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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: Del & Ellie
By Lollie Hofer


Ellie looked over at Del nestled in his recliner. "He sure is doing a darn good job of sawing those logs in two," Ellie said while knitting a blue baby blanket for her great grandson. "I'm surprised his snoring has never registered on the Richter scale."

Ellie noticed Del's white head bobbing every time he let out a jagged breath. At 85 years of age, Del still had a full head of hair and a strong built, the latter compliments from decades of farming. Ellie never tired of looking at her man even when he was busy cutting down the entire forest with his incessant snoring. She reached over from her recliner and wiped a pool of drool that was threatening to run down from his mouth. Del, jerking with a snort, grabbed her hand for a quick kiss before rolling over to his other side.

"A little frisky, eh, you old rascal," Ellie said. Of course, Del had been a rascal for as long as she had known him. The needles quieted as Ellie became lost in fond memories of the first time she met Del.


The year was 1944.

"I'm not going to tell you again, give me back my basket," Ellie said to the handsome young sailor.

Ellie was a Platform Girl at the North Platte Canteen, greeting young soldiers as they stepped off the train. North Platte was a welcome stop for the soldiers on their way to the Pacific Coast and the war.

"I'm holding this basket hostage until you give me your name and address," Del teased.

"I'm not giving you my name and you can have the dumb ol' basket," Ellie said." "All the soldiers get one anyway."

Each basket contained fruit, snacks, toiletries and the names of several young ladies from the area who would love to correspond with a handsome young sailor. Ellie, however, had never put her name in a basket.

An hour later, Ellie stood on the platform watching Del's train pull out of the station. With slender hands on her hot face, Ellie asked her friends, "What was I thinking?" She had given a persistent Del her name and her address.


Ellie wiped tears from her eyes. Time hadn't softened the pain or fear she had felt the year after meeting Del on that station platform.


While sitting on the back porch stoop, a telegram floated from Ellie’s hands and landed at her feet. With her head between her hands, she bent over in silent agony. Ellie wasn’t for sure how long she sat there, but finally finding her voice, she began to pray and cry, “Lord, please, no, no, no. Not Del. Oh Lord, not Del.”

After a year of corresponding with Del, Ellie had received notice from a naval chaplain that he had been injured. Ellie couldn't eat or sleep for days not knowing what had happened to Del. One thing she did know, she was in love with the guy.

A few weeks later there was a knock at the kitchen door. Ellie screamed when she opened the door and there stood Del, on crutches, holding a handful of sky blue hyacinths. He had even remembered her favorite color was blue.

After giving him a huge embrace, she began hitting him on the arm. "You could have called me to tell me you were alive," she cried.

"Hey, sweetheart, why the tears?” Del had asked.

Ellie answered, "Why the tears? Because I love you, you big lug."

Later Ellie learned that during a storm at sea, Del had fallen down a rung of steps, knocked himself unconscious and broken his leg in two places. His comrades had given him a hard time he told her. "Some guys will do anything to get out of this blasted war!" they had teased.

The best news was Del was reassigned to the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot in Hastings, which was 153 miles away from Ellie's home town.


Del looked over at his wife. "I love you too, El, my dear."

Ellie was surprised to realize she had said the "I love you" words out loud. Ellie smiled as she glanced at her man. “Yep, your charm is still in tact,” she playfully told him.

With a contented sigh, Ellie got up from her recliner. "Del, it's bedtime. Come on sweetie."

Slowly Del rose from his chair. Arm and arm the lovers of 63 years walked down the hallway to their bedroom.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 10/19/09
You brought this couple to life... I could see the whole story. I enjoyed the, "busy cutting down the entire forest with his incessant snoring" phrase! :)
Shilo Goodson10/21/09
You did a great job of making that story real for the reader.