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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)

TITLE: It's The Spirit That Counts
By Genia Gilbert
04/10/12


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“No, Corrie, you have it wrong,” Del huffed.

“Delmond Radford, I know I’m right. If you’d taken time to write it down like you promised, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“But I did write it down. Right here.” He thrust the yellow pad into her middle, good and hard. “See, it says, ‘Aunt Ruby’s for Easter noon, and Grandma Bett’s for the evening meal.’ Also, we’re supposed to take a coconut cake to Aunt Ruby’s and fruit salad to Grandma’s. You can’t keep any better records than that.”

“If a record isn’t right, it’s not much of a record,” she retorted. “And stop calling me ‘Corrie.’ My name is Corinne! I hate when you try to use a pet name just to win an argument. My iPhone has a perfect list, and it plainly says, we went to Aunt Ruby’s last Easter, so that means we are to go to my Mom’s this year. What's more, the coconut cake is what we take to Grandma Betts, and the fruit salad to Aunt Ruby’s. You have it backwards.”

“So what difference does it make, if we’re not going to either place? You’re not even making sense.”

“And as for that newfangled phone deciding where we spend the holidays, you know how I feel about that. You probably hit a wrong key and sent the correct list to somebody in China. About now, they’re wondering who in the world this ‘Grandma Betts’ is.” Del muttered in disgust.

“That’s enough, Del. And it doesn’t have keys. It’s called a touchpad. And the list is correct because I put it there.” You’re not being fair.” Corrine started to cry.

In the next room, Dana and Bobby rolled their eyes at one another, having heard their parents have this argument before. Because of their huge extended family, life always got complicated around holidays. It seemed that there was some kind of unwritten, revolving arrangement, with the oldest generation becoming very touchy if it got out of order.

As they grew, Dana and Bobby had found it increasingly difficult to explain their vast circle of old-fashioned relatives to their high-tech friends. Secretly though, they both looked forward to blending in with cousins, aunts, and uncles, sharing the same silly jokes again and again. Grinning at each other now, they drifted to their separate bedrooms where they could watch TV in peace.

“Now, who is being unfair,” moaned Del. “Honey, please stop with the tears.”

“Remember last Easter,” he continued. “I know we were at your mother’s because she had a sprained wrist and couldn’t do the mashed potatoes. They were more like oatmeal.”

“That was the Fourth of July, Del. See, you have it all mixed up. When did you write this down, anyway? I bet you did it during the New Year’s football games,” Corrine gave him an accusing look.

“Only during the commercials, dear,” He replied sarcastically. “And when did you “key in” your iPhone notes – on the way home from church, or while you were at the hairdresser’s?”

Searching for a snappy answer, Corrine’s eyes suddenly met Del’s. They managed to chuckle, realizing how ridiculous this was.

“The solution is just to call Mom and find out for sure about the plans for Easter. I’ll remind her that we will attend the sunrise service at church, wherever we go afterwards,” Corrine added. “Maybe we should arrange to pick up your Mom, too, if she isn’t going to her sister’s.”

When Corrine dialed her parents’ home, Dad answered. He sounded a bit gruff, not in a good humor.

“Your Mom isn’t here right now,” Dad growled. “She got upset with me and took a walk. She is absolutely sure the family plans for Easter are to go to Grandma Betts, and I know Uncle Joe and Aunt Irene are expecting us there. Furthermore, I’m positive it’s our turn to take a coconut cake. Somebody ought to write this all down … keep up with it somehow.”

Del was listening on the other phone. He and Corrine collapsed on the sofa. A few minutes later Dana and Bobby found them there, arms wrapped around each other, laughing uncontrollably.


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This article has been read 208 times
Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/12/12
This was a great read! I bet many people can relate to that extra stress during the holidays. When I was a kid, we had big dinners and took turns on both sides of the family too. Now that I'm grown with my own kids, my extended family has gotten quite small and I miss the big gatherings. You did a nice job with this piece.
CD Swanson 04/12/12
Oh I enjoyed this story. It revealed all the complexities of big family gatherings, and it was done with a light hearted appeal.

Growing up with a big family my aunts and uncles and grandparents were always at our holiday table, I personally appreciated this. It made me long for the "good old days."

Thanks for this.

God Bless~
Leola Ogle 04/12/12
Wow! I certainly can relate with the big family chaos at holidays (but not the bickering, thankfully we don't bicker like that). A good read and well written. God bless!
marcella franseen 04/13/12
A fun story! I like that you ended it with the couple laughing together.
Joe Moreland04/14/12
This was such a fun read! I found myself smiling pretty much all the way through. Great job with the characters and the dialogue.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/19/12
Congratulations for ranking 9th in level three!