Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: JOY (12/07/17)
- TITLE: Joy Story
By Tracy Nunes
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But today, the wind feels bitter and my bones sore. I’m young, or young for a grandmother, at least. Some days that feels less true than others.
I open the window blinds and light floods half-dark rooms. Morning has broken. Coffee with goat milk starts my day.
“Goat Milk, Bleh!” I hear my daughters say. To which I’d return, “Yum!” Much to their dismay. I’ve learned to love the taste of barn.
With my notebook and Scripture, I sit on my bed. The front porch would afford a better view of creation but not this morning. This morning, my warm bed will do nicely, thanks.
Afterwards, I’m fuller, more satisfied, but can’t seem to toss the cement blanket that shrouds me. Unusual, but there it is.
Come on girl, get yourself together.
Then, I prepare. Moving this and that to their out-of-reach Monday places. Family treasures, barn finds, stories in silhouettes of metal, wood and glass. They’re precious to me but when Beauty comes to call, precious takes on new meaning; my treasures fade to trinkets.
I see their car pulling in and look around. Is all in place? Yep, ready. Just in time, too. Beauty’s here.
She arrives, as always, with a wide smile. Anticipation sparkles her eyes as she steps up the steps holding her mama’s hand. Daughter and granddaughter - a wonder to behold. And they are mine. Or rather, they’re on loan from the Throne.
I open the door and a swoosh of cold air dances in with the pair. Layers come off. Hugs ensue.
My daughter and I share funny updates and mutual struggles for a few minutes while the little one dances around us, hinting that she wants to get on with the day’s adventures. We laugh and group hug. Off her mama goes with kisses blown at the big picture window. She does her goodbye dance and the little one whispers an awed, “Mama,” while giggling at the ritual.
And now, my surprise! I chide myself, thinking that I’m probably going to be more excited than she.
I bring down the unwrapped box. There’s a gift inside, for sure but not the usual kind.
She sees what I’ve got and stands up on tiny tip-toes in excitement. In the age of speedy home delivery, she knows that some cool things come in these boxes.
I hold her hand and guide her over to my cedar chest. We pop open the box lid and one-by-one, I pull out clear plastic covered toy figurines. I take my time explaining each one as I make a hole in the plastic and she helps me pull them out. I let her decide where they’ll stand akin to each other. She likes them, and she’s interested; nodding and listening while I tell the story.
People, animals, hay, even a barn, all come out of the box. She takes her job to put them in their places seriously as I regale her with their meaning. Never mind that it’s not their traditional positioning. That will come later. I’ll wait till she’s much older to explain that those three guys with presents came much further along in the story.
It’s intriguing her and she listens, her eyes examining the details of each little piece. At last, there all out and she’s got a grand scene in front of her. She looks appreciatively at it but then turns to me with a question in her eyes. I think my secret must be shining in mine. She knows grandma’s not done.
I reach in to the box and wrap my hand around the last piece, bringing it out hidden in my hand. She tries to see but I hold my hand closed while explaining this piece’s importance without letting on what it is. I’m aware that most of these details are way over an 18 month old’s head but she gets enough.
I slowly open my hand and she tip-toes to see over my unfolding fingers. Suddenly, she raises her hands in exhilaration and shouts,
A few hand claps, then she reaches her tiny palm out and says, “Peas?” I place Him into her hands and pure delight lights her face; the baby is home. A barn-find beyond compare.
The Joy Story completes, chasing away the bitter wind.
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