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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)

TITLE: Scrapbook Memories
By Sara Harricharan


The music captured me at dawn.

I surrendered to their haunting melody as it twirled around me, teasing, playing and enchanting. On the waves of their song, came the flood of memories I’d forgotten.

Tired fingers wrapped around the cheap ballpoint pen, as I closed my eyes, reveling in the sensation of life.

The faintest notes of a guitar floated by, my eyes opened as I scrawled opening lines on the cover of the plastic menu.


My father was made of yarn. Millions of strands twined together, adding layers to the personality I saw as his character. He played the guitar by ear. On weekends and Friday nights, everyone would sit on the porch to hear him play. Then we’d all sing along.

God was real to me in the way I saw you praising him.

I smiled, chewing on the end of the pen. Those were precious memories. Music was the ribbon that tied our family together.

Palm trees rustled in rhythm with the surf, triggering another memory that would require more paper. I reached for a napkin, tugging it from the metal holder.


One of your threads was solely devoted to plants. When I dreamed of willow trees, you promised we’d get one. We planted a curly weeping willow tree, right by my bedroom window. The whole day was an adventure, just the two of us. We searched all the stores for the perfect tree and planted it at dusk. The stars smiled from above when the sun set.

I never did have that knack for plants, but with you, I felt like a garden fairy.

The napkin fluttered as I tucked it inside the menu. The curly willow tree still stood outside the bedroom window. Dad had taken my dream and made it reality.

“Mrs. Halbred?” The waitress hovered near my elbow. “Your father’s arrived.”

I nudged my empty plate away. “Thank you, Besty. Please show him over, and we’d like some coffee and tea.”

“Coffee and tea?” Betsy’s paused in mid-sentence.

“Coffee for him, tea for me.” I clarified. “Five creamer and light toast.”

Dad shuffled over to the table, silver-tinted hair gleaming in the morning sun. “Mornin’ Dev.”

I pushed his chair out with my foot. “Mornin’ Dad.”

We shared a smile, the moment interrupted by Betsy’s arrival. When she left, Dad’s grin stretched across his face.

I perked a brow. “What?”

The grin grew wider.

I grudgingly allowed a small smile. He’d figured it out. I bent to rummage in my duffel, drawing out a colorful book. “Happy father’s day!”

Dad stirred the creamer into his coffee as he reached for the scrapbook. “Nice cover.”

“Wait!” I tucked the napkin inside the menu’s plastic pocket. “These go with it too.”

Dad chuckled. “At the rate you’re running this restaurant, you’ll put yourself out of business scribbling on every available menu or napkin!”

“Aren’t you going to read it?” I retorted, fishing the teabag out of my cup.

Silence claimed the next few seconds, as Dad thumbed through the collection of our shared memories. He finally focused on the menu and napkin.

A giant gulp of coffee washed away his first reaction. “That’s very…creative.” He finally managed.

“Took me awhile.” I nudged the napkin holder over, barely managing to hold onto the tears that threatened to break out.

“You remembered the fireflies?” Dad choked down another swig of coffee.

My smile mirrored his. “Fireflies, willow trees, bonfires and running through the night wind. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate everything you gave me-especially your time. These memories are priceless in the treasure box of my heart.”

Dad nudged the napkin holder back over. “Very poetically put. You’re welcome.”

Copyright 2008

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This article has been read 1107 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 04/17/08
Oh, I truly loved this entry. It is very poetic, so loving. What great memories, whether real or made up or a little of both. Very nice job;)
Joanne Sher 04/17/08
Lovely images - a beautifully crafted piece with lovely phrasing and descriptions. Loved it.
Joy Faire Stewart04/21/08
Oh, this is beautifully written. Loved the details and interaction. Great job!
Chely Roach04/21/08
This was tender and beautiful. It truly captured the adult relationship between a father and daughter. Loved it!
Jan Ackerson 04/21/08
Lovely, and my favorite line was "My father was made of yarn". what a great image!
Janice Cartwright04/21/08
This is you - another fingerprint of your poetic artistry. I love your often departures from the mundane and this one is no exception. Masterful.
Joanney Uthe04/21/08
Wonderfully woven story. I love the image of her father being yarn.
Debbie Wistrom04/21/08
Enjoyed the light but heart felt style of this. You brought this vignette to life.
Dee Yoder 04/22/08
"I perked an eyebrow" is my favorite line among many good ones in this endearing story. Lovely and descriptive, but very much like everyday dialogue between a daughter and her dad.
Loren T. Lowery04/23/08
I could feel the honest tug of war of emotions and the beautiful way it flowed with the sweet, personal memories. Reading this, I can only think how blessed both father and daughter are to have shared so many good things together, Beautiful entry, I liked this writing style immensely,
LauraLee Shaw04/23/08
You managed to make this poetically brilliant and authentically down to earth at the same time. HOW do you do THAT? Wowzer!
Beth LaBuff 04/23/08
I love the musical "tone" of this, and that you used a "willow tree". I felt like I was there watching it all. Great writing!
Yvonne Blake 04/23/08
Very creative...I liked the memories.
Betty Castleberry04/23/08
This is lovely. I could picture the silver-haired father. Loved the ending, too.
Joshua Janoski04/24/08
I really enjoyed this. I loved the ball of yarn description. It helped me picture what kind of guy the father was.

Your writing skills shine in this piece. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Peter Stone04/24/08
Felt like I was sitting on the porch too! I especially liked the line, "My father was made of yarn. Millions of strands twined together, adding layers to the personality I saw as his character." That creates such an amazing image in my mind.
Patty Wysong04/24/08
Beautiful. I could feel the peace flowing through and I loved all the tiny details you wove in. Wonderful!
Betsy Markman04/24/08
Very nicely written.
Julie Arduini04/26/08
This story felt like a beautiful waltz. The imagery was top notch and the emotions were so close to the heart. Strong, strong writing as usual!
Dianne Janak04/26/08
Sara, this is priceless. I love to hear happy memories like these, as a reminder to make memories with loved ones when we can. This was a touching tribute to an incredible man. Thanks for sharing him with us... I always love to read your pieces...