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

TITLE: Sunday Night Supper
By Mandy White
04/23/08


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“Jenny, that was the best chicken pot pie I ever tasted.”

Aunt Sally rattled the ice cubes around in her glass as she finished off her sweet tea. She wiped the corners of her mouth with her napkin and rose to help clear the table. We had enjoyed her company for Sunday night supper for as long as I can remember.

“Don’t you want some dessert, Sally?”

Mama tempted her older sister with a piping hot bowl of peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla on the side.

“Jenny, that’s just downright cruel. You know me and Katie-girl have to get up early in the morning, but since you twisted my arm . . .”

This was the way Sunday evenings had always gone. I had never in all my 18 years seen Aunt Sally turn down dessert even though she always “had to get up early the next morning.”

Mama and Aunt Sally were polar opposites. Mama was married with 3 babies by the time she was 23 years old. She was devoted to taking care of Daddy and us girls. Aunt Sally married young also, but Uncle Bert was killed in an accident before they had any children. She took over their hardware store after his death. People in those days didn’t take to a woman running a business, so the first year was tough for her--just tough enough to strengthen her resolve. Before long, Aunt Sally had proven everyone wrong and earned the community’s respect as a business woman.

After Aunt Sally had gone home for the evening, Mama and I sat on the front porch swing and listened to the lonely cricket songs that carried on the warm summer breeze.

“You know Katie, you’re just like your Aunt Sally. All these years, I’ve tried to turn you into another me--just like your sisters, but you’ve got her free spirit and there’s no denying it.”

“Does that mean you understand why I don’t want to learn to cook and sew--or marry Charlie Harris?”

“Charlie Harris is a fine young man from a good Christian family. Honestly Katie, I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand your decision to go to work at the hardware store, but I know that you couldn’t have a better role model than Sally.”

The following Sunday night, as plates were being filled with pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and biscuits, the topic of conversation was my first week at the hardware store.

“You should be proud of this girl--she’s a natural. She’ll be running the place in no time,” Aunt Sally beamed.

I had to admit that I was having the time of my life working with Aunt Sally, but I could tell by the end of supper that deep down Mama was a little worried about the situation.

“Wait, Aunt Sally--I’ll walk you to your truck.”

As we walked, I got up the nerve to ask her something that I’ve always wanted to ask. I took a deep breath and blurted it out quickly.

“Are you sorry you never remarried and had children?”

“Breathe, honey,” Aunt Sally chuckled, realizing I was still holding the deep breath I had drawn in.

“I have no regrets, Katie. I loved your Uncle Bert and we talked about having a family, but that wasn’t God’s plan for our lives. I never met anyone else that I felt led to call my husband. You and your sisters have been like my own children, so I have never felt childless. The store didn’t keep me from having my own family, darling--it was my choice.”

“Oh, Aunt Sally, I don’t know what I want. I love working, but I think I want to have a family some day too.”

“You have a big enough heart for both, Katie-girl. See you bright and early tomorrow.”

Aunt Sally changed my outlook that night. I didn’t have to be just like Mama--I didn’t have to be just like Aunt Sally. They had each given me the best of themselves.

Today, I run the store just the way Aunt Sally always did. She lives with me now and we have still have Sunday night supper, but it’s not quite the same. Charlie orders pizza while Aunt Sally feeds the twins mashed bananas--I never did learn how to cook!


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This article has been read 645 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom04/24/08
I felt part of the close knit family. Loved the read. Breezy and heartwarming. Hope this places.
Sara Harricharan 04/24/08
Loved this! So light and easy to read and I liked Katie and her choice at the end. Especially that note with Aunt Sally feeding the twins mashed bananas...hmmm, 'about those cooking lessons-that shows a wonderful glimpse of her personality in thsese 750 words. ^_^
Betsy Markman04/28/08
Very enjoyable. I especially liked the way you wrapped it up...no sudden boring summary, as in "Well, it turned out that I married Charlie." I like it that he just shows up there ordering pizza at the end. You kept me with the story and with the family all the way through.
Lauryn Abbott04/28/08
I LOVED THIS!!! It was light and funny, but meaningful and heartfelt too. Great job and thanks for sharing!
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
Charming and delightful--very good writing.
Betty Castleberry04/28/08
What a fun ending. This is well written and very entertaining. Kudos!
Patty Wysong04/28/08
This was an enjoyable read. I liked the wisdom Aunt Sally shared and the end was great.
Joshua Janoski04/28/08
The ending was perfect in my opinion. I loved how Katie learned a little bit from both her aunt as well as her mother, while still maintaining her own unique identity.

The food descriptions got me so hungry. I could picture a scrumptious southern home cooked meal sitting in front of me. Yum!
Chely Roach04/28/08
What a great, enjoyable read. Loved the characters,and the food descriptions were killing me!
Loved it!
Sheri Gordon04/28/08
I really like this, and it's written well. The POV is really good, and the message is powerful yet subtle. Very good take on the topic.
Willena Flewelling 04/29/08
A touching and heartwarming story... very nicely written!
Lynda Schultz 04/29/08
Great lesson here, and that second to last paragraph is a highlight. Well done.
Dee Yoder 04/30/08
Well, I love this wonderful story! It made me feel at home, warm, and comfortable. This is the kind of story I'd love to read in a nice, looonnng book on a sunny, lazy summer day...in the porch swing...with iced tea at my elbow...you get the picture!
Loren T. Lowery04/30/08
First, I have to comment about the food. The peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream snd the the pork chops and green beans brought back a lot of memories to this Oklahoma boy. Next, is how well you told this story and the wonderful message without being preachy. The writing was sincere and so very real. A great entry for this week's challenge.
Joanney Uthe05/01/08
This was a fun read with a lot to think about mixed in. I love the line where both Mom and Aunt Sally gave her the best of themselves.
Mariane Holbrook05/06/08
Easy, light, enjoyable read.
You're getting too good, sweetie. We may have to make a new category just for you !!
Mary Ginty10/27/08
I really, really, really like this!!!!!!