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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Sometimes, There is a Choice
By Rita Garcia
01/16/08


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The door on his workshop moved a little heavier these days. Jed took a deep breath and the smell of wood filled his nostril. He heard the familiar bang of the screen door, which told him Margie was on her way. He breathed a silent prayer thanking God for the gift of love, a gift who had stayed by his side for almost forty years. Of course, it didn’t hurt any that his little redhead had always been easy on the eyes.

Margie sat two thermoses on the workbench. “It’s really frosty out this morning. They’re predicting snow for Christmas.” She opened one thermos and poured them a cup of coffee.

His mouth turned up at the corners. “You’re going to keep me company?” Having Margie close by was his favorite perk of having his workshop next to their home. Time had given him comfort his choice.

“I can’t wait for Christopher and Katie to get here: I can watch for them from here.”

“He’s quite the grandson, and driving here on his own for the first time. It’s the first year we haven’t gone to pick the kids up for Christmas break.” Jed looked out toward the road.

“I do believe Christopher’s in love,” she said.

“Did I miss something? The kid just turned seventeen.”

“I’m talking about the car we bought for him for his birthday.”

The silkiness of her laugh was something Jed had always enjoyed, as he watched the light dance in her blue eyes. “There’s nothing like a guy getting his first set of wheels, that’s a fact.”

“Okay now, don’t go sounding sexist. We’ll be getting a car for our Katie in a couple of years, and our granddaughter will be just as excited.”

“Point taken.” He enjoyed the warmth of the coffee.

On cue, they heard the SUV turn into the drive. Christopher and Katie jumped out, almost before the engine turned off. They watched with pleasure, this tall, young man, their first grandchild, and his adorable younger sister with her golden hair.

“Grandma, Grandpa, wow, its cold.” Christopher gave his grandmother a hug and kiss before embracing his grandfather. Of course, Katie headed straight for her grandpa.

“I have some hot coco to warm you up.” Margie said.

“Let’s go in the back … it’s warmer away from the door.” Jed turned towards the back and then stopped. Margie had other plans.

“I do believe Katie and I will leave you and Christopher to visit. Katie, you want to drive into town with me?”

Katie’s big grin said it all, as she headed for the door of the shop.

“How about bringing back lunch from Charley’s,” Jed said.

“You got it.” Margie leaned in and kissed both her men before leaving.

“What are we making this year grandpa?” Christopher walked around the workshop, anxious to see what his grandfather had been working on.

Jed watched his grandson as he caressed the pieces of wood in way that only someone with a love of the craft would do. “You have something in mind?”

“I’d like to make Mom and Dad a set of spindle rockers like the ones on your front porch. Mom mentioned she wants a couple of rockers for the porch of the new cabin.”

“Sounds like a plan. I made those rockers as a gift for your grandmother on our first anniversary, I was in awe at the thought of her being pregnant with your mom.”

“Grandpa, did you always know you wanted to make furniture?”

“Pretty much. The rockers were among my first pieces. In those days I worked in the garage in my spare time.”

“Mom says a big company tried to buy your designs and hire you.”

“Yeah, and it was a tempting offer. Only I couldn’t picture myself sitting in an office drawing designs.”

“Mom says you would have been financially set.”

“Possibly.” Jed picked up the thermos and filled his cup. “In the end it was the love of wood, the smell of wood, and the feel of wood. It made the decision simple.”

“Mom says some of her greatest memories are spending time with you here in the workshop.”

“Well, son, I think you hit on it, you can’t put a value on memories.” Jed took a sip off coffee, blinking back the tears. “Let’s get to work on those rockers, son.”


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This article has been read 595 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dolores Stohler01/17/08
I enjoyed your story and your characters. Good illustration of "bird in hand". Your character made the right choice--do what you love and love what you do has always been my motto.
LauraLee Shaw01/18/08
This story is excellently written and has beautiful details. A great example of someone who could look back on his life and feel good about it.
Sara Harricharan 01/18/08
I'm glad Jed/Grandpa made one choice that even his grandchildren can get a little something of! I liked the easy-going scenes you portrayed here and the lovely relationship between the two, especially with their grandchildren. Great job! ^_^
Henrietta W. Romman01/19/08
This is clearly beautiful!
I felt so much at home with your healthy dialogue...I felt like being among you, pulling a chair , and waiting for my cup of coffee. It is a great artcle.
Hanne Moon 01/22/08
You showed how wonderful the simpler things in life can be, the things that matter most. Very well done. A few typos and some punctuation, but all in all very enjoyable!
Holly Westefeld01/22/08
Sorry, but I'm all out of red ink. I really enjoyed this story, and agree with the comments above.
Jan Ackerson 01/22/08
There's great serenity in this sweet story.

A few nitpicks: the smell probably filled both his nostrils (unless he's congested), and "cocoa" instead of "coco."

The relationship between the mature couple is beautifully portrayed.
Loren T. Lowery01/23/08
You certainly have a way of creating a warm, caring atmosphere with your writing. This is just so homey and makes you want to pull up a chair and stay a while. Great story line, too. And, like I said, your characters and their dialogue are just wonderful!
Patty Wysong01/23/08
What a tender, peaceful story! I loved it! I could smell his workshop--a smell I'm very familiar with--Great job!
Dee Yoder 01/23/08
After reading this, I was tempted to tell my hubby to chuck his job and we'd build him a proper workshop! It's a simply beautiful story with characters that really warmed my heart. I'd love having a family legacy like this one.
Joanne Sher 01/26/08
(could have SWORN I commented on this already - sorry, my friend!) I love the atmosphere and characterization. Lovely.