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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Sarah's Life
By Dr. Sharon Schuetz


“It’s nice to meet you, Sarah,” Steve Archer smiled as he squeezed her hand.

“I’ve looked forward to meeting you, too. Mark has told me so much about you.” Mark has worked for Archer Investments for over a year and this is the first time she met his boss.

“What do you do, dear?” Always by her husband’s side, Beverly Archer, smiled sweetly. Amy knew that Beverly managed the office at Archer Investments. Always immaculate, she wore a blue chiffon dress with pearl earrings and a matching string of pearls. Long auburn hair hung loosely around slim shoulders. This woman knew her place and took full advantage of it.

“I’m a homemaker,” Sarah smiled.

“Oh, that’s nice, dear,” Beverly Archer gave Sarah an uncomfortable smile and quickly turned to her husband, dismissing herself to mingle.

Sarah touched Mark’s arm. Mark responded by putting his arm around her. “Mr. Archer, not only is Sarah a great homemaker, she homeschools our daughters, teaches Sunday school, and reads to the elderly at the Sunshine Nursing Home, and she drives them to their doctor’s appointments. She’s terrific.”

Sarah’s cheeks were crimson. She whispered into Mark’s ear and excused herself to find the ladies room.

Sarah stood in front of the long bathroom mirror. She was lovely. Blonde hair framed her tiny face. The black silk dress accented her slim figure. Black star Safire earrings, encased in gold, and a matching necklace completed her elegant, yet simple wardrobe.

I wonder if I look as stupid as I feel right now. Her mind was playing the same reel it does every time someone scoffs at her choice to quit her job at Nicholas Engineering to stay at home.

Why do I do this? I always know someone’s going to ask me what I do for a living. It’s as if I told them I have AIDS or something every time anyone asks. Why do people act as if I’m an idiot when they hear that I don’t have a ‘real’ job? They never stay around long enough to get to know me. I like being a homemaker. I thank God that Mark is such a good provider and I can stay home with my family. I love working with my “grannies” at the home. Why do I feel this way?

Mark and Sarah left early because she had to be at the hospital at seven the next morning. Mrs. Peterson, from the nursing home, is going to have surgery. On the drive home, Mark softly laid his hand on her lap. “Honey, I’m sorry Beverly treated you that way. She’s normally very nice and talkative. I don’t know what happened.”

“I do. I told her I was a homemaker. That happens every time someone asks me what I do.” A single tear escaped, dropping onto her dress.

The next day, after leaving the hospital, Sarah stopped by the nursing home to visit a few of her regulars. She loves her grannies, as she calls them. Many go for months without a single visitor. She and her daughters always try to see them on special occasion, like birthdays. Coming here is the highlight of her week.

Sarah loves the nursing Home. She loves the sound of soft voices, muffled by partially closed doors, the funny squeak of nurses’ shoes in the hallway, and the click, click, click as the medicine cart rolls from room to room. The smell of alcohol mingled with pine cleaner fills the air. It really isn’t a great smell, but it brings back wonderful memories.

Her grandmother lived in a nursing home most of Sarah’s life. Although she was lucid, she was bedridden, needing constant care. Sarah and her mother visited her twice a week, more when they could. She loved it there. She made so many friends; people who had no family, but loved children. She had dozens of grandparents.

As Sarah drove home, her mind wandered back to Beverly Archer. The hair rose up on the back of her neck for a moment. She felt the same defensiveness she experienced at the party. Then she thought about Mrs. Peter’s surgery. She remembered the silly card Mrs. West received from her grandson today, and she laughed again at the joke Mr. Crain told the “pretty ladies” as they all stood in the hall talking.

Sarah clutched the steering wheel with both hands and shouted aloud, “Eat your heart out Beverly Archer. You may have a job, but I have a life.”

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This article has been read 984 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rita Garcia06/02/06
It is living life at it's best when we seek to do His will. Good Story!
dub W06/03/06
Good story - watch the tense shifts, they threw me a couple of times.
Michelle Burkhardt06/03/06
Maybe because I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I could really relate to Sarah. I often feel the same way, especially, when people question my intelligence to even homeshool. I am often asked, "How will I teach my sons when they get older?" Thanks for reminding me, that I have a life! Nice job.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/04/06
A sweet story and sad as it may be...true. However, this story shows how important it is to have a Real Purpose, not just a Title. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 06/04/06
Very good story, you really brought us into Sarah's world.

I noticed a spelling boo-boo: sapphire / Safire.

I liked the character of Sarah's husband, too. Good job.
Joanne Malley06/04/06
Thanks for reminding me not to look much farther from home for my purpose. Good job; nicely done! :)
Maxx .06/04/06
The last line is great. The characters are beliveable. Watch your tenses. Try to loose some adverbs. You've got the abilities to write some really sharpened things. Great effort!
George Parler 06/04/06
Nothing is more captivating than a glimpse into the internal struggle of the mind and soul of one in search of their significance. Good job!
Ann Grover06/05/06
Loved the last line!

Just watch for tense shifts and a few minor redundancies.

I had an experience like this recently, since I am a homeschooling SAHM. I was on tour in Israel with a group of 40... people with doctorates, pastors, priests, a woman aeronautical engineer, professors... They introduced themselves with their credentials... and I 'did nothing'... But I knew I 'had a life' and a purpose, even without special credentials. (and none of those of those people made me feel any less!)

Sorry for the 'novel'... your story blessed me...
william price06/05/06
Thank you for the nice story and your kind treatment of the way a nursing home can smell, at least on some hallways. Keep up the good work.
Sandra Petersen 06/06/06
Thank you for giving us SAHMs (Stay At Home Moms) a voice.This happens too many times to SAHMs when out in public. Your last paragraph was wonderful!

I would try to make your verb tenses agree throughout your story; present tense may not be the best here.

Your description of Beverly Archer was wonderful. I got the feeling she was a little cattish, especially in her treatment of Sarah. Good job!

Ladonna Sweet06/07/06
This story was magnifecent. My mom is a stay at home mom, and it is what I want to be. You did a wonderful job, on how a stay at home mom my feel. God bless
Jessica Schmit06/08/06
Great work on producing an excellent story. You gave the gift. I do believe the first half was better than the last. Simply because you described the action more in the beginner, but then resorted more to telling what was happening. Also, watch the tenses. That threw me off a few times. But, you cna tell a really sharp story. You have excellent dialogue skills.And I mean EXCELLENT! You also packed an awesome message. Great work.
Shari Armstrong 06/08/06
Loved it! I have a feeling those women who make her feel like less for being a homemaker secretly wish they were, too :)