Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: No Crusted Oatmeal
By Linda Stewart
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A lot of hard living happens here day to day, but when we leave for vacation I want the house clean. Maybe not vacuumed, but beds made and toys put away, dishes done. When the neighbor comes to feed the cat I don't want her to think we live like slobs in her mother's old house. And I don't want to return to the memory that our last meal together was oatmeal.
Our neighbor may be the only one who benefits from my hard work and barking of orders, because when we come back, no one exits the van without a load. Plastic bags full of dirty laundry overwhelm the utility room. The cooler gets plopped on the kitchen floor, and retrieval of soggy jars, their labels still swimming in ice water, begins. The mail mountain gets sorted into hills, and magazines and letters get snatched up by eager hands. Pillows and suitcases decorate the den, and sleeping bags and book totes are placed in stategic spots in order to trip bleary-eyed travelers.
The kids head up to bed with their stuffed animals, maybe also with their suitcases, but probably not. Hubbie listens to the answering machine, then sinks into his chair to read a book. I begin sorting plastic spoons into the dishwasher, and toiletries into the bathroom cabinet. I won't go to sleep until any remaining clean socks are tucked in their drawers. It feels good to be home.
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