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

TITLE: Foolish, Stupid and Dumb
By Marilyn Schnepp
06/02/08


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Memory-wise, I'm completely blank when it comes to life before age five. All I know about those first five years of life is based entirely on photographs, newspaper clippings and hearsay.

However, when I attained the grand old age of five, the memory portion of my brain finally kicked in, and it was:

"Eat your veggies, wash your hands, pick up your toys, play nice, because I said so, and say your prayers," are just a few of the things I remember of my early, pre-school days in the first home I remember - a white frame house that sat atop a steep, snow covered hill in Nevada, Iowa, which was perfect for sledding.

The time span between five and seven seemed to be 'the easiest', with more hugs and kisses than spankings, more fun and games than duties, more "Okays" than "No No's", and nothing much required of me but to behave, do as I was told, and be good.

Next came the arduous and grueling stage of life called Schooling; "Get up, make your bed, eat your Wheaties, go to school, and don't forget your lunch box." Then returning from school it was: "Do your chores, do your homework, eat your veggies, take your bath, clean your room, brush your teeth, and don't forget to say your prayers."

Can you believe it? This same routine went on for the next twelve years...Non-Stop!

However, thanks to an occasional change of venue, it kept the monotony at bay. I attended First grade in Georgia, 2nd in Tennessee, 3rd and 4th in Orlando, 5th and 6th in Miami, 7th and 8th in Tallahassee, and then finally graduation from High School in Cicero, Indiana.

Then came the last and final "Things To Do List" from my parents: "Go to college, study, learn a trade, study to show thyself approved unto God and a workman that need not be ashamed."

But after one year of college, I balked. I was becoming of age soon, and I wanted to spread my wings and fly, get a place of my own, and do OWN thing.



Today, after four decades of " Flying High and Doing My Own Thing", I sit here penniless, embarrassed and ashamed in front of a Judge in Debtor's Court discussing my bankruptcy in open court.

"It's not that I didn't work, Judge, I've worked every day of my life for the last forty years; paying bills, rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, doctors, juggling finances, carrying charges, troubles, worries and heartaches by the tons...and there's no relief in sight. I have no other option but to go bankrupt."

What I wouldn't give to be back in the old family home where I didn't have a care in the world, and the only thing expected of me was to..."eat my veggies, brush my teeth, clean my room, say my prayers and Be Good!"

The family home no longer exists. Mother and Daddy have long gone to their final resting places. And here I am, the dumb, stupid and foolish one that couldn't wait to leave that nice, warm, cozy family home.

And yet I can still smell the sweet scent of Magnolia blossoms as they drifted through our house in Georgia, and still taste the fruit that fell from the citrus trees surrounding our two story house in Miami, and touch the soft spanish moss that hung from the trees in our front yard in Tallahassee, and yes, I can even hear the gurgling brook that ran freely behind our house in Cicero, Indiana.


"Oh, I'm sorry, Judge, please repeat your question, I was thinking of something else, and didn't hear your question."

The Judge smiled and then continued: "It might be best if we put your home up for auction, or, another option might be to....."

But once again my mind wandered back home, but this time to my Heavenly Home, where there would be no more tears, no more sorrow, war or death...and there would be peace in the valley once more, for me."


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/06/08
Great title, and I really like the voice of this story.

I'm a bit disoriented by not knowing if the narrator is a man or a woman. And if he/she lived 4 decades of doing his/her own thing, I'd like something to indicate a changed spirit, so that eternal Home will indeed be waiting.
Beth LaBuff 06/06/08
Your title definitely caught my interest. :) I had to smile at your "few things you remember of your early, pre-school days." Since I grew up in Iowa, I want you to know that I correctly pronounced the name of Nevada, Iowa in my mind -- NOT like the state pronunciation. :) I'm thinking "a Judge" and "Debtor's Court" are capitalized for a reason. Nice work on this.
Catrina Bradley 06/10/08
I love your memories - the litanies of do's and don't's made me smile. I also like the ending thoughts of our Heavenly home - I too use those thoughts as comfort in troubled times.