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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Living By Faith
By LaNaye Perkins


As the sun topped the horizon, it shed its light upon a man. He knelt in the dirt, head bowed and hands clasped in prayer. He spoke softly to his maker seeking guidance from above, then quietly remained there in silence for a long while. Finally he rose up, placed his hat upon his head and turned to make his way toward the barn.

Joe’s face was weathered and bronzed by a lifetime spent outdoors. Deep creases lined his aged face, his black hair replaced long ago with gray. These features framed eyes of deepest brown that sparkled with life. Even in his advanced years he walked upright and proud.

Tessa was a tiny thing with long silver hair, but she was tough as nails. Time had only added to her beauty in Joe’s eyes. They’d had three boys together. All were grown and married with children of their own. They had all moved nearby and started homesteads of their own.

On Sundays they’d all gather together bringing foods and have a big family dinner. The grandkids would always beg Joe and Tessa to read stories to them from the old family Bible. They’d brought it with them from back east so many decades before. It was a wild frontier back then. With guidance from their maker and deep faith, they set out to make a new life in this strange land called Kentucky.

Just before reaching the barn, Joe noticed a board pried loose on the chicken pen. “Looks like some varmint was tryin’ to get into your business there Ruby!” He spoke to one of his hens as he returned with some tools to secure the board. “No sense lettin’ em get a head start tonight.”

Joe picked up the tools and went into the barn to put them up. At the work bench, he gathered up all his fencing tools and placed them in the buckboard wagon. Turning toward the stalls to get Betsy and Nelly, he got the two draft horses harnessed up to the wagon. Then he took the wagon out to load wooden posts and split rails from his stock pile.

Hopping up into the seat, he headed out to the lower end of the pasture. There’d been a flash flood late the day before, and he wanted to check the fence for damage before he turned the herd out to graze. “No sense headin’ down there without supplies if we need them. Nor letting the herd back out there if the fence is down.” He spoke to his hound dog Gus as the wagon ambled down the dirt path.

Twenty-five feet of fence had been pulled down by the flash flood. He cleared the debris off, and then replaced the broken rails and posts. The job took most of the day. Joe only stopped once to eat the lunch Tessa had prepared for them. Finishing up, he turned to Gus and said, “Well, looks like were done Gus! I sure am grateful I called the herd up to the barnyard last night. Must‘ve been some kind of gully washer to take such a big stretch of fence out!” Gus responded by happily wagging his tail and trotting along side as Joe loaded up the wagon and then got up on the seat.

“Get on up girls.” With a flip of the reins the team eagerly moved out to get back up the hill to their home.

Joe stopped at the paddock by the barn and opened the gate to let the herd out to graze. Once he reached the barn, he unhitched Betsy and Nelly and gave them their oats, then turned them out to the pasture as well.

With his work done, Joe headed on to the house to clean up for supper. He and Tessa enjoyed a fine dinner. Afterward pleasant conversation could be heard, as they read the Bible to one another. Love flowed from every beam of that humble home as the sun sank closer toward the horizon.

As night settled in, candlelight shone on a man and a woman. They knelt beside a bed, their heads bowed and hands clasped in prayer. They spoke softly to their maker, seeking guidance from above, then quietly remained there in silence for a long while. Finally they rose up and climbed into bed to lay in restful peace as twilight cast its shadow on the land.

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This article has been read 913 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 01/10/08
Wonderful descriptions. I felt like I was right there. Loved this.
LauraLee Shaw01/10/08
INcredible writing. From the very beginning, I felt like I was a part of the story.
Sara Harricharan 01/11/08
This could be a first chapter in a novel. Reminds me of a western-a nice cozy read. Good job with this!
Dee Yoder 01/11/08
It DOES read like the beginning chapter of a novel. Very nice story and great descriptions made this an enjoyable read.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/12/08
A wonderful story that was weaved throughout with the "Topic" of the week. My only suggestion would be to Capitalize "Maker"...
Enjoyed the read. Nice job.
darlene hight01/13/08
nice job!Peaceful walk through a well planned day.
Joy Faire Stewart01/14/08
I love the writing style in the story. Even with the problems, it was smooth and peaceful. Excellent job!
Ann Renae Hair01/14/08
Loved your positive perspective on the topic. Enjoyable, peaceful story...just as the Bible says God is of order and peace. You show well how these things go hand in hand.
Catherine Pollock01/14/08
This was a wonderful story to read. The descriptions were lovely. Thank you so much for writing this.
Jan Ackerson 01/14/08
What I liked most about this is that you're one of the few people this week who actually showed someone "stitching in time"--not learning their lesson the hard way.

On the other hand, there's not any conflict in this story, and conflict is what really pulls readers along.

All in all, this is a serene and peaceful slice-of-life, and I enjoyed it very much.
Debbie Wistrom01/14/08
Glad I looked for this, I agree with the others who suggested a novel. Loved the names of the animals!
Temple Miller01/14/08
I loved how your MC talked to his animals. Great characterization! I agree, this should begin a novel!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/14/08
I loved your descriptions in this little story that not only illustrated the topic well, but gave us a clear picture of a Christian farm couple. Good writing.
Betty Castleberry01/14/08
Peaceful, very nicely written. This made me feel good.
Catrina Bradley 01/14/08
The way the last paragraph echoes the voice of the first is delightful. A nice change of pace with a story showing a stitch actually saving nine. Love the slow, leisurely pace, and the peace that flows from your writing.
Tim Pickl01/16/08
When will we see the other 14 chapters!? Your descriptive writing perfectly paints the old Kentucky homestead--and the echoes of conflict are there: the 'varmint' and the 'gully washer'. If only the animals could talk back...hmmmmm....a children's story!
Corinne Smelker 01/16/08
Your writing is 'pretty' and you illustrated the stitch in time without being preachy at the same time. Really well done.
Joanney Uthe01/16/08
I really enjoyed how the first and last paragraphs showed the theme in a spiritual sense. The repetition of this fact shows that even though less obvious, this aspect of a stitch in time is even more important than fence and chicken coop maintance.
Loren T. Lowery01/16/08
Beautifully written and, from living on a small farm I can attest, the time to fix anything is now, not later. You did a wonderful job of showing the topic this way...your writing was a pastel of subtle colors that soothed the reader into the message. Great job!
Beth LaBuff 01/16/08
Beautifully written. It takes me back to the farm. Don't you love terms like "gully-washer"? :) Thanks for writing this!