Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GOING HOME (from vacation) (09/03/15)
- TITLE: Valuable Possessions
By Cindy Duncan
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After six full days of sun, salt water, sand, and seafood, we all looked forward to the same thing. Going home. They say “Home is where the heart is,” and ours was in that little frame house in the woods where we were safe and secure from the outside world. At least that’s how we felt at the time.
After we packed our bags, our three sons helped load the car. I should have recognized at that point that this was no ordinary day. Even four-year old Joey wheeled his new Batman suitcase across the parking lot and waited patiently for his older brother Jake to put it into the car. He then climbed into his seat and announced, “I ready.”
As we began our journey home, there was much talk about the highlights of our vacation, with everyone sharing their favorite activity of the week. Jake, at fifteen, liked watching the girls and devouring the food. That was no surprise. Justin was just twelve so he preferred riding the waves and throwing the football to watching girls. But he agreed with Jake about the food. Little Joey’s favorite pastime was building sandcastles with his dad, while mine was lying in the sun reading my book. In typical dad fashion, my husband’s favorite part was just watching all of us have a good time.
As the palm trees gave way to pines, our conversation changed from vacation to home. “Can you make spaghetti when we get home?” asked Jake. “I kinda miss your cooking, Mom.”
“Well thanks, Jake…I think.” I replied. “The spaghetti may have to wait until tomorrow night, though. When I get home, I want to crawl into my bed. That hotel bed was way too firm.”
“You sound like Goldilocks, Mommy,” said Joey, “and your bed at home is just right,” he laughed.
As we all shared his laughter, I started to realize that the closer we got to home, the more things felt familiar. But at the same time, a sense of uneasiness grew inside of me with each passing mile.
“I miss my friends,” said Justin. “Maybe I’ll have them all over tomorrow.”
“I miss my Sunday School teacher,” said Joey, as we passed our church. “Can I inbite Miss Watkins ober?”
“You’re a weird kid, Joey,” said Jake, pushing him playfully.
We were only twenty minutes from home at this point, but since I had already stated that a homemade dinner was not going to happen, we stopped for one more fast food meal.
After eating, we headed home. As we pulled into the driveway, my heart skipped a beat. “Is the front door open?” I asked, hoping that one of the boys had just forgotten to close it before we left, but at the same time knowing my husband always checked things like that.
“Yes, it is,” my husband replied, “Stay here.” He and my oldest son broke out into male protective mode, jumping out of the car to investigate. After making sure there was no one still there, they waved us in.
The family room didn’t look much different than when my three boys had spent some time there, but the bedrooms and kitchen were a different story. Drawers were pulled out and had been rummaged through, with clothing strewn everywhere. Our little home, which I had insisted we leave neat and tidy, was in shambles.
Joey began crying, my husband called the police, and we searched our home to determine if anything was missing. We concluded that nothing of value had been stolen, but we still felt violated. After the police had written the report, and we had cleaned up the mess, we sat in the kitchen discussing who could have done such a thing.
“It was theibes,” said Joey. “Miss Watkins said they could break in here. That’s why we should keep our treasures in heaben. The theibes can’t break in there.”
“You’re weird, and smart, Joey,” said Jake, “but apparently we don’t have any treasures here, because they didn’t steal anything. I guess one advantage to not having much is you don’t have much to lose.”
My husband looked around the table and said, “Oh I have plenty to lose, but thank God, my most valuable possessions were at the beach.”
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