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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)

TITLE: In the Midst of Life, There is Death
By
01/28/09


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Elizabeth loved living in the United Kingdom. England had been her home for over fifteen years and she had no desire to live elsewhere. She loved the little cottages in her village, filled with lush gardens and beautiful landscape. The fall and winter of England could be brutal but spring and summer more than made up for the climatic hardships.

It was on a lovely spring morning when she decided to drive to a small village and check out some new shops. She loved shopping alone; that way she could take her time, enjoy shopping and sharing gossip with the clerks. She needed a new wardrobe; so the trip would be worthwhile.

Being a retired elementary schoolteacher was a bit lonely at times but her collie, Lady kept her company and the walks they took together were fulfilling and happy.

The drive up to the small village was inspiring and smooth. There wasn’t much traffic along the way and that made it easier to enjoy the scenery. About an hour later she reached the scenic area, got out of the car and headed toward the first shop.

She could tell by the shop’s window that spring had arrived, for it was full of spring-like colors of blue, green, yellow, white and lilac. As she walked in she saw the shop’s owner, Hilda Greensboro. She was an elderly lady who had been working in the shop for over twenty years.

“Good Morning, Elizabeth! Good to see you. I believe it’s been at least six months since I last talked with you.”

“Good Morning, Hilda. Yes, I’m sure it has been. This past winter has kept me inside. Was brutal wasn’t it?”

“Yes, indeed it was. Well, how can I help you today?”

“Well, I’m looking for a new dress; something nice for Easter. What have you got in stock?”

“You’ve come at just the right time. Let me show you what I have.”

Hilda led Elizabeth to the back of the store and then began pulling out some dresses that she thought Elizabeth might like.

She brought out a lovely blue, silk dress, with a lovely purple top covering.

“Oh, indeed I do like that one!”

“Well, try it on and see how it fits.”

She went to the ladies dressing room and tried it on. She found to her amazement that it fit perfectly and the colors of blue and purple complemented her fair skin.

“Yes, I’ll take it! And, I would like a second one—the one in rose and pink.”

As the clothes were being placed in packages, Elizabeth looked around at the store. She loved shopping there, for it was old-fashioned and held some good memories of shopping with her mother. But with her mother now sick and aging, she often made the trip alone.

She said her goodbyes, placed the clothes in the back of the car and began traveling back home.

The return trip was just as nice, but filled with many more cars. As she traveled along the narrow road, she saw something that caught her eye. On the right side of the road she saw something that looked unusual and out of place. As she drove further she saw that it was an old woman and she was lying on the ground. She appeared to be in pain.

Elizabeth pulled over, got out of the car and walked over to the woman.

“Ma’am, are you alright? Can you tell me what happened?”

The older woman tried to talk but nothing came out. Then slowly she began to speak, “I was just taking a walk…..And then, I heard a voice somewhere say, “Helena, it’s time to go. And then after that I felt weak and fell to the ground.”

She tried to say more but Elizabeth could tell that the woman was dying. She took the woman’s pulse. It was weak and fading fast.

Using her cell phone she called for an ambulance. The ambulance came but it was too late for the elderly woman.

On the way home Elizabeth pondered about life and death. She sighed, “The poor woman didn’t know she was going to die today but she did. Mom will soon be gone and then it will be my turn. I need to put my worries away, enjoy the days more and get closer with God. For with God as my best friend, I will never be alone or be afraid.”


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This article has been read 379 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/31/09
I was really able to picture the charming shop, and would have loved to shop there.

The introduction of the dying old lady seemed to come out of left field, and to have little to do with the first part of the story. You sort of lost me in the last few paragraphs.

I appreciated the spring-y references, as I'm VERY ready for spring!
Karlene Jacobsen 02/02/09
The scenery in the beginning was beautiful. I wanted to be along for the ride.