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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: Marmaduke, I'll Always Love You!
By Mona Purvis
09/16/09


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Marmaduke, I'll Always Love You!



I'm going to miss you, old friend. You don't mind me calling you that, do you? Seems like we've been together for so long now...well, we're just comfortable. Looks like you're sharing in my fate. Imagine that, after all these years.

Oh, my. Dena Brown passed away. Her son, Sammy, was in first grade with Buddy. Always big for his age, that Sammy. I didn't know she was a member at Grace Chapel. Six grandchildren. My, my.

When did I start reading the obituaries first? Sort of just happened I guess. About the time I lost my darling, Russell. Miriam and Russell...we were a team. Lost him just as we had the house to ourselves and time to travel and live our dreams. So unexpected and so unfair. But, like He said...we're not promised tomorrow.

I heard it said the other day that it was bad manners to read the newspaper at the breakfast table. We didn't think so. Russell couldn't wait to tear into the sports page. I used to just sit and watch him with his coffee cup in one hand, forkful of eggs in the other and nose in the sports page. That's a good memory, bad manners or not.

Guess men don't do that much anymore. ESPN and the internet took it away. CNN and the internet must have stolen your thunder alot. Your headline is old news by the time it's read. With a click or two we get instant weather updates, sometimes mocking your forecasts. But, I always admired your putting it in writing.

My cabinets are filled with recipes I tore out faithfully over the years. How many compliments have I received when I tried the latest version of potato salad or coconut cake? You gave me that. I don't cook so much anymore.

When Buddy was young, I always read the school lunch menus. Kept me from feeding him meatloaf for supper if he had it for lunch. Not that he didn't love my meatloaf. Heaven's sake, he could eat it every day, that boy. Bet that new wife of his wouldn't know where to start to make a meatloaf. She's a pretty young thing, though. I guess I could teach her if they could find time to visit.

There was a time when I read every one of your job posted ads. I have you to thank for introducing Russell to the job he loved at Wilson Hardware. Met all our financial needs and he stayed with them until he retired. Buddy found countless yards to cut listed in your depths.

You were so successful in finding us just the right house to buy and make into our home. This home I cherish, chocked full of precious memories. I don't read Real Estate ads anymore. I'm thinking my next move will be to a mansion and Jesus is preparing that for me.

Do your readers seek out the crosswords puzzle? I somehow doubt it's popular. How will these kids of today ever complete one? They're into texting and slang. Russell and I used to save it until after church on Sunday. Armed with tall glasses of ice tea, we would do it together. I can just see us now, Russell in his big green chair and me sitting on the chair arm peeking over his shoulder. I can still smell his aftershave.

It used to delight me to read all the new-baby announcements. Today, not so much. It bothers me when only the mother is mentioned or the parents aren't married. The engagement announcements have dwindled. Some of them list the same address for both, revealing they are already living together. That takes a lot of getting used to, old friend.

When I heard that The Daily Tribune was being retired and your last issue would be only a few days away, I was saddened. We've lived a lot of life together.

I hope you'll forgive me for using you in Edgar-Allen Crow's cage all those years. It just made good sense. Your sacrifice in my mulch bed helped me win a Blue-Ribbon with my Abe Lincoln roses. Can't do that with a computer or CNN.

Oh, before I forget. Thanks for so many wonderful laughs as I read the Sunday comics. Blondie, Dagwood, Herb and Tootsie are like family to me. You gave me that.

And I'll always love Marmaduke.



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This article has been read 705 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke09/17/09
This was SO delightful! What a great spin on the subject of retirement. Your MC's thoughts were authentic and insightful. Really creative.
Anita van der Elst09/17/09
Aaah, I miss getting a newspaper too. It's just not the same looking at the comics on line.

Very good job on this!
Eileen Knowles09/17/09
Really enjoyed this! What an original take on the topic. Very nice.
c clemons09/18/09
Liked the take on topic, very good.
Seema Bagai 09/21/09
Creative and a unique take on the topic. One tiny thing: a lot is two words. Good writing and insight in this piece.
Beth LaBuff 09/21/09
I liked your parallel between your MC and the newspaper. I had to laugh at the crow's name... what a hoot :) ...and how the paper was used in his cage. Your title is great!
Jan Ackerson 09/21/09
Oooh, I share your fear that crosswords may someday disappear!

Really creative entry--I enjoyed it very much.
Catrina Bradley 09/21/09
Creative take on retirement! Love the dual-look at the topic, and the nostalgic voice of your MC as she says goodbye to her old friend.
Leah Nichols 09/22/09
I love reading the newspaper....wish my busy life would allow for more of it! Nice nostalgic piece.
Shilo Goodson09/22/09
You have a great article. I too love the newspaper in print rather than online. There's just something about having something tangible to read that makes the experience better.
Bryan Ridenour09/22/09
Super creative take on the topic. Well written and very well done!
Pamela Kliewer09/22/09
What a creative take on the topic. Great job!
Carol Slider 09/22/09
I love reading the newspaper every morning... can't imagine life without that daily ritual... but it's shrinking. I couldn't believe how THIN it was this morning! I like the internet, but it just isn't the same, is it? I enjoyed your unique take on the topic... good job!
Chely Roach09/22/09
What a great take on the topic, with a wonderfully sentimental, bittersweet story of how we "progress". Great piece!
Rachel Phelps09/23/09
This was a great entry - I am one of those kids of today who is addicted to her newspaper and crossword every day. Very creative!
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/23/09
I loved this--out-of-the-box creative entry. So many things I could identify with, I had to make sure I hadn't written it. Nope--I'm not that creative.
Mariane Holbrook09/23/09
This is so good that I basked in it! I could have read on for another couple of pages! How much jail time would I get for plagurism? Is that all? It would be worth it! No kidding. Big time kudos!!!
Joy Faire Stewart09/23/09
Enjoyed this creative writing. Miriam's pov was perfect.
Charla Diehl 09/24/09
Your story took me down memory lane and I truly enjoyed the read. I felt you had two MC's--the retiring newspaper and the retired lady who faithfully read it. I share her sentiments on several issues and think you presented this topic in an interesting and sincere way. A very well deserved win--congratulations.
Mariane Holbrook09/24/09
I'm so pleased with your win! I knew when I first read it that it had "WINNER" written all over it. Heartiest congratulations!
Such a well-deserved win!
Lisa Johnson 09/25/09
What a clever story. It is sad that the newspapers are becoming obsolete. Your story brings a lot of memories to my mind...my Dad is a lot like your MC's husband. Congratulations on your first place win for the level.
Jennifer Galey09/25/09
Very, very creative!! Congrats on your win!!!
Allen Stark09/26/09
Congrats Mona for your deserved 1st place. Great MCing. This piece had to have been written from the inside out. BTW, I attended Calvary Chapel in Indio, CA, which took on the name of Grace Chapel a few years back.
Lori Robbins09/29/09
What an absolutely creative and wonderful piece. The analogy is increditable and so well thought. I just love it! A well deserved win.