Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 5th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Well, my not so subtle suggestion to my relatives to show some of their legendary southern hospitality went unanswered, so I guess I’m stuck in NJ for the duration. We only got about two inches of snow this time, however it’s covered with another inch of ice and the sleet and freezing rain are still coming down. There are icicles hanging off of everything outside.

Because of the snow and subsequent school closing on Tuesday, our kids lost Presidents’ Day as a holiday, and now with school closed again today, they are losing the Monday before Easter. That leaves only 3 days left in the school calendar to play with (Tu – Th before Easter), and we are supposed to get a major storm this weekend – I’m talking 30” – 36”. If that happens, there is no way we would be able to get plowed out by Monday morning for school.

Project graduation is a big deal in our town. All the graduating seniors are bussed to Dave & Buster’s for an all-night party. This event is planned and paid for WAY in advance, so graduation date is set in stone. Since we only have three days left to play with, AND we are only in the beginning of February, AND this has been the worst winter in memory, we may very well be having school on Saturdays to make up for the missed time.

What a disaster! I know I said it before, and I promise to hop up on my soap box for only a moment, but what ding-dong approved only one snow day in the school calendar? Work in the customary three days, and if we don’t need them, give the kids a long Memorial Day weekend. Sorry, but doesn’t that seem infinitely more logical?

Not that we do this, but many families have vacation planned for spring break - plane tickets, hotel reservations, everything – and now all their plans are getting messed up. Yes, the school doesn’t want to pay the extra money to have Project Graduation moved, but I’m sure all these other families are not appreciating having to pay more or cancel their vacation plans – especially if they don’t have a graduating senior. Sorry, I forgot, common sense flies out the window when you enter any elected position. Okay, I’m done.

Even though I’m watching the snow plows get into accidents in our intersection, my husband’s boss sent him a text saying the roads were fine and he expects to see him by nine. (I won’t even go there, because it won’t be pretty if I do.) So, I need to scat so I can make him breakfast and lunch. If you’re in our area and you don’t need to go out today, don’t; but if you do, please be careful. I don’t care what my husband’s boss said, the roads are a mess and very dangerous. 

I know I’ve ended the blog several times with these exact same words, but with the weather we’ve been having, I feel they are the most appropriate. I hope you all have a warm and safe day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

Write a story containing the following three elements: A cold night, a candle, tears

Cassie sat curled up in the window seat and stared out at the cold, dreary night. The only light in the room came from the fire she had built for warmth and the flicker of a single candle. The power had been out for several hours already, and if the storm raging outside was any indication, it would be several more before it is restored.

She glanced at her siblings on the make-shift beds she made for them in front of the fireplace. Luckily she had been able to finish dinner preparation before they had lost power, so they were fed, tired out from a rowdy game of SORRY, were warm, and now soundly asleep.

Her mother, an emergency room nurse, had warned Cassie that morning, with the impending storm, she would more than likely have to stay at the hospital overnight; but her father should make it home at a reasonable hour, so she should not worry. However, it was almost midnight, and there was still no sign of her father. The phone lines had gone down with the power, and cell service in her mountain home was spotty even on a good day; so she had had no contact with her father since late afternoon when he had called to tell her he was leaving work.

His commute from the city usually took him two hours, so Cassie had figured, even with the storm, he should have been home no later than seven. Seven, the same time the power had gone out. She had not let her younger siblings know how worried she was, but now, alone in the dark with nothing to distract her, crazy, horrible thoughts bombarded her mind. What if there was an accident? What if it was dad’s car that took down the pole and caused the power and phones to go out? Was he in the emergency room now with mom caring for him? Was he lying in the road dead or hurt, alone, scared?

She swiped at the tear that trickled down her cheek.

Ran out of time, but I was going to have Cassie’s dad come walking up the driveway. A truck had taken out the power lines and the road had been blocked, so he abandoned his car and walked the rest of the way home, through the snow, so he could be with his children.

Your Next Challenge is:

The eyes of the world are upon you…

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.