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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Snowbound Reunion
By Deborah Engle
04/20/08


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“I’m sorry I’m such poor company. It’s just that our reunion is the highlight of the year. I feel like I’m missing Christmas.” The wind outside howled as the blizzard continued for the second day. A feeble smile appeared on Warren’s face in a valiant effort at cheerfulness, but his eyes told the true story. Looking at the shiny new ring on Molly’s finger, he added, “…and I was looking forward to introducing you to my uncles.”

“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.”

“Why?”

“Because he ended up having 9 kids.”

“Oh.”

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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This article has been read 427 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/25/08
Your beginning is great… wow, "ten" uncles.. The photo album reunion is so creative. I enjoyed "meeting" each uncle too… The funny thing is, they resemble people I know. :) Let me know you introduce all your Aunts. :) This was a lot of fun to read.
Karen Wilber 04/28/08
Can I have some of these uncles? It's obvious that some love went into this story. The only problem I had was following the dialogue between the 2 characters. But I loved the "14 aunts" at the end!
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
'C'lever!

Usually a story populated with this many characters would get confusing, but you handled this exactly right.
Debbie Wistrom04/28/08
Nice diversion on the topic. What a reunion, so creative. Keep up the good words.
Lynda Schultz 04/29/08
That last line was hilarious.
Willena Flewelling 04/29/08
Having ten uncles myself, and being the mother of seven children who have eight uncles... I could relate! I agree, you handled the large number in a simple, effective, uncluttered way that added to the story rather than confusing the reader.

And I loved the last line!!
Sara Harricharan 04/30/08
ROFL! I loved her last line with the 14 aunts, please tell me there is a sequel! I want to see his reaction when she tells him! Too funny! I loved hearing about each of his different uncles and how they were all special and different in their own way. Wonderful job! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery04/30/08
What a great way to treat this challenge, very creative and well done to boot. I really liked these lines (giving some insight as to the reason for such a large family)
“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.”

“Why?”

“Because he ended up having 9 kids.”

“Oh.”
Great job!
Chely Roach04/30/08
What a very creative way to tell such a complex story...very well written.
Sarah Engle05/02/08
For "some reason" I think I related to this story better than all the rest! :) I felt newly engaged and learning about my hubby's family all over again! Ha! I had to think..."Do I have 14 aunts?"