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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)

TITLE: No Crusted Oatmeal
By Linda Stewart
01/14/06


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No Crusted Oatmeal

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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This article has been read 439 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth Muehlhausen01/16/06
Hey, I know the feeling!!! Loved your creative title, and the introduction that "hard living" (intense, not difficult) predominates at your house...and upon return, all the "stuff" shows up again just waiting to trip someone...! Ah, but PTL for clean socks and the return to the pre-vacation norm.
:-)
Jan Kamp01/17/06
After a quick scan through the list, I clicked on your article because of the intriguing title. Loved (and can relate to) your real-life assessment of post-vacation homecoming - very well worded by the way. Only negative is it was short! It sounds like a great start to a story with a purposeful meaning.
Sue Stone01/17/06
Really liked what you've said, and how you've said it, but it feels like the beginning of something longer. I was ready to turn the page!
Marilyn Schnepp 01/19/06
Three Cheers for excellent writing! Lots of accolades and applause for interesting story, and a Standing Ovation for brevity! I loved it! So true to life, and you said it so well..."Great to be Home!