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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Black Sheep of the Family (10/03/13)

TITLE: Humble Pie


“Slow down so you don’t miss the turn. Creek Road should be just ahead on the right.” Hannah is holding the handwritten directions in front of her trying to make out a small map drawn in the corner.

“Tell me again why we are visiting my crazy aunt?” I ask my wife once more. She snorts and looks at me as though I have a dunce hat on my head.

“How do you know she’s crazy? You have never even met her. You are just going by what your mom and dad told you. You know why we are coming up here to meet her .Our unborn child has a blood disorder and she maybe the missing link for finding the cure. She is the only family member we have not interviewed. The rest of our families have been so rude about it. We have to see her.” Hannah is showing me how exasperating I can be and she doesn’t hold back.

“I know. You’re right – as usual. Oh, hey, I think I see the turn.” About twenty feet in front of the car was a gravel road to the right.

The hand painted sign indicates this is Creek Road. Red and pink gladiolas are in full bloom in front of masses of purple butterfly bushes on both sides of the road. Yellow butterflies flitter everywhere as we drive slowly down the road towards the house.

“It’s obvious she doesn’t have allergies. Have you ever seen anything like this? This is way better than the botanical garden in the city.” Hannah rolls down the window to get a better view.

We stop the car at a stone and glass sculpture on the left side of the road. Each piece of glass we soon realize is a wine, beer or liquor bottle peeping through the mortar holding it all together. I look at my wife as if to say, “I told you so.” She only hits me in the arm and motions me to continue.

The house is ahead and we can see it is very simple. It is small, maybe one thousand square feet at the most. It is painted white and appears to be very clean. Flowers of every sort surround the house as well as multitudes of butterflies. We do not see a driveway so we just pull into the grass to park. As we get out of the car, we hear a voice behind us.

“Tom! Hannah! I’m so glad you found my place.” We turn to see a tall woman in white linen pants and a bright blue shirt with her arms open wide heading our way.

As she approaches I can see how much she resembles my mom. Her hair is long, gray and plaited in a braid hanging down her back. There is even a blue ribbon weaved through it. She seems very elegant and relaxed. She grabs us both without hesitation and gives us a hug.

“I’m so glad you came, please come in and I’ll get us something to drink.” I remember my mom said my Aunt was an alcoholic and the bottles in the sculpture on the way in. I couldn’t help but tell her that we do not drink alcohol.

My aunt’s laughter is melodic as she turns to me and says, “I don’t drink either. Not anymore. I gave that up over thirty years ago. Those bottles you saw on the way in are some I collected over the years before I quit. I was thinking about lemonade to go with a pie I just made.”

It was though she read my mind. We sit in her sunny living room and begin to tell her about the blood disorder and how the doctor says we have to find the family member with the same disorder to perform a transfusion. The transfusion will zero out the disorder and everything will be fine. She immediately says she will help us.

In the process of telling her about our situation and finding out she is the missing link we need, we discover so much more about her. It seems she truly made some life altering decisions years ago with much prayer and faith in God. She is simple and honest but my family hasn’t forgiven her of the past. As the former outcast in my family, she now lives humbly and focuses on being a servant to the Lord.

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This article has been read 309 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 10/10/13
Perfect title for this endearing story of how lives can change--and how those who are pointing fingers lose out on some wonderful relationships because they are too busy blaming instead of forgiving. That's the message I took away from this entry---good job.
C D Swanson 10/11/13
I really enjoyed this multi-layered story with so many messages throughout. Nicely done, loved the wrap up at the end. Good job.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/17/13
This is a great story. I'm sure we all need reminding to not judge based on what we hear. You do a splendid job of doing that without coming off as preachy. My only red ink would be some of the dialog felt a little stiff. Just try to relax it a tad and make it more natural. You did a great job of writing on topic. The story flowed nicely and the ending left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. Congratulations on placing 6th in your level and 24 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)