Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)
TITLE: Dear Sweet Crazy Lady
By Ed VanDeMark
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Thursday’s at 4:00 PM is the time to check your sanity at the door and enter Penny’s world. Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:30 is the weekly Flower Arrangers Society meeting. Penny was the 1971 National Champion Flower Arranger and is the girl’s teacher. In addition to her championship in 71’ she has seven top ten finishes in nationals. Photos of her winning arrangements cover virtually every wall surface, while golf trophies and crucifixes are crowded together on nearly every flat surface in her 17 room home. Teddy bears on top of teddy bears cover the stairways to the second and third floors, rendering them virtually unusable. Clean and dirty dishes are stacked on the floor; along side both clean and dirty laundry. Her nine cats make their way through the confusion she and husband James call home.
Penny is active in at least six civic organizations, in addition to haunting the halls of her church several hours everyday except Thursday. In spite of her 89 years, she has the energy of a bottle of amphetamines and many passions. Flower arranging with the girls on Thursday is at least as sacred as baptism.
Welcome ladies, tonight it’s poinsettia and peony night. We have popcorn and pie for desert. Has anyone seen my glasses? You see the arrangement just above the crucifix next to the trophy I won in the 1988 Newark Classic for women over 65. Oh, the pie’s on the stairs next to my Raphael teddy. I did that arrangement the day I lost my glasses behind the alter.
No it doesn’t have poinsettias or peonies. I just wanted to show it to you because Lady Bird liked it. Just find a plate; I must have 400 of them around here. Poinsettias and peonies flower in different seasons, if you call a poinsettia a flower. My friend Reggie LaFaye maintains they’re leaves, but what does he know, he only has four top ten finishes. He’s on the lecture circuit you know. The popcorn’s on the back of the toilet in half bath behind that pile of striped towels. Oh yes, I must tell you about the State pinochle finals. They’re coming up next month. You can beat Ruth Anne every time if you eat bananas around her, they drive her bananas. She can’t tell the difference between a violet and gardenia when she smells them. One day I ate a banana cream pie all by myself. I think it was when I was in seventh grade, but it might have been in my junior year. That’s the year I met James or…well maybe it wasn’t the year I met him. I’m sure I met someone important that year.
The drape behind the alter is maroon so you never use orange flowers in the Methodist church. The priest at St. Thomas’ favors orange but Rose Petanado can’t stand orange so you don’t send orange arrangements to St. Stephens’. Poinsettias don’t come in orange so they’re good everywhere. I hate plastic flowers but the silk peonies are grand. That’s the trick to poinsettia and peony arrangements, unless of course you’re doing it at Christmas time. Joyce would you mind lifting Maude off the back of the piano, he’s already knocked my hole in one trophy down four times since last Easter. Did I mention I won with my giant Theodore Panda holding an arrangement of miniature red and yellow roses?
Oh my, it’s almost 6:30, do you ladies want to continue till 8:30 or quit for tonight? I haven’t brewed the green tea yet. You dears are going to think I’m a positively horrid host. Oh well you can grab a root beer from the fridge. James and our Trina kitty like it with their oatmeal in the morning. I keep the popcorn butter in the drawer next to the flatware but James insists on moving it to the meat drawer.
I’ll see you ladies next week. We’ll arrange daffodils and ferns unless the tulips bloom early. Don’t forget…oh forget it, I forgot what I didn’t want you to forget. If you remember what it is call me.
When Linda walked through the door, diet Pepsi in hand, she said “I can’t wait to go back next week, that lovely old woman’s more entertaining than a roller coaster.” Lisa added “I couldn’t find a clean fork, so I fed her apricot and turnip pie to her chubby old Walter cat.”
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