Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

It’s Friday the 13th, and as the sun rises this morning over the Jersey shore and illuminates the utter devastation wrought by yesterday’s horrific fire, you can’t help but wonder if the supposed mystical powers of this day didn’t seep into the surrounding days.

I found myself, yet again, channel surfing to catch any and all information on the event as it unfolded. As the images filled the screen, I sat in shock, with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, praying for the safety of the firefighters and for the people of the Seaside Heights community.

These poor people, haven’t they been through enough already? They were only just starting to recover from the effects of Super Storm Sandy, and now this. It is just heartbreaking!

However, New Jerseyans (or is it Jerseyites) are made of stern stuff. Yes this was a crushing blow, but it was not a knockout punch. When the smoke clears, they will pull up their bootstraps, roll up their sleeves, and dive right in to rebuilding. Everyone will rally around those affected and pitch in to help in whatever way they can. That’s what folks from New Jersey do. We have the reputation of being a brash breed, but when the chips are down, we are there to help a neighbor, no questions asked.

The hard part now is waiting to hear from the powers that be as to when, and what we can do to help. In the interim, I ask that you say a little prayer, to whomever you pray to, for the folks in Seaside Heights. Pray for strength, pray for compassion, and pray nothing else happens to make things any worse. While you’re at it, you might as well throw in one for the folks out in Colorado dealing with the massive flooding.

What’s next, pestilence? Locust? Sheesh!

Enough with the hellfire and brimstone; I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing! 


Your Last Challenge was:

It is the first really cold day and you decide you need your coat. You have not worn your coat since last winter. You put it on, reach in the pocket and find…

The homecoming game, an annual event in our town which brings out the masses, and this year it’s no different. High school graduates, new and old, plus current and upcoming students will fill the stands to bursting to root on our beloved and often triumphant Raiders. Preparation for this Saturday night game will take up a good chunk of the day, for much like college and professional football games, tailgating will be involved. Hours before the game is to begin, we will be out in the parking lot – occupying all of the slots so the rival team’s fans are forced to utilize the off campus parking – grillin’ and chillin’. Unlike major sporting events, no alcohol will be involved; but that will not dampen the festivities in the least.

As noon approaches, we make sure our car is packed and ready. As usual for homecoming, the evening promises to get quite cold, so while my husband locates our maroon and gold blankets – obviously only blankets sporting our school colors would do – I descend into the basement to unearth our ancient letterman jackets, jackets which only see the light of day once a year.

As is my habit, still in the basement where there are not witnesses, I try on my jacket to make sure it can still fasten. I button it up and put my hands in the pockets where I feel the familiar Ziploc bag and smile. The bag contains memories of homecomings past, over thirty years’ worth of ticket stubs. Memories of games won and lost, old friends, times both happy and sad, and some even bittersweet fill that little bag.


This is a fictional story although there are a few facts tossed in – our school colors are maroon and gold, we are the Raiders, up until hurricane Irene, my husband and I did have letterman jackets stored in our basement, and we do try to go to the homecoming game when we can, but there is no tailgating involved.

Your Next Challenge is:



You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.