Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 92

This is week 92 of the Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. It's gray and gloomy here, and 15 degrees out. The snow has just started up again, but we aren't expecting much accumulation. I've got the winter blues though and had to squeeze these offerings out past much resistance to doing ANYTHING. Looking forward to reading what the rest of you have written.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were: sugar, mortgage, logical, roller skates, outlandish, Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, cumberbund, unexpected, photo album, scarecrow And for the mini: tomatoes, turtles, basement apartment, circumference, make my day

My 10-word:

Madison sat looking through her parents' old photo album, her eyes welling with unexpected emotion as she traveled down memory lane. So many precious and half forgotten moments. The outlandish scarecrow costume from her first Halloween, a picture of her in her roller skates, hair tousled, face flushed with pride of accomplishment and excitement. With Santa at Macy's (Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus, her father had intoned when she started to express doubts). Then prom and wedding photos, her beloved Henry decked out and handsome. He had hated that purple cumberbund, but she had insisted and - sweet man that he was - he had agreed. In hindsight, he had been right. It was hideous. What had she been thinking. Then there were photos of the first house... such a sweet place it had been. Her parents had helped them buy it and her father - whose blend of logical and sentimental was always amusing - had been there taking photos when they signed the mortgage, crossed the threshold. She had often found his obsessive photo taking annoying but now she was so grateful to have all these moments saved for her own aching heart and so that she could share them with the children and grandchildren. She would have to take more pictures herself from now on in hopes that some day they would comfort her children as her father's album was comforting her now. Hugging it close, she rose, put on her coat and headed out to meet the others and go on to the funeral.

The mini:

Her basement apartment had never looked more beautiful. The HGTV decorator from the new Make My Day program had worked a Christmas miracle. The walls were tomato red (who would have thought to do that?) but they looked beautiful and right somehow. They had even made a special beautiful environment for her turtles around the circumference of the living room. It was awesome. A miracle. Hey had not only made her day, they had made her year.

My mega:

Michael Dinglebottom loved holidays and loved decorating for them. He had even had a side business to help others decorate. He called it Make My Day Decorations and unbeknownst to Virginia, he was making pretty good money which he had been storing in a secret account.
He kept a special photo album of these efforts. It had a tomato red cover and was labeled Holiday Delights. His long-suffering and beloved wife Virginia put up with his enthusiasm, though she shared it only to a point. Since they lived in a basement apartment with no yard to decorate, she let him decorate inside and hang a scarecrow on the front door every Halloween and she put on one outlandish costume or another of his choosing each year to give out candy to the neighbor hood children. At Christmas time, he put decorations everywhere - even in the turtles' terrarium - and with the landlord's permission - around the whole circumference of the brownstone apartment building in which they lived. For her part, she baked hundreds of sugar cookies for the kids at school and for the people at his office, shopped for the kids and wrapped packages galore. This year the boys were getting fancy roller skates and a Nintendo Wii. She was kind of excited about that herself. It looked like fun, even to the pragmatic and logical Virgina. But this year she was worried. Michael seemed preoccupied and he had put barely any attention into the decorations. All was revealed on Christmas Eve, when he unexpectedly asked her and the boys to dress in their best clothes for what he called a "special outing." He himself was decked out in a tux - with a cumberbund, no less! In the car he put Christmas carols on the radio and was literally beaming with joy as he drove them to their mystery destination. About an hour outside the city he pulled up in front of a house that was lavishly decorated with lights and a huge sign that read, "yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." "It's the one you always wanted, the one we looked at years ago. I've been saving all the money from the decorating business in a special "Ginny's House" account," he beamed. "Merry Christmas, baby. Welcome home." he said, "Here's the mortgage. It's ours. I hope you don't mind that I picked it without you. I wanted it to be a surprise." The boys - who had know about their father's plan and viewed it kind of like a home makeover show - were literally jumping up and down with delight and yelling "bus driver move that bus," which made no sense but amused them beyond measure. When Virginia finally got her voice, "You!, I wish I had gotten you a better gift!" was all she could gasp out flinging her arms around her elated husband. "It's really ours? I love you! Let's go inside!"


Words for next week's 10-word challenge are: spaghetti, woe is me, mythology, avarice, windy, pathetic, paper towels, water, all my children, books

And for the mini: best deals of the week, Nobel Peace Prize, sleep deprived, cauliflower, practice

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.



Akelamalu said...

As always you did a great job Raven. Sorry I just didn't have time this week. :(

DawnTreader said...

No snow here yet but I recognize that feeling of winter blues...! You manage to write well in spite of that! :) Enjoyed the "Extreme home makeover" feeling in the last one - we get that TV show on one of my cable channels so I've seen it... :D

bettygram said...

I did like the last story the best. They were all very good, so no cold or snow will keep you down.

Argent said...

Your 10-worder was very touching without being overly slushy and sentimental. You make a very good case for taking pictures of anything and everything: we never know who might want to see and enjoy those pesky pictures in years to come. And 'Sugar Madison' - what a great name.

Your mini made me smile. I'm sure we had 'turtles'a few weeks ago. Your mini was a compact delight.

And what a lovely heart-warming (you really are good at these!) story. I love the name Dinglebottom too.

Enjoyed all of these this week.

Mama Zen said...

These are wonderful!

Dr.John said...

Of the three I loved the last one. I'm a real sucker for happy endings. What a great thing for him to do.
You did manage to use the " words" well.

Fandango said...

We dragons felt the pain of the first. It is always hard to lose a parent. The other two had happy endings and we felt good.
You did a great job with the words.
We just wonder if you ever will go back to words instead of so many phrases. Next weeks "fifteen words" is really 27.

Stephen said...

The 10 word one had a sad ending, but she was able to relive happy memories through the photo album. The mini story, about the apartment makeover, was happy, and I'm glad she liked the new look. The mega story, about the woman being surprised by her husband by the gift of a hew house, was very nice. I can understand, though, why he didn't name his business after himself.

I'm running late again, but I got my stories up late last night.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Michael Manning said...

Wearing a cumberbund as she exited the kitchen on roller skates, she announced in a loud voice that we had run out of sugar. Outlandish? Perhaps. But this small concern was outweighed by the fact that I don't have a mortgage to worry about. Her request was unexpected and the roller skates, while humorous at first glance, were actually somewhat logical. While at the grocery, I discovered the sugar was on sale. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! Later in the day, while rearranging my photo album, I looked out of the front window and spotted a scarecrow on the neighbor's porch from Thanksgiving.

TA-DA! :D)