Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)
TITLE: Storms of Life
By Marlene Austin
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Sherry, did you hear me, honey? It seems that my mom and dad will be coming here to join us for Christmas dinner this year.”
“Why in the world are they getting their kitchen remodeled during the holidays?”
“It’s the contractors’ schedule, honey. They have to take them when they can do the work.”
“But, that’s only two weeks away. Nothing will be ready. We don’t even have the Christmas tree up yet. And, our place is so small compared to your mom and dad’s mansion.”
“Sherry, none of that matters. They just need a place to have Christmas dinner and we’re opening our home to them, that’s all. Come on, honey, they’ve seen where we live, it’s not like it’s going to be a shock to them or anything.”
“I know, but everything was laid out so perfectly at your mom’s for Thanksgiving, and there was just so much more room.” Ryan couldn’t discern if his wife’s heavy sigh was from worry, fear, or self-doubt.
The next weekend Sherry bought the items she would need to set up the first “feast” she would prepare for her in-laws. She and Ryan had discussed which foods his parents liked and which they would manage to afford on their budget: a ham - since they had just had turkey at Thanksgiving, baked beans, corn pudding, asparagus with cheese sauce, a salad, and apple pie for dessert.
Pretty nice fare which doesn’t require a great deal of cooking expertise, Sherry thought, satisfied with the purchases.
The anticipated day finally arrived. Being a methodical organizer, Sherry had all the dishes prepared ahead of time. The table was set with their finest linens, china, and silver. Ryan had made sure the Christmas tree was straight and decorations evenly dispersed.
Mid-morning, weather alerts were beginning to splash across the television screen. An unseasonable storm system was heading toward them - warm air pushing up from the south, bringing with it the possibility of thunder, lightning, and high winds. They hoped the threatening weather would be past them before they needed to be entertaining their dinner guests.
Ryan’s parents had just arrived and taken seats on the small sofa when everyone’s light chit-chat was pierced by a howl of wind followed by a monstrous snapping sound. By the time the echo of noise stilled, the family found themselves sitting in darkness.
Ryan and his father carefully looked out the front and back doors to see how close and how severe the damage had been. They reported to the ladies that an electrical pole, about forty feet down the main road, had broken where a large tree now leaned against it. They suspected that they would be without electricity for many hours, if not a few days.
Ryan’s mother watched Sherry’s reactions carefully. Sherry hoped she looked calmer than she felt as she stood, crossed over to Ryan, asked to speak with him for just a minute, and excused themselves as they went into the kitchen.
Returning, hand in hand, they were smiling. Ryan addressed his parents.
“Well, there will be a little delay, but nothing major, I’m pleased to say. We’ve started the grill. Sherry has sliced the ham into large steaks. It was already fully cooked and I don’t think there will be too much difficulty heating things on the grill.”
There was adequate daylight to be comfortable for moving around without injuring anyone. Sherry even joked about the nice “ambiance”. The meal passed pleasantly.
As Ryan’s parents prepared to leave, his mother gave Sherry a hug. Still holding her close, she said, “You know I was worried about the type of wife you would be to Ryan when things got rough, as they always do in a marriage.” Stepping back, holding Sherry’s shoulders at arms length, she continued, “Today, I witnessed the two of you showing care and concern for one another, and with the strength of working together, your love encircled others, us, as well. Thank you for the dinner, Sherry, but even more, thank you for being a help-mate to our son.”
After his parents departed, Ryan and Sherry were unaware the electricity remained off. They were enshrouded in the warmth of their family’s love.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.