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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)

TITLE: Because Of That Yard Sale
By Leola Ogle


Ouch! She did it again, the elbow into my ribs. Exactly what did my wife, Erica, think when she insisted we come to the luau? Did she think I wouldn’t watch the hula dancers? My ribs will be bruised tomorrow. “Quit drooling, Jeff,” she says.

Well, to distract myself from the beautiful exotic ladies, I’ll tell you how we ended up here in Hawaii. It all started with a yard sale. How could a yard sale lead to a trip to Hawaii? I’m glad you asked.

Erica is a yard sale junkie. She is addicted, and that’s the truth. She simply can’t pass up a bargain. She’s always been a thrifty shopper, but this excessive need to shop at yard sales started when we finally had an empty nest.

My mom says it’s from boredom, plus the desire to feel needed and useful, and that I should be extra kind and loving. I’ve tried to be understanding, but our garage is full. When I say full, I mean we can’t park our cars in the garage anymore.

Everything is a treasure to Erica, something we may need someday. “Well, sweetheart, if we ever need any of it, we probably won’t be able to find it. It’s a real mess in that garage,” I told her. Her chin quivered, and she went into the bedroom.

I did feel bad. I guess it could be worse. Then there was that day she came home with a complete set of bathroom décor. “Look, Jeff, it’s all new, still in the packages and with the tags. From Nordstrom’s! Can you believe I got it all for fifty dollars?”

It was an exotic set with palm trees, parrots, fish, blue oceans, plenty of bright colors – blindingly bright colors. Erica redecorated the bathroom, but that wasn’t enough. She got coconut and pineapple scented candles, and one of those machines that make ocean and jungle sounds. “Oh, Jeff, don’t you love it? Doesn’t it make you want to sit on a beach somewhere, hike in a rainforest, or look into a volcano? Don’t you get tired of the desert? Let’s go to Hawaii or the Caymen Islands? Please?”

There’s nothing wrong with the desert. I like it. “Well, sweetheart, I’d love to take you somewhere exotic, but we can’t afford it, now can we?” Someone has to be the voice of reason, and I guess it has to be me. I felt bad, though, when she looked so heartbroken.

She didn’t let go of that dream. She ordered travel brochures, looked up stuff on the internet – always had that wistful look in her eyes. But she’s a terrific wife, she never nagged or begged or anything.

I admit I felt real bad when she started spending time in the bathroom, reading a book or knitting while her candles burned and her machine made soothing ocean sounds. Then there was the day she came home from her ladies’ Bible study.

“Jeff, guess what we talked about today? It was Psalms 37:4, you know, where it says if we delight ourselves in the Lord, he’ll give us the desires of our heart. Do you think that includes a trip to some exotic land?”

“Well, sweetheart, I’ve always thought you’re one of God’s favorite children. I tell you what. If God sends the money from some unexpected source, we’ll pack our bags and be gone.” I kissed my sweet wife then, and promptly forgot about it.

But here we are in Hawaii. I’ve never seen Erica happier. In fact, she’s glowing. My wife is actually very pretty – every bit as lovely as those hula ladies gyrating their hips and waving their arms like they can’t figure out if they want to go right or left. But I’m not looking at them. I’ve had enough of Erica’s elbow in the ribs.

Those women have nothing compared to my beautiful wife. Maybe there is something magical about an exotic setting. I’m feeling quite romantic. I love the sound of Erica’s giggles as I nibble on her ear. “Jeff, stop,” she whispers. “What’s gotten into you? People are looking.”

“Of course they are. It’s because you’re so beautiful, sweetheart.” She giggles again. I must say, I’m pleased as can be that I brought her to Hawaii. Shoulda done it a long time ago. Of course, we had no idea her grandmother had left a tidy sum of money to all her grandchildren.

It started with that exotic bathroom décor from the yard sale.

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This article has been read 255 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen08/16/13
This was such a fun, comical read! So well written, creative and entertaining! I kept thinking the wife was going to end up selling the garage full of yard sale treasures for enough to fund the trip. So I got fooled! But I loved this story! What an enjoyable read!
C D Swanson 08/20/13
This held an authentic tone...did this happen?

I really enjoyed it...it made me smile really wide.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/22/13
Congratulations on placing 10th in your level and 14 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)