Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)
- TITLE: AN ODE TO ORDINARY DAYS
By Marilee Alvey
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“What’s up, Drew?”
“I forgot to tell you. I need crepes for French class tomorrow.”
“You’re kidding. When?”
“Nine. Sorry mom.” If she didn’t make them the entire class would suffer.
“How many students?”
“Okay, but you owe me some extra chores next weekend.”
“Thanks, mom. You’re the bomb!” She felt like one.
Jen was happy to find some, prepackaged, in the store. She could warm them up in the morning. She hoped she was safe in the dark parking lot at 10:30 at night. She could see the headlines: “City woman killed in parking lot for crepes.”
Morning arrived unusually early the next day.
“Drew, GET GOING!”
She placed three year old Denton in his carseat. Arriving at the junior high, Jen accidentally got into the bus lane.
“Quick. Jump out!”
“I forgot to bring my shoes.”
“They’re at home.”
As she quickly drove out of the bus lane, she thought of yesterday’s Bible verse. What was that Paul said? ‘Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on.’ She turned around and pressed on.
After dropping Drew and his shoes off at school, she arrived home just in time to let in the appraiser. With the bad economy, they’d decided to refinance and take a loan, as well as get their taxes reduced. Dalton went off to play in the toy room, so she gave the man a tour, pointing out all of the home’s extra features: the extra insulation the basement remodel, the high energy furnace, and the high end floors and trim. They’d gotten carried away at what was supposed to be a simple remodel. She noticed that the man’s pen flew across the clipboard as he made notes. Jen felt sure that the appraisal would come in high. He was impressed. He said so.
Showing the gentleman out the front door, she glanced at Denton standing there, a purple moustache over his upper lip.
‘What did you get into?” she asked urgently as she stooped down to his level. “Show mommy.”
“Look mommy. I’s all better!” In his hand, he held a bottle of children’s cough medicine. Jen ran to the phone with the bottle in her hand, calling the poison control center.
“How much did he take?”
“I don’t know…” she responded, nervously.
“How much medicine was in that bottle?”
“Not very much, maybe 1/8 of the bottle.”
“In that case, he’ll probably just get sleepy.”
Relieved, she said, “In that case, can I have a refill?” The man didn’t appreciate her humor. She knew this would call for a poison control folder in the mail. It wouldn’t be the first. Her boys were climbers. She was probably labeled, “Repeat offender” in their files.
As Denton lay down for his nap, the phone rang.
Jen answered, “Oh, man of my dreams, I miss you.”
“I miss you, too, baby. How’d the tax appraiser go? Did he say he thought he could get our taxes lowered?”
“Tax appraiser! I thought he was the bank appraiser! Ken, I showed him EVERYTHING, WITH DETAILS!”
“Jen, I’m sure it won’t be so bad,” he said, sounding more resigned than anything. When had ‘It is what it is’ become their rallying cry?
After Denton’s longer than usual nap, they went to pick Drew up from school.
As they drove home, she remembered the crepes.
“How’d the class like your crepes, Drew?”
“Umm….. I made a mistake. I'm supposed to bring them NEXT Monday.”
Trying to calm herself with thoughts of fluffy chicks and four ply toilet paper, she asked, “Did you bring them home with you?”
“No,” he answered, not seeing a connection. It could have been their dinner, but no. ‘Thou shalt not murder,’ she repeated under her breath.
That evening, in desperation, she told the boys, “No more ‘mom’ or ‘mommy, tonight. Henceforth, for the rest of the night, I will be known as “She who must not be named.”
Jen then collapsed onto her bed, fully dressed.
“God, my brains have become peanut butter and jelly and, frankly, I’m…….toast…… Thanks… for…..the laughs. Peace out. Oops. Amen.
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25
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