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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)

TITLE: The Memory Book
By Charla Diehl
06/12/08


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It was the summer of 2005 when my in-laws celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Illinois. For months Betty said all she wanted was for her entire family to be together once more. She’s the best mom, grandma, mother-in-law, aunt, sister and friend anyone could ask for, and no one wanted to disappoint her or dad. Many conversations took place over the months leading up to the grand event. Not one child, grandchild or great-grandchild missed their big day. Quite a feat when you consider there were forty-seven of us.

Summer breezes kissed the guests as we gathered at a nearby park. Home-made dishes filled the decorated tables as the canopy of trees whispered above us. Witnessing the wide smiles and tears of joy as mom and dad greeted long time friends and out of state relatives was priceless. A memory book was presented to them as their gift from their children. This was the creative effort of my sister-in-law Debbie, who coordinated the project. Everyone sent in a favorite memory of mom and dad and Debbie compiled them into a book along with photos, poems and drawings. There is no doubt to any reader just how much my in-laws are loved. God has blessed them abundantly and I feel privileged to be a part of this family.

As the shadows stretched across the grass we packed up and headed to the next gathering place. Youngest sister Debbie turned her home into a flop house--mattressed floors, couches, even chairs became beds to weary travelers. But sleep would wait. There was much catching up to do as we circled the backyard campfire and roasted marshmallows. My daughter Jodie entertained us with her fire dancing talents. This was better than 4th of July fireworks! She’s from Eugene, OR and this is a common form of entertainment there. But for the Midwest crowd gathered that night, it was something new to be enjoyed. Conversations ranged from serious to silly and in every sense of the word, this party was a true success.

It’s unfortunate we can’t do this more often. Time and money are the common thieves that rob us of simple pleasures in life. But we can keep in touch through letters, phone calls and emails in between visits. Family is important and I thank God for mine.


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LauraLee Shaw06/15/08
This piece captures the topic well in my view. Excellent descriptions throughout, and I love your message at the end.

Great line here: Summer breezes kissed the guests as we gathered at a nearby park.