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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: Do You Know My Johnny?
By Sharon Henderson


I remember some things like they happened last week or last month. Other things I canít recall at all.

How did I get to be a silver-haired woman of eighty-three so fast? Have you heard what they say? ďLife is what happens when you are making other plans.Ē Whoever said that was a smart whippersnapper.

When I met Johnny at the high school dance, my tingle generator distributed chills from the back of my newly pierced ears to the tips of my toes, which were stuffed in the highest heels Iíd ever worn.

I married him about five years back. Oh, we have plans. We want to have a houseful of active kids but, of course, Johnny has to get set up in his law practice first. Then we need to be sure that we have a good house in a great community with academically strong schools. No need bringing kids into this world if we canít raise Ďem right, ya know?

I lost my Johnny when I was sixty. Iíve had to live by myself for twenty-three, long years. We had our chance to start a family. We had the means to as well. All of our family and friends kept urging us to Ďget busyí. Johnny had a great career. You know, he made partner by the time he was thirty-eight. That was awful young back then. People told us that our home was beautiful and that our backyard would make a natural playground for young kids. We always said weíd try soon.

My niece says she wants a big family. Big enough to field her own basketball team. Iím still young. Maybe we can have kids at the same time and they can grow up together. I wonder what Johnny will say to that? Where is Johnny? Do you think heís still at work?

People need to realize that life flies by. I had the chance to have the kids I always wanted but Johnny and I were too focused on what else we wanted. We had it all! We went on lavish vacations, lived in an antebellum mansion, and drove them fancy cars. We even ate highfalutin caviar. We expressed our love to each other in all that we did. We just didnít make the kids while our bodies were young enough to do so.

I wonder what Johnny will think if I try to get pregnant before we turn forty? Do you think he will be happy? Wouldnít twins be double the blessing?

Listen to me now. Iím just an old woman who canít quite get it right. I wish you had known my Johnny. You would have loved him as much as I did. Iíve rambled quite long enough. Iím going to go rest awhile. If you want to stick around, Iíll try to tell you more about my beloved Johnny when I get up.

I remember some things like they happened last week or last month. Other things I canít recall at all.

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This article has been read 683 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong03/14/08
I liked the rambly feel to this--it matched the voice and the MC. Good example of the topic, too.
Sheri Gordon03/14/08
Love the voice. I can hear this frail old woman telling her story--slipping from present to past and back again.

This part cracked me up: "my tingle generator distributed chills from the back of my newly pierced ears to the tips of my toes, which were stuffed in the highest heels Iíd ever worn." That made me laugh out loud.

Very good writing, and great illustration of the topic.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/15/08
Oh, how I loved this rambling! Beautifully done memories of what "might have been?" - and from the Title to the end, I was with you all the way! Great entry, magical writing, kept my interest, and a terrific read! Read some phrases I haven't heard in fifty years! Loved it! Kudos! A+!
Jan Ackerson 03/16/08
Great job on this stream-of-consciousness. I enjoyed it very much.
Chely Roach03/16/08
Very nice transitions from the present to the flashback/memories. Great story, great example of the topic. You're a pretty smart whippersnapper yourself! Loved it.
Shelley Ledfors 03/16/08
Very nice. I think you caught the now and then rambling of an elderly person very well. Also a great illustration of the topic!
Mandy White03/16/08
This completely on topic. Such a sad story. The MC's thoughts caused a bit of confusion for me as I read, could just be me though. Keep writing!
Sally Hanan03/16/08
You made a very visual sandwich of thoughts and dialogue which gave us all the information we needed to create our own picture of regret. Cleverly done.
Debbie Wistrom03/17/08
So sweet and touching for this topic. Oh the regret, but isn't memory a wonderful thing? Thanks for sharing touching entry.
Joshua Janoski03/19/08
This story was right on topic. I could picture the elderly woman telling this story to someone at her house or a nursing home.

I got a little bit confused when you first shifted to the flashback dialogue, but I soon figured out what was going on.

Great story. Thank you so much for sharing.
jodie banner03/19/08
This is so sad!I loved the MC's voice, I could picture her clearly.
Sara Harricharan 03/19/08
Hmmm, so interesting! The voice of your MC is very different, I like the mismatched sort of way that her thoughts hopped around, it made me connect with her. My favorite line was with the chills andn newly pierced ears! A great story! ^_^