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: Home's Familiar Song
By LauraLee Shaw


As Meg climbed the concrete steps to the front porch, Loneliness dragged behind her. She’d buried her emotions throughout her entire first semester of college, but they had suddenly shot to the surface. A familiar melody calmed her demeanor, though, welcoming her home. Oh, how I’ve missed the sound of the wind chimes.

Meg’s mom hugged her at the door, then began chattering as usual. “Hi, Sweetheart. You okay? You look worn out. Let your brother take your bag. Are ya tired, Meg dear? Nathan, get her bag. Come inside and sit down, Sweetheart.”

“Mom—I’ve been driving for six hours. I’d rather stretch for a minute.”

After a big bear hug, Nathan grabbed her bag and ushered her into the family room. “Speaking of driving, Sis—read it—and weep.” Snapping a white slip of paper about an inch from Meg’s eyes, Nathan held his chin high in the air.

“My baby brother’s allowed to drive?” Meg grabbed it. “Oh, this is a problem…” she teased. “They misspelled your name.”

Nathan stripped the sheet from her hands. “Wha?”

Grinning, Meg took cover behind her mom.

“Now that deserves a thump from the—“ Nathan deepened his voice and bellowed, “—the FLICK MEISTER!” Reaching over his mother, he flicked a cherry on Meg’s forehead.

Meg shrieked like a schoolgirl.

“Okay, you two…” His face gleaming with pride, Meg’s dad limped as fast as he could to embrace her. “Oh, how I’ve missed you, Honey.”

“Me too, Daddy.”

“Come on to the table, Meg dear. Are you hungry? Been eatin’ okay? Yer awful skinny. Isn’t she skin-n-bones, George?”

“Mom—I’m eating fine. Just busy studying. And I walk to all my classes, so…”

Pulling out ‘her chair’ at the kitchen table, Meg’s dad led her by the arm to sit down. “Your mother made your favorite.”

Meg drank in the delicious smell of her mother’s chicken potpie. Ohhh—I’m gonna cry. Keep it together, Meg. The muffled tune of the wind chimes reached her just in time to calm her spirits. “It smells heavenly, Mom. You shouldn’t have done all this.”

She grabbed the potholder that Meg had knit for her in the fifth grade. “Now, Sweetie, what kind of homecomin’ would it be without some potpie? Besides, your brother said he’d do the dishes, didn’cha, Nathan? Kids today need more responsibility if you ask me, don’cha think, Meg dear?”

Egging it on, Meg shot Nathan a wink. “Definitely, Mom—uh huh. More responsibility.”

“It’s a conspiracy, Dad. She’s back home for like—two seconds, and already they’re gangin’ up on me.” Nathan flopped down in ‘his chair’ just to the right of Meg’s. “Nice to see nothin’s changed.”

“What’s a man gonna do, Son? We’re up against brains and beauty.”

Nathan leaned his elbow on Meg’s shoulder. “So, Miss Brains-n-Beauty, how many hearts you broken at your fancy schmanzy music college?”

Dripping with sarcasm, Meg said, “As many as you’ve broken with your bright red crayon in art class, Little Brother.”

“Touché,” Her dad said, giving Nathan a look to drop the subject.

Stomachs full, the family of four retreated to their usual conversation spot on the front porch. As was the custom, Meg and her dad sat together in the wooden swing, her mom in the rocking chair, and Nathan on the top step leaning against the iron railing. The wind chimes hanging above her head rang a soft, familiar tune. This feels so right. I’m home.

“So…you happy, Meg?” Her dad always had a way of surpassing small talk.

“Of course she’s happy, George. You’re doin’ whatcha love, right, Meg dear? It makes us happy just knowin’ you’re happy, doesn’t it, George? ” Her mom smiled nervously and nodded her head up and down while she rocked.

Loneliness could not stay quiet any longer. “Actually? I’m miserable…I miss my family.” Meg’s confession released her tears, and her daddy scooped her wet cheek to his shoulder.

Nathan swallowed hard. “We miss you too, Sis.”

Her mom’s rocking chair ceased its dancing. “Yes, Dear. It’s been awful quiet without you singin’ and playin’ the piano. Don’t we miss her singin’, George?”

