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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)

TITLE: Blowout Beach Birthday Bash
By Irene Patterson


Blowout Beach Birthday Bash

The wind is getting stronger, I was thinking, as I drove to the birthday celebration for
Beth, my son's girlfriend. I confess, the loneliness of raising a child alone after the death of my husband had been getting to me. I had prayed that God would bring someone special into my life, yet it hadn't happened. My crabby attitude enveloped my sad spirit.
Some blowout bash, I thought. We're going to blow right off the beach. Not to mention how cold it is. Not normal for June.
Then I heard a bang. I struggled to control my car, fighting to stop the swerving.
Great, I thought. What else? Now a blowout. A blowout bash, all right. But the blowout became mine, not Beth's. I pulled over to the side of Beach Boulevard, thankful there was an open space by the curb and searched my wallet for my towing card. No card, of course. Frustration overwhelmed me, taking over. What will I do? I don't know how to change a tire. I thought this even as I began to wonder if my spare tire was in usable condition. Could anything else go wrong?
I prayed. I had to admit the situation had gotten beyond me. Time to ask God for help. Then I opened the trunk to see if I had a spare.
"Amazing," I said out loud. "What do you know. I actually have a spare. Now, what do I do with it."
"Well, you need to find your jack first," the voice of a stranger startled me.
I turned to look over my shoulder.
"Excuse me?" I asked. Handsome, I thought.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. Do you always talk to yourself?"
"When I'm frustrated," I shrugged. Secretly I felt embarrassed. "I've never had a blowout before. Pretty frightening, actually."
"Let me help you with that tire." The stranger smiled at me. He then went to work, finding the jack, the lug wrench, the spare and replaced the blown out tire. When he finished he put the jack, wrench and blown tire away in my trunk.
"Thanks, so much. What can I do to repay you?"
"You can start by exchanging names with me. I'm Tommy. I'd shake hands, but now my hands are dirty. And your name?"
"I should have told you before. Jane Bowler. Thanks so much, again. I really needed help."
"Happy to help. Give me time to wash my hands, and maybe we could get a coffee?" He pointed across the street to a little cafe."
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm on the way to a celebration." I grinned, feeling sheepish. I knew I was blushing. “I'd like to, but I can't.”
"Later, perhaps?"
"Yes, I think I can manage that. At that cafe? It may not be until about 5:00 pm."
"Sounds good. I'll see you then."
I said good-bye hurrying to be on my way. I felt a little giddy. Many thoughts raced through my mind. I sure hope this guy isn't married. I hope he's a good guy. Well, can't think about it now, because the beach is in front of me, and I have arrived. But at the blowout bash I couldn't stop thinking about Tommy. I couldn't wait to meet him for that coffee. I wondered if he would show up.
We were all suffering, cold and windblown, but I stayed for Beth and Rick. My Rick.
"It's amazing what we do for our kids, isn't it," I said to Beth's mom, Linda, as we shivered inside our sweaters.
"How true. Thanks, for coming, Jane. I really appreciate it. And for bringing the potato salad. It's looks wonderful."
“Thanks. Everything is great,” I replied, enjoying my share of barbecued ribs, potato salad, and watermelon. Secretly eager to get away for that coffee, I heard a familiar voice behind me. I turned to see Tommy, smiling at me.
“Jane Bowler. What a surprise.”
“For me, too. What brings you here?”
“Beth is my niece,” he told me, helping himself to a plate of food. “Mind if I sit by you?”
“I'd like that.” A warm glow settled into me. Silently, I thanked God for answered prayer, and for a blowout I thought I couldn't handle. God had heard my prayers; He had been there with me all the while.
WC: 736

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This article has been read 403 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/05/11
Sometimes it takes a tire blowout to remind us that God is always there. My daughters and I were on a busy highway when three cars in a row hit debris in the road. My daughter was driving the second car and she and God did a great job of keeping us safe. Your story is one many can relate to. Nice job.
Coleene VanTilburg 05/06/11
We may be praying about one thing, but God sees the whole picture. He answered more then one prayer for this woman and in such a romantic, delightful way. I could feel her "giddiness" and excitement, especially when Tommy showed up at the same party. Well done and a great picture of God walking with us.
Noel Mitaxa 05/08/11
That was a "niece" little twist at the end of a story that was very engaging (even if the party was for a birthday rather than for an engagment!)
Is chapter two hiding somewhere in your computer?
Terrific flow of thinking, which would be enhanced with more paragraph spacing.
Leola Ogle 05/10/11
Your story just reminds me of Romans 8:28 about "all things working together for good". Good writing, good story and like Noel said, some spacing between paragraphs makes an easier read! God bless!
Tim Patterson05/11/11
Great writing! I love it... so mc-dreamy... a damsel in distress, and a knight in shining armour comes to save the day. ;)
Linda Goergen05/13/11
Cute story! One never knows what surprises a day will hold! LOL Enjoyed the read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/11
Congratulations for placing 7th in level 3!