Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)
TITLE: My Favorite Australian
By Linda Payne
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Edna, or Eddie as her friends call her, was a feisty octogenarian who lived alone having survived two husbands. Over a “cuppa” one day, Edna shared stories with me about growing up in the outback as a girl, eating kangaroo meat, living far from any friends or people, and eventually falling in love with an American soldier and moving to the U.S. where she has lived ever since.
She never had any children of her own, so when we moved in, she quickly adopted our two boys, Dan and Jon as her grandsons. And she adored our dog, Toby. For five years, Jon was her paperboy. Since their own grandparents lived far away, Edna often filled in as a surrogate grandma attending concerts that Jon played in. On the night of his senior prom, Dan went over to show Edna how good he looked in his tux. And, whenever we went on vacation, she gladly welcomed Toby to her home with plenty of “snackies” tucked away in her cupboard for him.
Perhaps because she is just naturally friendly, or from living isolated as a child, Edna loved people. When she didn’t have a group over to play cards, she was out visiting and participating in any number of activities. She was active in our church’s senior citizen group, played chair volleyball, was a loyal Cincinnati Red’s fan, and a fierce euchre player! Her bourbon balls were to die for!
When my husband was assigned a church in another city, Edna cried. We were taking her family away.
How sad that too often we wait until people have died to speak of how much they have meant in our lives. Through her indomitable and independent spirit, Edna has been an inspiration to me. From a young girl living a solitary life on the outback to moving to a strange country as a young bride with no family or friends to depend on, Edna has met life with courage and faith. So I am glad for this opportunity to tell Edna how much she has meant to me. I may never get to the continent of Australia, but I shall always treasure the little Australian known as Edna.
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