Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BORED - Begins 1-11-18 / Ends 1-18-18 (01/11/18)
TITLE: The Plan
By linda simpson
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After her 'boring breakfast' of cereal, toast and jam (Hettie was used to bacon and eggs)she muttered to herself 'another boring day' and sat, as usual, near the fish tank pretending to be enchanted by their swimming through the weeds and around the rocks. Actually she was again reliving her arrival at The Birches Retirement home 6 months prior. It was so unfair. Admittedly it had been getting harder to keep up with the work on the farm after Jack died, but no one had consulted her. One day James, their oldest son, and his wife Janet had arranged to 'take her for a drive'. Hettie was excited about the outing. After an hour, arriving at 'The Birches', a friendly receptionist showed them to a 'beautiful spacious redecorated room'. James then explained because he had Power of Attorney, the farm had been sold, and this 'lovely retirement home' was now where she would live. She had begged and pleaded “I don't want to stay here, please take me home. I want to go home” James kissed her on the cheek.
“You'll soon settle in Mum. I'll visit you in a few days and bring your things.”
Devastated, grieving and angry Hettie complained about everything and was very uncooperative. James came to see her but she was loud and argumentative. Visits were short.
“I just want to go home' she always shouted as he left.
“I am bored” was her continual thought.
“I can't feed the chickens, collect the eggs, weed the vegie garden or eat my dinner when I want to. Rotten timetable!”
The staff tried to find things to occupy Hettie. Knitting, crochet, jigsaw puzzles, exercise classes,craft group, movies, coffee mornings with guest speakers but the continual response was
One thing Hettie did participate in was church every Wednesday morning. She appeared to receive comfort from that time and sang the hymns lustily. There was also a 'sing along' time on Tuesday afternoons which she often attended and always requested, “What a Friend we have in Jesus”. That was only 2 hours out of the week. Hettie only mixed with other residents for meals. She quietly ate her food, then either sat in front of the fish tank or looked at old photos in her 'beautiful' room.
One day, though, Hettie hatched a plan. She overheard visitors saying the coming weekend was the 'Burton Agricultural Show'.
“I loved that show – I'd love to go” she thought. “But how? James was unreliable with his visits and The Birches weren't taking a group there.”
“I'll go on my own – it will be fun. I've been bored long enough!”
During the next couple of days Hettie watched as visitors came and went. She noticed they had to punch numbers into a square box so the door could be opened. Putting pencil and paper down by her side, she sat in the arm chair near the door. Pretending to
read a book, she glanced up each time someone left and eventually had all the numbers.
Not many staff worked on weekends so it was easy to move around unnoticed. Hettie put on her smartest navy slacks and blue top, carefully combed her curly grey hair and put on a bit of 'lippy'. Picking up her purse she headed for the door. Checking no one was around she punched in the numbers. It opened.
"I'm free” she celebrated, walking quickly down the short drive.
The town bus just happened to pull up as she headed towards the stop.
She could hardly contain her excitement entering the show grounds. The sounds of the chickens and other birds in the 'aviary' were music to her ears. The smell and mooing of the cows, patting the little lambs in the pet nursery transported her back to the happy days on the farm. She checked out the cake and flower displays and the jars of home made jam. What bliss!
“I just fancy an icecream!”
Hettie waited in the queue at the van
“I'll have a double scoop with a flake please!”
It was so deliciously creamy, what a heavenly treat.
She sat in the shade to properly savour it.
“Hello Hettie what are you doing here?”
It was Nurse Watson from the Birches.
“You'd better come with me!”
Back in her room Hettie smiled.
“That was the perfect day!”
Next morning Nurse Watson tried to wake Hettie only to discover
she had finally 'gone home'.
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