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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: Friends, Fraud, and Confections
By Sheri Gordon


Officially empty-nesters—wondering what one does to fill the day.

I hit the “Share” button on my Facebook “Wall,” and now 156 of my closest “friends” know “What’s on my mind.”

I rose early this morning, for no other reason than I’ve been looking forward to the empty nest days for sixteen years, so I wanted to get a head start doing whatever it is one does in an empty nest.

After posting my empty-nester thoughts on the worldwide web, I force myself to step away from the computer for some prayer time. Lord, please watch over my baby. Hmm…shouldn’t there be more? I mean, I have all day to spend with God, and this is all I come up with? And Lord, help me keep my eyes and ears open to the plans you have for this next phase of my life. Okay, that’s good enough for now—there will be plenty of time for God later.

Back at my PC, I check the latest status of my 156 “friends”—Judi is sick, Michelle’s going to Disneyland, it’s raining where Bill lives—wherever that is—and Bree is Jane Eyre according to “Which Literary Heroine Are You?” Hold on…I have to take that quiz real quick…

Okay, so I found out that I’m Scarlett O’Hara—the stunningly beautiful Southern Belle. I am also Althena—Greek goddess of war and wisdom, Cinderella, and Dory—the funny, forgetful fish from “Finding Nemo.”

As I wade through quiz after quiz, I learn that my country song is “You’re Gonna Miss This,” which seems apropos considering this is my first empty nest day; I am zero percent girly-girl, which will be less than shocking to my 156 “friends”; and I will end up being five feet, five inches tall—which leaves me three more inches to grow.

My sore derriere tells me I have been sitting at the computer for way too long. I stand to stretch, cinch my robe tighter, and grab the television remote. Flipping through the channels, I stop on court TV where I see a mousey-looking bald guy with the word “Defendant” under him. “Allegedly,” this guy has been impersonating a Rockefeller for fifteen years. I find myself fascinated with the testimony of his ex-wives. I mean, how gullible does one have to be to believe this weaselly guy’s bunch of baloney?

At 12:30, the court and I take a much-needed lunch break. (It’s exhausting keeping up with 156 “friends” and playing prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and jury in a wacky fraud case.) I slap together a salami sandwich, pull a TV tray up in front of the big screen, and listen to “expert analysis” of the trial before resuming gavel-to-gavel courtroom coverage. Three hours later the judge recesses for the day and I reluctantly turn off the television and head to the kitchen for a handful of chocolate chips. (I was going to make cookies, but that hasn’t quite happened yet.)

Back on Facebook I learn that Judi got some antibiotics, Sharon is headed to Bible study, and Keith has tomorrow off. Feeling sufficiently informed about my “friends,” I jump to my favorite online game—the one where you have to get three pieces of candy lined up in a row. (My record is twenty-three minutes and fourteen seconds before the candy tray explodes.)

An unwelcome ringing threatens to interrupt my quest for a new record, but I manage to answer the insistent telephone while continuing to maneuver candy pieces around the screen.


“Hi honey, how’s your day?”

“Um, good. Busy.”

“I’m coming home early to take you out. I know you had a long list of projects to fill your first empty nest day, so I’m sure you’re too tired to cook.”

I glance at the clock on the computer—4:51—then check the timer on the game—19:26. Four more minutes is all I need.

My husband says he’s leaving now—which gives me about 20 minutes. I grudgingly hit the ‘X’ in the corner of the computer screen—three minutes short of the record—and sprint upstairs. As I throw on clothes while simultaneously trying to make the closet look like I’ve been sorting “stuff” all day, I send up a “quickie” prayer.

Lord, My first empty nest day was maybe a bit too…empty. Help me fill tomorrow with You and Your will rather than the drivel I chose today.

“Honey, I’m home.”

Well, Lord, guess this nest isn’t really empty, is it?


"You're Gonna Miss This." Artist: Trace Adkins. Writers: Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Betty Castleberry06/11/09
Have you been spying on me? I can relate to this. As an empty nester, I have days now and then when I accomplish nothing. BTW, I'm a girly girl. :0)I enjoyed the easy pace of this. Great work.
Pat Guy 06/12/09
Too funny! And too close for comfort! I'll bet we're 'friends.' ; ) tehe And I'm a visionary poet. HA!
Joanne Sher 06/13/09
Oh fun! Enjoyed this piece, and yeah - I can relate.
Lollie Hofer06/16/09
The humor in this story is great. And YES I can relate. The facebook bits were hilarious. Thanks for sharing.