Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shrewdness (03/07/05)
- TITLE: Maud-in-Law
By Sally Hanan
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“Have you got the instructions, beginning on step 1? Good. Make sure now you have all of the screws you need before you start. Is the screwdriver charged? You know that hand of yours gets bad if you put too much pressure on it. I’ll get the other battery, just in case.”
Maud’s slippers slopped over the tightly glued wood floors to the garage, where she had David’s tools arranged on pegs in alphabetical order. Within seconds, to Dave’s dismay, she was back at his side.
“Careful Davey boy, those rough edges all need to be on the same side. Remember that time when………”
I wish it was time for the hammer - so I could drown her out, or maybe even… , no, prison for the rest of my life is not exactly appealing, although….. it would mean a life without Maud…then again, it might mean a life with someone in the top bunk called ‘pretty boy’…… He turned on the screwdriver instead. The buzz produced a suitably rowdy sound.
“NO, NO DAVID, IT ISN’T TIME TO DO THAT BIT YET.” Her body was at a 90 degree angle, lips almost stuck on his eardrum, and she was screaming so loudly his ear was ringing.
A staple gun, that would do the trick. A click there right in the middle of that pucker of hers, one to the right, one on the left. Aaaaah, imagine the silence.
“David! Focus on the instructions. Remember that time….”
I do remember the time, and the time before that, and the time before that too. How did Nathalie ever talk me into letting her mom live with us? She said Maud would be a big help around the house; that she was one shrewd woman; that she had managed to bring up ten kids on a farm, keep animals, till the land, keep the books, sell it at a profit. She SAID she would be a great help with the twins on the way, and after.
Now here I sit putting a crib together with this…this woman, and taking it all! This Maud-in-law isn’t shrewd at all if she can’t read my body language –but knock the ‘d’ off and you get her in the right class of the species- she’s a shrew!
Lord, God in heaven, help me! If I tell her where to go, I’ll never hear the end of it, from either woman. If I throw the screwdriver at her (and hopefully accidentally on purpose hit her between the eyes like Goliath) and tell her to do the job herself, the screaming will wake up the twins in utero.
“David! Are you listening to anything I’m saying? The – hammer – is – over - there. Hello, knock, knock, anybody home?” Maud’s gnarly finger was pointing to the floor, the hammer only inches away from her right suede slipper with the three inch instep.
What would Jesus do Lord? I did that finding your purpose book for 8 weeks in church, and her name wasn’t in it. Can’t you just, you know, smite her? What do I do?
A surge of inner strength came into him. He stood to his feet, lay the screwdriver voluntarily on the side of the unfinished crib – he didn’t trust himself with it standing so closely to her – and forced a smile through his clenched teeth.
“Maud, I appreciate your help. I know you are a great mother, and that you ran that farm single handedly for many years, but I’d love to do this alone. These are my first kids, and I want to be able to look at them in their cribs and know that their peaceful sleep is, in part, thanks to me.” He picked up the screwdriver again and turned it to ‘high’ before she could get a chance to respond.
Please Jesus, please Jesus, do this for me. I don’t want to have to go back to anger management class. I don’t want to walk into church with my head down after giving such a great overcoming anger testimony last month. Pleeeeeeease?
“Hrumph!” and with a toss of the purple, well-lacquered curls she left the room.
So who is the shrewd one now, Maud? Right back atchya, in your face the WINNER!
Oh, and thank-you God for filling me with what I needed to get through this.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. (Amos 5:12-14)
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