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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Blessed (11/29/04)

TITLE: Counting the blessings
By Delores McCarter


The dew covered the freshly cut lawn, glistening by the reflection of the early morning sun. Laurie Morgan carried her shoes as she walked across the cool grass. Dudley, her yellow Labrador retriever, followed closely behind her. Laurie laughed to herself as the cool damp grass squished between her toes. The morning air and exercise seemed to make her pregnancy go a lot easier. Laurie always looked forward to her morning walk. Her husband Frank likes to sleep in a little longer, but insisted that she take Dudley with her whenever she goes for a walk. Dudley loves any excuse to tag along. Their daily walks have become a great morning ritual. Laurie has always been physically active, but in her condition, her daily workouts have been reduced to a low-impact walk.
As they entered the park, they reached a park bench nearby. Dudley barked, as if to order her to sit down. “Are you giving me a hint, Dudley?” She asked. Dudley wagged his tail and sat down on his hind legs in response. Laurie sat down slowly. She stroke her swollen belly, taking in her surroundings. The park is normally bustling with activity, but this morning, the squirrels were the only things moving around this morning. Dudley appeared to be in a trance as stared at the squirrels scampering around eating acorns and climbing trees.
Laurie repositioned herself on the bench and sighed. In less than twenty-four hours, she was going to deliver their first child and she was feeling apprehensive. She tossed and turned last night and didn’t get much sleep, but she knew that she had to stay calm. Dudley, as if sensing her anxiety, sat down with his legs across her feet.
She felt blessed to have this park in her neighborhood for it held many great memories for her. She remembered her first ice cream cone when she was five years old. At twelve, she learned to play chess while watching the weekly tournaments on Saturday morning. Her teenage years were practically spent in the park every summer, especially for the evening concerts. Laurie even met her husband Frank in the park a few years ago. He was running with his puppy, a handsome yellow Labrador retriever named Dudley. Frank was trying hard to make a good first impression with Laurie, but young Dudley just rolled on his back playfully, ignoring his Master’s efforts to be cool. Laurie laughed and knelt down to rub Dudley’s belly. Dudley was loving every minute of it, much to Frank’s embarrassment. It was Dudley’s adorable looks and hysterical antics that helped Frank establish a close friendship with Laurie. Reflecting back on they day they first met made Laurie laugh out loud. Breaking into her thoughts, Dudley stood up on his hinds feet and looked up at her. It was as if he could detect that she was thinking about him. Laurie stroked his head and he sat back down across her feet. “Dudley, you are so possessive.” she joked.
As she continued stroking Dudley’s head, her fears about having the baby subsided.
She counted her blessings for she had a wonderful husband and everyone was in good health.
She reflected back on some of the great moments she shared with Frank in this park. Just two years ago, Frank proposed to Laurie beneath the big oak tree on the Fourth of July. A true very romantic, Frank timed his proposal perfectly – right before the fireworks. Laurie felt so thankful for a loving husband who has shared many beautiful memories with her. She felt more at ease about the induced delivery tomorrow. In fact, she felt so much better that she was getting a little hungry. These days, Laurie was always hungry.
Laurie’s stomach hinted that it was time to go, if she could stand up again. She looked hilarious as she struggled to stand up. It was always a lot harder getting up than sitting down, especially when her stomach looked as if she’d swallowed a beach ball. They headed back home where a sleepy Frank greeted her on the front porch with bottle of water and a big hug. The young couple embraced and laughed as Dudley rolled on his back begging for a rub. Laurie leaned against a chair and watched Frank playing with Dudley. Her anxiety was completely gone and she felt tremendously blessed. (730)

Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Lee Rainey12/06/04
Wow Delores...this is a beautiful love story :^)
Joyce Poet12/06/04
This leaves me giddy! :::smile::: What fond memories of my own pregnancies you've stirred up!
Lucian Thompson12/06/04
Deloris, Frank is a very blessed man to have you, and so is Dudley. You tell a sweet and loving story that makes one feel like all is well with the world. Love abounds. Well done.
Lucian Thompson12/06/04
Ooops…change the i to e in your name. I am always doing that.
Delores McCarter12/07/04
Note to the readers: Frank is entirely fictional. Dudley is quasi-fictional. I know someone who has a seeing-eye dog, a yellow lab named Dudley. I wasn't sure what type of dog I wanted for this story. When I realized that I was using some of the real Dudley's characteristics, I decided to put him in the story. He is a cutie...and yes, he really likes to lay his paws across my feet. Thanks everyone for your great comments! Be blessed!
Deborah Anderson12/07/04
You have great word imagery, Delores. God bless you.
Jodi Hodge12/08/04
Sweet story. It makes me feel very peaceful.
Mitzi Busby12/09/04
Very descriptive. You painted a picture with words for the reader to behold. God bless.
Lois Jennison Tribble12/10/04
I loved the imagery (great 4th of July proposal)--with believable characters. What a blessing, to experience such calm before the storm of birth!