Stroking Meg’s hair, her dad sighed. “This is what I miss. Us—as a family, right here on the porch. Talkin'. Laughin’. Prayin’.”

Meg felt a tear warm her scalp. “Me too, Dad.”

“Well…” George stood up and motioned for everyone to gather together. “Let’s do some of that prayin’ right now then.”

The wind chimes hummed in the background as they prayed.

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 945 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick06/05/08
Oh, this is prescious. I love the descriptions and the warmth and humor shown in this piece. Well done.:0)
To me, this piece showed the real essence of family love better than anything I've read thus far. You've captured true feeling - now if I can just figure out how you did it, and learn from it. Great writing!
Joanne Sher 06/06/08
LOVE the interaction between the family - this FELT like a wonderful family that Meg had every right to miss. Great dialog too, and I love the way you tied it together with the wind chimes. Beautifully done.
Beth LaBuff 06/08/08
I loved the exchange between Meg and Nathan -- especially the driver's license part. :) I could see the scene on the front porch… I wished I was there too. Heart-warming and cozy. I loved the wind chimes that sounded throughout the story.
Catrina Bradley 06/08/08
This story has so much heart - I love the mother speaking for Meg (and everyone else). The windchimes recurring throughout was a nice touch. Great characterization and dialog! I adore the family and the home you've created.
Kristen Hester06/08/08
Wow. This is so well written. I can picture it all in my mind...and hear the windchimes. I love that theme throughout. Excellent!
Jan Ackerson 06/09/08
Wonderful--I love the personification of loneliness, and the great sibling relationship. Really sweet story.
Norma-Anne Hough06/09/08
Loved this. Reminded me so of what happens when my daughter comes home from the UK. Sitting outside with her and the rest of the family, with our wind chimes in the background. Made me heartsore! Good writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/09/08
This beautiful story showed the essence of home with the family together. It brought back memories of going home and having a home for mine to come home to. I love how you tied in the wind chimes. Great job.
Debbie Wistrom06/10/08
Everything about this is wonderful. Stirred the heartstrings.
Dee Yoder 06/11/08
Love this, Laura! The homey feel you create with your descriptions really brings this family and their love for each other to life. You captured many of the emotions I remember feeling, too, when I came home for visits while I was in college.
Beckie Stewart06/11/08
This brought tears to my eyes. Love the use of the wind chimes in the story as well. This is good.
Mariane Holbrook 06/11/08
What can I say? It's superb in every way, a wonderful piece about the real meaning of "family." Your writing keeps getting better and better! Kudos !
Sara Harricharan 06/11/08
What a fun family! I loved the interaction between Meg and Nathan-just hilarious to see such a neat brother/sister relationship! I loved the end where they were sitting on the porch-that sums up what family is all about. ^_^
Joshua Janoski06/11/08
The dialogue between the family members is very authentic in this piece. You captured the true essence of what a family is supposed to be about in this. It's not the structure that makes the home. It's the people and memories that are shared there.
Betty Castleberry06/11/08
What a warm domestic scene you've portrayed. I was right there on the front porch with them. This is lovely.
Aaron Morrow06/11/08
Wonderfully written Laura and with enough sibling rivalry bite and humor not to sink into the overly sentimental (see Hallmark greeting card :)). Excellent dialogue and message!
Lollie Hofer06/11/08
What a lovely story. A family that looks for solutions in prayer. No wonder there is such a grand relationship among its members. The dialogue was well-written as well.
Laury Hubrich 06/12/08
(Going to try this again, I left your comment on my entry somehow -- weird!)

Wow, Laura! This was great! I was teary-eyed at the end. I love the interaction between the family members. I was barely even blinked at when i came home from college each week;) Great writing!
Susan Michaels06/26/08
Tremendous presentation of ambience and characters...we connect immediately with this home, place and all of the dynamics of relationship...Inspiring!
Tim Pickl07/26/08
I love your use of sound, smell and sight -- this story warms the senses--I feel at home. "Home is where the heart is" -- or should be.
william price08/08/08
I knew I had been missing out on something. Great stuff ole friend. I needed to hear a familiar song. Hope u r still writing? God Bless.