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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)

TITLE: A View from the recliner: A Winter's "Souls"tice
By Kenny Blade


A view from the recliner

ď A Winterís ďSoulĒstice

I have to be straight with you right out of the gate:

I love winter!

Ok, so itís not so difficult for me to say that. I live in central Alabama. Itís the second week of November. I have friends who just returned from the Gulf Coast with a tan.
I used the leaf blower this weekend to blow the dead leaves off of my roses, which are currently blooming.

Itís always been a little crazy living here. Not for me, mind you. I couldnít be happier. Sure, we have had some bitter winters in my lifetime. I remember the winter of í93.
We got a foot of snow some places. My brother lost power for a week and had to resort to bar-b-queing Vienna sausages with his blow-torch. The local weatherman, who committed to staying on air until the sunshine melted the last flake resembled Marcel Marceau by stormís end. (There are only so many ways you can tell someone not to drive because the roads are impassable. He managed to create a few new ones) The lunacy inherent in living through winters in the south comes from never knowing from one day to the next if itíll be long johns or short sleeves.

Each day is different. 80 degrees today and everyone on the street is grilling some previously hoofed animal on an open flame just beyond the deck in the back yard.
Wake up tomorrow morning and youíre using the wifeís blow dryer to unthaw the door handle on the pick up. I always ask for a new CD for Christmas. Air Supply or 50 Cent, it doesnít really matter. I just need the CD case to use as a window scraper between January 20th and around February 3rd, when the really harsh part of winter blows in.

I once traveled to Detroit Michigan in May. You need to know that by May, Iím already haggling with the freckled kid on Acorn Street about grass cutting prices. My mowerís in the shop, and the guy said it isnít worth repairing or Iíd do it myself. My wifeís garden makes our house look like a Rose Bowl parade float. Iíve used Roundup on everything but the neighborís dog by mid-May. The blow up pool has been in service for almost two months. Itís different in Detroit. Itís like being in a black and white movie. Everything is dead. Iím still wearing an overcoat. I couldnít believe it. The people there were great. I had heard how wonderful this city was since I was a kid. I was in the city where Motown was born. How could that kind of inspiration come from a town that is frozen like a Mrs. Paulís fish stick ĺís of the calendar year? To quote a soul legend, ďMercy, Mercy MeĒ! Now I know why the Temptations and the 4 Tops had all those fancy moves: They were trying to keep warm!

I stayed there for 5 days. That was 6 too long. Like I said, I loved the people, and they may be more progressive than us hicks down south, but I canít remember a time when I wore mittens in June! The trip wasnít a complete waste. The Saturday after I arrived back, I put a little Stylistics in my portable cassette and cut my own grass. I bought a push mower off a guy in Detroit for a song. It was 20 years old, but it was in great shape. It had only been used 11 times. I just hate it for that freckled faced kid over on Acorn.

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This article has been read 810 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shirley Thomas11/21/05
I enjoyed your story and I can really relate to it. I live in the neighboring state of Georgia.
Jan Ackerson 11/21/05
Funny, funny, funny! (and I say that with just a touch of bitterness, as I live in Michigan, and have been known to wear gloves in June...)
Sue Goodreau11/21/05
You have a wonderful sense of humor! I live north of Detroit and, alas, your observations are all too true! Be careful to follow your topic sentence or use more paragraphs; you have a lot of good ideas tucked into each one and this tends to smudge the clarity of your thoughts. Keep up the good work--we all need to laugh more!
Sandra Petersen 11/22/05
Like Jan and Sue, I live in the North and so hearing about winter from a Southern p.o.v. is refreshing. Very humorous!! But I didn't know you actually needed long johns in the South. My favorite one liner, and there were so many treasures of humor here, was about Detroit being frozen like a Mrs. Paul's fishstick three quarters of the year. Your bitter winter of 93 with one foot of snow in spots is like a normal beginning to winter up here where I live. Oh, and by the way, a credit card works just as well as a CD jewel case. You had me laughing!!
Nina Phillips11/22/05
I enjoyed the humor in your story. "roasting vienna weiners with a blow torch" Thank you so much for sharing. Nice work. God bless ya, littlelight
Alexandra Wilkin11/25/05
This made me smile! You have a lovely way of looking at things, and some nice turns of phrase to illustrate the vagaries of winter in the south. Take care to stay focused, but this was lovely. God bless
Linda Germain 11/26/05
Very Cute(but was thinking it would have something to do with cats :0)?).Your dry wit is very refreshing!
That Winter of'93 was one for the books. In NC we lost power, so cooked pancakes on the gas grill(after my child shoveled a path to find it). Neighbors with no fireplace slept on our floor. Brrr. I think I need to go to Alabama.
Shari Armstrong 11/26/05
Cute :)
Marilyn Schnepp 12/01/05
How I missed reading this, I'll never know...but it is super funny, super entertaining and I understood every word because I also lived through the '93 fiasco! All of our cars(neighbors of my apartment complex) were stranded at the bottom of the hill & had to walk home...Great sense of humor here...loved it! Fellow Writer from the Heart of Dixie.