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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: Communication Please!
By Carol Penhorwood


I couldn't wait to share the days' news. Hearing from our daughters and the antics of our grandchildren was always the highlight of our day. But today was special, I had news I was bursting to tell.

Gene laid the newspaper on his footstool for later reading. “What's the special occasion?” As he sat down to eat at the candlelit table. “Did I forget an anniversary?”

“No, I just had a great day and some special news so I thought we could celebrate a little.” I had waited long enough and the words just came tumbling out. “You'll never guess what happened to me today.”


“I was invited to be a contributing author on The Cypress Times with my own poetry page!”

“Hmph. Is that right?”

“Yes, and not only that, they loved one of my poems so much, they named me “Poet Laureate-Pick of the Palace” this week.”

“Hmph! That is good news!”

“I read in one of the publisher's articles that they get about a million viewers each month from about twenty-seven countries around the world.”


“I know I am getting a hug from God.”

“Hmph. Look at the years you have waited for this. “ Gene said as he calmly laid down his fork and rose from his chair. Coming over, he grabbed my hands and pulled me out of my seat and into his arms. “I always knew you could do it. And now you're beginning to see the fruits of your labor.”

I snuggled in, feeling his pride in me. This was all I needed.

We finally settled in the living room, Gene behind his daily newspaper, listening to the news on TV as he read.

“Amy called today,” I said as I settled into my usual spot on the sofa.


“She said Eli came down for breakfast and seeing his breakfast sandwich on his plate said, 'Helloooo, gorgeous!' At five he has a love affair with food just like his daddy,” I laughed.

“Hmph. ”

“And Carissa called too. They had some excitement last night. Still hurting from that “shock wave” therapy on her kidneys, she had gone to bed early with the kids to get some extra sleep. She heard Emma up, messing around, and thought she better check on her. You never know what little two-year-olds will get into, do you?”


“She found her squirting water on the TV there in the girls' room. Scolding her, she put her back to bed. After she had gone back to bed and was nearly asleep, Carissa heard a pop, pop, popping sound coming from their room. Thinking Emma was up again, she told her to get back to bed. She was hurting so badly, she just didn't want to get out of bed again.”


“Finally, when the noise continued and hearing nothing from the girls, she felt she better check it out. As she entered their room, smoke was pouring out the top of the TV and sparks were flying out the back. Panicking, she quickly pulled the plug.”


“She said she didn't know what to do, whether to wake the children and get them out of their rooms or get the TV out of there. Being single again sure has its disadvantages. So she called family who lived nearby, but there was no answer. Then she called the fire department and explained what was happening. They said they would send someone right over. Knowing she couldn't lift it on her own with the pain she was in, she called another family member who quickly came over. As he was carrying the TV out of the house, the fire department arrived.”


“That little Emma, she's a cutie, but she can be a handful.” I said. “This morning when she woke up, Mommy told her again she was never to do that and now they wouldn't have any TV in the room she shared with her older sister.”

Emma listened closely, then said, “Yep, but I got a TV at Daddy's house!”

“Hmph. Carissa has her work cut out for her,” my husband replied.

He was actually listening to me!

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This article has been read 652 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/11/10
Delightful, I loved the stories of the mischief kids can get into and was surprised that the husband was listening. There's hope for many out there still. Good job.
Lisa Harris03/12/10
Loved it! Made me giggle! I'm sure many can relate...Great job!
Carole Robishaw 03/18/10
Love this, you deserve that hug from God!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/10
This is very well written and delightful to follow--very realistic, I would say. I enjoyed it very much.
Beth LaBuff 03/18/10
Carol, I love the Cypress times poet award! So cool!! The TV sparking gave me chills, we lost our home because of a TV that did something similar (when I was 16). So glad the outcome was different for your daughter. ...and what a cutie that Emma is... she had everything figured out. :) I enjoyed this!!
Ruth Stromquist03/19/10
Wow! Congratulations on the Cypress Times job! That's tremendous! And a fun piece. I too, liked the ending especially well.