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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


The phone rang as soon as I grabbed my keys. I made a face at the kitchen door, but scrambled to answer it anyway.

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.

Copyright 2008

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This article has been read 1387 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong03/14/08
I'd say she was glad she made hay while the sun was shining--especially since her brother's friend was cute. :)
Debbie Wistrom03/15/08
Some good descriptions here, especially love this "the last rays snickering at the day."
Yvonne Blake 03/17/08
(smile) Your style was "random". I could feel the disconnected and conflicting thoughts in the fragmented sentences.
I don't know if you meant it that way, but that's how it came out.
It's a good lesson on being prepared. Thanks for writing this.
Lyn Churchyard03/17/08
The main thing that struck me with this story, was the way your MC prayed for help before doing the grocery shopping. That alone is a lesson in itself. This is definitely on target here. Well done!!

And now I must go and water my pot plants, they are looking a little bedraggled :)
william price03/17/08
Enjoyed this very much. No arm twisting needed to finish. Great job. God bless.
Loren T. Lowery03/17/08
Surely, God directs our steps. I liked the way this story plays out. A "feel good" story about sticking to one's plan because not all things that happen to us are random at all.
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/17/08
Feels great to get the shopping all done, even if the sunshine can only be ignored through the car windows. Fun story.
Catrina Bradley 03/17/08
I totally enjoyed this story - and the outcome. The very short paragraphs made the reading a little choppy, but I very much felt for this poor girl doing errands on a beautiful day. And I was glad for her the next morning! Good job.
Jeffrey Snell03/18/08
Crazy day! Be careful of tense changes--I was a little confused at times. You conveyed her/your harried pace well. I also enjoyed the perspective that God has a plan for the day that is often not ours.
jodie banner03/19/08
I liked the pace of this, it mirrored my own choppy thoughts and I followed it easily.
Shelley Ledfors 03/19/08
A creative and effective piece for this topic! The pacing works well for this story, but I echo the comment about being consistent in tenses. Some of your story is written in present tense and some in past. Nice entry with a good message!
Henry Clemmons03/19/08
Joint. I wrote a forgetable poem once by that name. Now, 99.99 percent of this I truely enjoyed, until you reminded me of that bad poem.:)
Just kidding, I love your style and flow and the way you pace your stories. And they are always well done. Thanks again for an enjoyable expereince.
Celeste Ammirata03/23/08
I really enjoyed your story. I find when I have so much to do, the only thing to do is to pray, and somehow, with God's help everything gets done. Very Nicely Written.
Jeanette Oestermyer04/13/08
A fun article, in fact, I was out of breath at the end of the shopping and running day. I definitely felt the emotion. Good job of showing.