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
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<i>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 <b>The Daily Tribune</b> 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. </i>
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