Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)
TITLE: The Random Visit
By Sara Harricharan
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It was Allie, one of my college buddies, inviting me to join her and the gang at the mall. An invitation I'd have jumped for yesterday. I mumbled something vague and hung up, irritation already simmering in my head.
My parents were coming to visit tomorrow. I don't have time to clean my apartment between classes, so I kept it clean out of habit.
I just have to go grocery shopping. And dry cleaning. And plant shopping. Since all my current houseplants are dead. I keep forgetting to water them.
Being absent-minded seems to run in my family. Mom only remembered yesterday to call and say they were coming for the weekend.
The day was too gorgeous to be indoors. That only made it awful to be running around doing everyday errands while the gang was roaming the malls.
Easter sales had started already. I'd had my eye on a new outfit already. Maybe I could joint them anyway and wake up early and do it tomorrow before company arrived.
The thought was tempting until I saw the to-do list I'd written out the night before. It had doubled since breakfast.
There was so much to do and not enough time to cram it into. I swept out the door, holding my breath until it was safely locked behind me. Good. The phone had stayed silent.
I took the steps two at a time and headed for my jeep.
Cheery billboards of Easter sales taunted me as I sulked all the way to the grocery store.
I sat in the parking lot and sighed. Starting out in this state of mind was a sure way to invite disaster.
Dear heavenly father, you know I’d rather be out cruising the malls right now, instead of stocking up on groceries. If I can’t rush this, at least help me to get everything done and not to forget anything important.
From there, my adventures began. Fish food, vacuum bags, and dish soap was first. Frozen lasagna, yogurt and soymilk was next. On a sudden urge, I picked up a game of scrabble and an extra set of sheets to go with the air bed I’d found on sale.
By the time I made it to dry cleaning, the sun had already begun to fade, the last rays snickering at the day I'd spent rushing around.
At least my errands were done. The remainder of the day was spent packing my shopping bounty into the tiny spaces of my apartment. The luxury of the day had been the air bed. I hoped it would fit in my living room.
Usually I let my folks use the futon, but the air bed would be a nice change. I sprawled out on the comfy expanse, glad it fit in the corner. Today hadn't been so bad after all.
Morning came before I wanted it, along with freezing winds. I turned up the heat and ducked into the shower. Minutes later, damp curls danced about my cheeks as I started breakfast. Biscuits and gravy sounded good.
When the doorbell rang, I thought I was hearing things. It was too soon for anyone to be arriving. I peeked through the hole to see a mountain of luggage and Mom's smile.
Fumbling with the door chain, I opened the door to be swamped in hugs.
“Claire!” Dad's voice boomed from the foyer. “How's my girl?”
The next few minutes were unbelievably fast. My parents had brought my older brother, Dustin, along with friend. A really cute friend.
I managed hugs and hellos before dashing back to my slightly burnt biscuits. My crammed stores of food was a relief that there would be plenty to eat. And plenty of room for everyone to stay.
“You guys are early.” I said, bringing the gravy boat to the table. “I didn't think you'd come until this afternoon.”
Dustin grinned. “We wanted to surprise you. Pass the gravy?”
I settled into a chair next to Dad. I hadn't expected four guests. But someone had been looking out for me. Totally random. And totally fine with me.
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