Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
TITLE: Great Balls of Fire
By Marilyn Schnepp
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Slowing to almost a snail's pace, I crossed the front lawn, climbed the front steps, and with my own Death Warrant, signed, sealed, and clutched tightly in my hand, I opened the front door to deliver it in person ...but nobody was home; Or so it appeared - until I caught a whiff of freshly baked bread coming from the kitchen.
Mother was just setting out the last loaf to cool when I walked in, put my school books on the counter, and took a deep breath of the delicious scent of fresh baked bread.
"Hmmmm, it sure smells good, Mom."
"Hi honey, you can have some as soon as it cools a bit. How was school today?"
"Fine", I muttered, as I took off my coat and at the same time heard the sound of Dad's car pull into the driveway; "Oh, No!" I thought to myself, "Doomsday was approaching fast. Soon the dreaded Report Card I held in my hand would be turned over to my folks, read, and then I'd be a gone goose before I even got a taste of Mom's freshly baked bread."
You had to grow up in the early fifties to understand what a catastrophe it was for a girl-child to flunk Home Economics! Why, if a girl didn't master the culinary skills, learn the art of sewing, ironing and being a great homemaker...she was doomed to Old Maid-ship; in short - flunking Home Ec was a Death Sentence for a girl.
Okay, so my parents didn't kill me after all; but the first words out of Dad's mouth was: "Great balls of fire, Ruth, we're raising up an Old Maid!"
The most shocking part of Dad's comment was the first four words! Words that came right out of the famous Jerry Lee Lewis song 'Great Balls Of Fire' that Dad couldn't stand.
Now, decades later, in the modern day world of women competing for jobs as Lumber "Jills", Test Pilots and Oil Riggers, this story sounds like a fairy tale from the dark ages. Laughable, unreal and fictionalized. But to THIS teenager... the trauma and fear were real!
My parents and I joked about that Report Card for years! I remember Dad even joking with my then husband-to-be, "It's a lucky thing you own a restaurant, my boy, or you would starve to death - 'cause my daughter doesn't even know how to boil an egg!"
"In fact, Dad", I would tell him later, "do you realize the greatest chefs in the world are Men, not Women? Even the greatest dress designers and hair stylists are Men!"
"So much for Women Libbers", Dad would rebut, "they thought they could out Lumber the Lumberjack, out fly the Test Pilot and out Rig the Oil man - instead Men are out-cooking, out-sewing and out-hairstyling the women at their own game." And then, of course, he would chuckle gleefully.
The Battle of the sexes has been going on since the beginning of time. Men and women both trying to be greater than their male or female counterpart.
God in His great wisdom created two genders in the human race...but not to compete against each other, but to compliment one another.
Dad always said he was the Head of the household and Mother the Neck..."A Head can't do anything under it's own power", Dad would say, "it depends on the neck to move, rotate or turn. Thus the head and neck function as one unit - working together." Then Dad would look at Mother, "I may be the Head, my dear, but without my Neck, I'm useless."
Ah Yes...What a great and awesome Creator we have! One who could create two very different genders, both great in their own special way, and then to go one step further and merge the Two into ONE.
The Battle of the Sexes, which consists of "which gender is the greatest?", is not won or lost in a Home Economics Class or on a battlefield, but instead... privately, behind closed doors.
* * *
"When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart;
Then I shall bow in humble adoration...
And then proclaim, 'My God, How Great Thou Art!'"
Lyrics of "How Great Thou Art"
by Carl G. Boberg & R.J.Hughes
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