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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: South America (02/05/09)

TITLE: That Was On Jeopardy!
By Deborah Engle


“How can I say no? In times like these I’m just grateful to have a good job.” Larry hesitated, then looked into Rosa’s face. “Mr. Hamilton said he will let me know soon where we’ll be going. The company has offices everywhere, even overseas, so we might need to look into getting our passports updated.”

The news wasn’t unexpected, but still, all Rosa could manage was a little smile.

Larry reached for her hand and gave it a quick squeeze. “I better get started on my paperwork.” As he reached the door, he turned around and grinned. “Dinner was terrific, Sweetie.”

Larry normally retreated to his home office after dinner, and Lucy liked to watch her favorite game show before starting on her homework. The familiar sound of the Jeopardy theme song played in the background as Rosa put the kitchen to rights. It was a comfortable routine, but she couldn’t help but wonder what kind of changes they would be facing in the near future.

Her work finished, Rosa headed for the family room to do some reading. Passing by the office, she overheard a few words of Larry’s telephone conversation.

“Did you say Victoria? … I would consider that.”

Victoria? Didn’t I just hear that on Jeopardy? Yes, it was the Argentina category. The city is filled with old wrought iron embellishments. As she settled into her favorite spot on the sofa, she suddenly made the connection. Larry’s being sent to Argentina? He did mention we might need passports.

Argentina’s in South America. Talk about culture shock!

I can’t even imagine everything involved in making such a move. Our car…how do you get a car to another continent?

I know a little Spanish. Is that even the official language?

I’ll have to find out what the weather is like.

Rosa’s thoughts bounced from one thing to another.

What else was in the Argentina category? The capital of the country is Buenos Aires.

Oh yes, the population is mostly of Spanish or Italian heritage.

Larry was right. With the economy the way it is, we need to go with whatever the company decides.

There was the Falklands Islands war with Britain in 1983.

What a surprise this will be for Lucy. I hope she handles it well.

What was the $2000 answer? Something about the environment…oh, I know, enforced limits on industry to restrict greeenhouse gas emissions. That sounds progressive.

I wonder what kind of education Lucy can get in Argentina. Maybe we’ll have to homeschool.

Thoughts and questions whirled around in her mind. Until Larry sat down next to her, she didn’t realize he had finished his work.

“Oh, hi. I heard you on the phone a little bit ago.”

Larry settled back and turned to look at Rosa. “Yeah, that was Mr. Hamilton. He’s thinking he might need me to go to…”

“Victoria. I heard. That will take some getting used to, but I’m behind you, whatever you decide.”

“Thank you. That counts for a lot. I never expected to be in this situation. I appreciate your support.”

“You deserve my support. You’re a good husband and father.”

Rosa leaned against Larry’s shoulder, and absently reached for a nearby bottle of lotion. “Winter is so hard on my hands,” she complained. All at once, she groaned. “Oh, no. Their seasons are backwards. We’ll have two winters in a row!”

Larry stared at her, not understanding what she could possibly mean. “What?”

“In Argentina. Below the equator the seasons are reversed. By the time we arrive, winter will be ending here, but there it will just be starting.” Rosa’s smile revealed she wasn’t truly upset. “Oh, by the way, do you know anything about the climate?”

Larry’s face showed that the explanation only confused him more. “Whoa. What’s all this about Argentina, and two winters in a row?”

“What do I mean? Victoria, in Argentina. That’s where you’re being transferred, right?”

Larry’s eyes became large as he realized what had happened. “Not quite. It’s Victoria, Virginia.”

For a moment, Rosa sat and stared, wondering at her careless assumption. “Ohhh. I thought...”

Just then, Lucy called down the stairway, “Mommy, come tuck me in.”

“I’ll be right there,” she managed.

Before she could get up, Larry took her hand. “Would you really have moved to Argentina?” he asked.

Rosa’s smile returned to her face. “Of course. I’d finally get to try out my high school Spanish.”

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This article has been read 728 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shirley McClay 02/12/09
What a funny story! I loved how you managed to tell us so much about Argentina without ever going there. And what a great attitude your MC had. Not sure I would be so willing ;-)
Lynda Schultz 02/13/09
And here I was thinking it would be Victoria, British Columbia, Canada! Good story.
Norma-Anne Hough02/15/09
You had me guessing until the end. Good entry, well done.
Joanne Sher 02/16/09
You definitely had me guessing too! Great characterization and wonderful story!