Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

TITLE: There's No Place Like (This) Home
By Betsy Markman


Come on in! Don't take off your shoes. We're not fastidious around here.

The rest of the family isn't home right now. If they were, you'd soon discover that one of the main features of our home is NOISE!

My oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome, and he's sometimes hyperactive. He's also unable to monitor and control the loudness of his voice, so everything comes out at deafening volumes. And my second son, who's autistic, can imitate an amazing array of phone sounds. He'll do that endlessly. He's also bipolar, so if he's on either of his extremes, he'll be extra loud. He'll either laugh hysterically about everything while bouncing up and down and trilling with his tongue and flapping his hands, OR he'll scream about everything. We never know how he'll be. We just take him as he comes. Our third son has learned to be loud just to make himself heard above the din. But since they're not here, let's start our tour.

This is my Living Room.

The recliners used to be white. Can you believe we let the sales lady convince us that this fabric was easy to clean? Let me at least throw this blanket over the chair. Yes, I crocheted that myself, thanks.

Ah, you're curious about the writing on the La-Z-Boy. Well, my autistic son is not so much into writing on things now, but years ago no surface was safe. Don't ask me why he decided to write "Shoot Gun" in bright orange marker right next to the lever that makes the chair recline. We've quit trying to figure him out. The writing's been there for years. The stain on the footrest is from some goo-filled toy that the kids threw years ago. It exploded its orange guts everywhere. Did I mention we used to have white carpeting?

Here's the hall and bath.

Don't mind the gazillion scratches on every door frame. The cat likes to jump up as high as he can and then slide down.

Ignore the written cleaning instructions taped to the bathroom wall. The kids certainly do.

This door leads to the basement. I'll open it and show you just one quick view. See the wall at the bottom of the stairs? The huge letters that say "Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free?" Guess who wrote that. Yep. But we're NOT going down there. You don't want to see the rest.

Here's the Family Room.

We could kick our way through all the toys on the floor, move the junk off of the furniture, and sit down to chat. But why don't we finish the tour first?

In case you're wondering about all the telephones you see around here, well...they're for my autistic son. People sometimes give him their old phones, and he knows every intimate detail of each one. He uses their intercoms to make them ring a lot. It's noisy, but at least they're not hooked to the phone lines.

Here's the kitchen.

I haven't had time to wash the dishes yet, but dinner's in the slow cooker. Bread's in the bread machine, too. Who needs fancy sprays to make the house smell good?

On to the Dining Room.

The china cabinet holds my wedding china and the kids' ceramic creations. Let's see...there's a penguin, a green gnome with his pet rat, an elephant, and a huge blue face.

Now we've come back to the Living Room, so let's go upstairs.

This is the master bedroom and bath.

Nothing of interest here, except for the stamp marks on the wall. Don't be shy...go ahead and read them. They say, "Deposit Only." My husband used to be the treasurer for the Gideons Camp, and our son got a hold of this stamp and decorated our bedroom. That ink doesn't come off of walls very well. Fortunately it came off of the cat after only a couple of days. We weren't sure how the bank would have responded if we'd tried to deposit him.

The only other rooms up here are the kids' bedrooms and bathroom. I'll spare you that part of the tour.

You're right. We don't have a decorating scheme, or a color scheme. On a few exceptionally good days I've actually thought about having schemes. Does that count?

Anyway, this is our home! I'm so glad you could drop by. We've been working hard lately, and the house looks so much better than it used to!

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 894 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Engle 06/05/08
Ann Marie Lindenmeyer06/05/08
I like the descriptions and the humor, you make light of the situation you face with special needs children in your home. I like the way the writing was pulled together.
I liked this. A paragraph or two into it I was expecting it to be sad. Instead, it was delightfully funny. Sometimes humor is all there is for maintaining sanity.
Seema Bagai 06/05/08
Good voice and descriptions in this piece.
Beth LaBuff 06/06/08
You made me feel right at home with "Don't take off your shoes. We're not fastidious…" :) The toy that "exploded its orange guts everywhere" made me smile. I love bread from the bread machine. I may just make myself at home in your home and stay awhile. :) I love this tour… and your creativity!
Jan Ackerson 06/07/08
I've read backwards though Advanced level, and now I know why--I saved the best for last. This is AWESOME.
Lyn Churchyard06/08/08
Amazing! This was so enjoyable to read and see the love oozing from every room. I laughed out loud when I read "Fortunately it came off of the cat after only a couple of days. We weren't sure how the bank would have responded if we'd tried to deposit him." A true family home complete with bumps and scratches. Superb!

Holly Westefeld06/09/08
Nothing to add that hasn't already been said, but this is among my favorites this week.