-quiet. Ed strode up with a big grin.

"Hey buddy, you goin out with us? We're gonna cruise over to Manny's Bar and cut loose."

"Uh, I don't think so Ed. I have a wife waiting at home, and I promised Tommy I would be at his 5th grade play tonight."

"I got a family too, but I don't let them tell me what to do. You lettin yer woman run your life? You worked hard all week--you deserve some time to blow off steam."

"Yeah well... maybe I need my steam. Besides I'm the one deciding not to go."

"Well have fun wild man. Don't party too hard on the merry-go round."

Two more voices sounded, "You comin Ed?"

"You bet I am--HOOO-YAH! See ya Charlie. Ya better hurry home or your ol-lady might crack the whip."

Walking to his dingy pick-up truck shaking his head, Charlie jumped in and fired up the motor. "I'll never understand that guy", he mumbled as he waited for the engine to warm. "If he doesn't enjoy being with his wife and family, why did he marry and have kids in the first place?"

The quiet of the truck cab sounded good--peaceful. With head bowed, Charlie prayed. Thank you Lord for the wonderful wife you have blessed me with--a woman of true virtue. Thank you for her love Lord, and for yours. Please help us get to Tommy's play on time. Amen.

Waiting at the door was Charlie's wife, Amanda, Tommy and Skamp, a big, lovable, mixed breed dog. Amanda was first to wrap her arms around the man who had always been the one for her. Charlie felt warm assurance envelope his body. All remaining work stress instantly ebbed away into comfort. The 80 pound Skamp nearly knocked the embracing couple over, tying to get in on the loving. Tommy too, wrapped his little arms around Daddy's legs and looked up as if trying to view the top of a tall sky-scraper. With bulging eyes he asked, "You're still comin to my play, right Dad?"

Tousling the boy's sandy locks, he stooped for a hug.

"Of course I am, I wouldn't miss your Oscar performance for anything!"

All four formed their usual huddle in an expression of family unity. Their practice of exhibiting family togetherness is a good foundation on which to build a successful, healthy and happy life. Even Skamp seemed to understand the importance of coming aside with family for a time of rest and rejuvenation.

Mom and Dad made a big deal over Tommy's first acting performance, raving that he might be the next big star of Hollywood.

Saturday was spent piddling around the house, Charlie and Tommy played catch and everyone did a few household chores. It was family movie night with popcorn and candles. All snuggled together on the couch, they would have made a good Norman Rockwell painting.

Sunday was the Lord's Day and the family joyfully attended church, acknowledging God by setting aside a day for rest and worship.

When Monday rolled around, Charlie was again eager to do a good job at work, letting the light and love of Jesus, his Savior, shine in the work place. The weekend had been very refreshing, and Charlie pondered the wisdom of following God's directives regarding setting aside one day a week for rest.

Punching his time card, Charlie turned around to see Ed dragging his weary body in, looking all haggard and sickly.

Good Morning Ed! How were your days off?

Ugh, I don't want to be here. I barely made it out of bed this morning.

Well I'm sorry to hear that Ed. But I had a wonderful weekend, I feel great.

Well you don't have to be so darn cheerful about it!

Charlie walked briskly to his work area whistling a happy tune, knowing for certain that He had a great family at home, who would always love and support him.

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This article has been read 711 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Francie Snell 01/25/13
I like the contrast between Ed's life and Charlie's. Charlie was happy and had a peace knowing the Lord. And Ed? well, what can we say about the poor guy...not much. I like this article and it was the kind of read I like at the end of a day. Great job on this one.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/26/13
This is a sweet story. I really liked your MC. You did a nice job of developing your characters.

I noticed in the end, it felt a bit rushed and instead of showing like you did earlier, you started telling. You also forgot the quotation marks for the dialog. With practice though, the showing will come easier.

Overall, you did a fine job. I really liked your message about how spending time with the family is obviously more restful than taking a night off with the boys. I think you were able to send your message without it feeling preachy. This was a nice read.
Mildred Sheldon01/26/13
What a refreshing story. I truly enjoyed this. You showed the difference between a family that prays together and one that does not. Good job.
C D Swanson 01/26/13
I so enjoyed this entry...nicely done.

God bless~
Virgil Youngblood 01/29/13
I enjoyed the contrasts and the message this story delivered. Well done.
Allison Egley 01/30/13
This is good. I like it.

It is a bit wordy in places. There are a few places where you could say the same thing but in a more concise way, and it would help with flow a bit too.

I liked the contrast you painted on Monday morning too, to drive in the point one last time. Nice job.
lynn gipson 01/30/13
Excellent story, well written and enjoyed very much.
Myrna Noyes01/30/13
This was a great story with an important message! The first half was especially well-written, with good dialogue and descriptions. I could feel the love Charlie and his family had for each other, and their home sounded like a peaceful sanctuary! Good job! :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/31/13
Congratulations for ranking 8th in level two! (Happy Dance!!)