Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)
TITLE: A Perfect Time to Clean the House
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It was a beautiful spring morning and a perfect time to clean the house. I had just finished my morning cup of tea when the telephone rang. It was Connie, our first born. Connie has a family of her own now and lives down south with husband Bob.
“Hi, Connie. How are you and the children?”
“We’re all fine. I’m calling for your apple pie recipe. I’m busy right now. Can you email it to me?”
“Of course…if I can work the computer. Your father’s gone to the hardware store so I can’t ask him to help.”
“Why is Dad at the hardware store? He’s never been a handyman.”
“Well, he likes watching those free do-it-yourself demonstrations they have every Friday. Last week it was a do-it-your-self pantry cupboard, only now I have a whole in the wall. I think today’s demonstration is on how to build a dog house.”
“Umm…Mother, you don’t have a dog.”
“I know dear, but it keeps him occupied. You had better go and I’ll send the recipe. Bye Connie.”
I had only just hung up the phone when the front door opened. “Sam, I thought you would be at work.”
“The managers decided to renovate my office. I officially start on Monday. Do you think you could do a load of washing for me?"
He smiled so sweetly and handed me a bunch of flowers. What could I say? “Sure. As long as you can send Connie an email with my apple pie recipe attached.”
I put the flowers in a vase and set the washing machine going while Sam sat at the computer.
“How’s it going?” I asked. “Did you find the recipe?”
“All done,” he answered with a grin. “You should have some basic lessons and start your own recipe helpline.”
“Now there’s a thought. It would distract me from all that hammering your father does. Now I really need to get your old room clean out. Want to help?”
“I would, but Kevin is on his way over to watch a DVD with me…if that’s okay.”
“Sure, I haven’t seen your brother in almost a week. I’ll be cleaning if you want anything.” With no reply, I headed for the bedrooms.
<i>You might say I don’t really miss the children. Kevin was here last weekend with his twin sister, Teena. I love how those two get on so well. I suppose they all get on okay. Sharon will be here again tomorrow. She likes to stop by on her way to her afternoon shift at the hospital. I can remember her always wanting to be a nurse. It always made us laugh the way she bandaged all her teddies and dolls. Ah…those were the days.</i>
It wasn’t even lunch time when Kevin and Sam wanted something to eat. The refrigerator is in the same place as it was when they were living here. What the heck. “Okay, I’m coming as soon as I put Sam’s clothes into the dryer.” I was hoping there might be an offer of help...
“Lunch was great,” Kevin said giving me a hug. “I better go, I need to pick up the car from the repair shop and get to work. I’ll see you later.” He reached down and gave me a peck on the cheek. “Bye.” Then he was gone again.
“I better get my things out of the dryer and head back too,” Sam said following me to the laundry.
“You missed your father. When will you be back for a visit?”
“Probably when I need some more washing done,” he said quite seriously.
“Okay. Well take care.” I waved to him from the front step.
I had just stepped back inside when the telephone started ringing. “Teena, how’s the house coming along?”
“Oh, I just want to cry, Mother.”
“What’s the matter?”
“It’s the builder. He keeps changing dates to do things. He’s always late and we have to keep telling him to order stuff on time. It’s so frustrating. Do you have time for a chat?”
“Of course I do honey. Let me pour myself a cup of tea and we can talk awhile.”
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