Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)
TITLE: Snowbound Reunion
By Deborah Engle
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“Yeah… your uncles. Warren, how many uncles did you say you had?”
“Ten,” he said with pride.
“It’s obvious we won’t be making it to the reunion, but you’ve got that big photo album. Maybe I could “meet” your uncles vicariously.”
“Sure, we could do that. We’ll have our own family get-together.” His hand reached for hers and he said, ”No wonder I love you.”
Warren got the photo album and began a trip back through his childhood, but with a few detours along the way.
“Is that your newborn picture from the hospital? Ohhh, how precious!”
“Yeah, yeah. Look, here’s Uncle Jack holding me at about 4 months old. He was still a teenager, but I must have impressed him.”
“Because he ended up having 9 kids.”
Warren flipped a page or two, but many different photos demanded Molly’s attention. “This is going to take all night if you’re going to study every picture.”
Molly grinned. “Oh?” Looking toward the window, she asked, “Were you going somewhere?”
Warren sighed. “Okay, I get your point.” Relaxing, they spent the next several hours leisurely browsing through the album.
“Here’s me and Uncle Paul on my third birthday. When I got older, he taught me how to play the guitar.”
“I love to hear you play.”
“These are cute.”
“Let me see. Oh, I remember those. They’re the marionettes Uncle Tim made for us.” Warren chuckled. “Mom got tired of untangling the strings, so she hung them from hooks in our bedrooms.”
“Smart mom,” laughed Molly.
“What in the world is this?”
“That’s Uncle Karl on drywall stilts. We gutted our upstairs and he replaced the drywall for us.“
“Drywall stilts, huh?”
“Oh, this must be a field trip or something.“
Warren glanced at the picture and chuckled. “That bunch isn’t on a field trip. They all belong to Uncle Ed and all of their names begin with ‘C’.”
“How ‘C’reative,” Molly teased, but Warren only smirked.
“This is Uncle Joe. I remember him sitting on the bedroom floor with us, looking through all our baseball card albums.”
“You and your baseball cards. You must have loved that.”
“Sure did. When Uncle John came to visit, he actually went down to the ball field and played ‘500’ with us.”
“Hmm…” Scanning the page in front of him, Warren focused on another shot. “This is the summer after I finished high school. Uncle Mike and I drove to Tennessee.”
“What’s in Tennessee?”
“Uncle Bobby. He’s quite a character. I told you he’s disabled. Well, that doesn’t slow him down much. He uses the CB radio to stay in touch with the world. He’s made a lot of friends on that thing who would do anything for him. He has an ‘open-door policy’, and people are always bringing him lunch or coming to help him out in one way or another.”
“Strangers just walk into the house?”
“Like I said, he’s quite a character. Of course, we’re talking about small town Tennessee.”
With an uncertain smile on her face, Molly turned back to the photos and Warren pointed out another.
“Here’s my other Uncle Paul.”
“You have two Uncle Pauls?”
“Sure…doesn’t everybody?” Warren grinned and continued. ”I also have 2 Grandpa Jacks, an Uncle Jack and an Aunt Jackie, but that’s beside the point. Back to Uncle Paul. He always plays basketball with the teenagers. He makes them earn every point, but still makes sure they have fun.”
When Warren finally closed the album, Molly had been introduced to all the uncles. Pulling her closer, he sat reflecting on his memories. “It is unusual to have so many uncles, and I hope it’s not overwhelming to you. I know I’m a better person for it. In fact, I think everyone should have a bunch of them.”
Molly agreed with him, but laughed nervously, as she wondered, “Maybe this is the time to tell him about my 14 aunts. I can’t even imagine the family reunions our kids will have.”
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