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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Groceries - deadline 8-23-12 10 am NY time (08/16/12)

TITLE: Proud Pantry
By Genia Gilbert


I have served well. Never mind the worn edges on my shelves, or their dull finish. In spite of occasional mention of renovation, it just never happened. It seems my contents have always been the focal point, rather than my innards. Consequently, a few of my boards are sagging from the weight I have borne.

It wasn’t always this way. At the beginning, when the Man and Woman came, I was fresh, bright, and new. They came, excitedly, with brown paper bags. Together, they removed from them one item after another, placing them at various levels of my space.

The woman was very meticulous, insisting on order and arrangement. The flour, sugar, baking powder, and corn meal needed to be close together; the spices were placed in another section. Above them were canned vegetables, fruits, and soups. All boxes were grouped together. This became a point of contention through the years—keeping all things in their assigned places.

Another factor was obvious as, week-by-week, they brought in the big grocery sacks, replacing foods that had been consumed: The man seemed cross at the rising cost of the items, never in a great mood as he helped put them away. The woman, on the other hand, always said something about being thankful for God’s provisions. There were no arguments, only unbending observations.

Before long, a change took place. Added to the usual stock on my shelves were cans of formula, powdered cereal, and many little glass jars of baby food. Soon after, there were boxes of Cheerios, graham crackers, and cookies. This cycle was repeated at least three times through the years.

Little People began to reach up into my lower spaces, often being shooed out and the door closed firmly behind them.

Soon, in my storage, appeared boxes of mac’ and cheese, pop tarts, many more boxes of cereal, and several other snack items. My appearance was changing quickly.

Of course, numerous foods bypassed my space, going instead to the refrigerator or freezer. Into the fridge went ground beef every week, but I proudly held onto the Hamburger Helper boxes. The mustard and ketchup stayed on my shelf until they were opened, and then disappeared behind the stately white appliance door.

Later, the Little People seemed almost as big as the Man and Woman. At this point, the large sacks had to be brought more often. The increasing pace at which my inner supplies left their spots started a frantic effort to keep the shelves filled. The man was a bit grumpier as he helped carry in new bags, but the Woman remained calm, thankful for God’s provisions.

Often the Middle-Sized people helped to put items away too, some of which never reached any storage at all. An unbelievable number of things—called frozen pizzas—went directly to the freezer, along with cartons of ice cream.

Somewhere in the passing of time, the paper sacks disappeared. In their place were filmy plastic bags, which made no crackling or rustling sound, only a pile of plastic left over at the end.

Soon those who had grown into Big People devoured my ever-diminishing supply. They even carried some of it off in boxes whenever they would leave. Often they complained when they looked for something that had obviously already been eaten.

Before long, there was only the Man and Woman again. It was very quiet. The activity at my door was considerably less, but still, there were weekly bags. In them were new foods, high in fiber, low in salt and calories. Definitely, there were less snack foods, but more vegetables in cans.

Finally, there was only the Woman. She brought in the groceries alone. There were small cans of fruits, boxes of individual microwave dishes, and a steady supply of crackers.

She walked more slowly, but seemed at peace. Each time she placed a new supply on my shelves, she paused a couple of extra minutes. She knew.

It was God’s provision that I held. I have served well.

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This article has been read 525 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanna Stricker08/23/12
I want to cry this reminded me of my Grandmother's pantry. Good memories. I want a pantry like this! Excellent job in showing the full circle of life, and the one constant of God's provision.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/23/12
Wow! I think this is one of the most creative stories I've ever read. This quarter, the topics are all so closely related that it seems like almost every story is a slightly different version of one told before. This though is a work of brilliant uniqueness. I loved how you came full circle at the end. This is an outstanding example of an out of the box POV and a delightful read.
C D Swanson 08/24/12
Great job. There have been stories in here that had a Clock speaking, and other various inanimate objects...all so clever. And, now this entry joins the ranks of the others.

Interesting and unique with a vivid imagination. Loved everything about it.

This will be one of the winners for sure. I can tell.

God bless~
Karen Pourbabaee 08/24/12
I thoroughly enjoyed the unique point of view in your creative and nostalgic story!
This excellent entry should rank right up there!
Dannie Hawley 08/25/12
Incredibly clever and well-written! Your pantry shelves made me laugh and cry, ending with a heart-tugging review of my own life. Isn't that what good writing should do? Great job!
Laura Hawbaker08/26/12
Great writing! Sounds like my pantry through the years. Good, strong sentences.
Vicki J. Cypcar08/28/12
Okay, I will be blunt - your entry is Awesome! I love the viewpoint, it is so 'out of the box' original. Fantastic job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/30/12
I could be wrong, but since overall you placed 9th and earned an EC, I do believe your story was inadvertently left out from the rankings in level 3. You done good, my friend! Happy Dance! If I'm not mistaken this is your 3rd EC moving you up to Masters? No matter what you are ready my friend! Happy Dance! And one more Happy Dance!!
C D Swanson 08/31/12
Congratulations! See? I knew you would be one of the winners...great job.

God Bless~