via Daily Prompt: Marathon
This is a perfect word to describe the race I run every day between employment, house and family, and writing, never mind having time to read a book just for fun. And, exercise is a challenge, such a challenge that it is easy to put on the back burner.
Imagine trying to exercise while you stir oatmeal cooking on the stove. I think I will turn this handy word – marathon into a to-be-continued story. Here goes:
Mom dragged herself out of bed at the sound of the birdsong alarm that failed to bring a cheerful greeting for the day. The to-do list prepared the previous night would fill the day, with left-overs. Bummer! Half-asleep she made her way to the bathroom for a quick face wash and nasty mouth recovery.
Why did her daily marathon always begin an hour earlier than those sleepyheads snoring in their rooms? What would happen if she ignored that birdcall and let her night last another hour? She decided that list could wait since it wouldn’t get finished anyway. Dare she really do it?
Smothering a silly giggle, she made up her mind. She put a sticky note on the refrigerator, “Mom’s sleeping in, the rest is up to you”.
She gulped down a refreshing drink of water from the refrigerator dispenser and tip-toed back to the bedroom. Thank goodness for twin beds; this would be easier. She crawled under the covers and tucked in her ears. With a sigh and a smile, she closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.
It’s your turn? What happened next? Send your ideas about what you think should happen next and I will turn it into the next segment.
Marthon – continued. Part two
While all was quiet in the house, except for the soothing sounds from the cuckoo clock, tick tock, in the living room, and the mantle clock, tick tick tick, in the family room Mr. Sandman came and gently touched the cheek of Mother. And the years passed by in a flash!
Mother sat in her rocking chair, rocking back and forth. She watched the hands on the mantle clock and the time seemed to creep slowly. She and Grandpa were waiting for the children and grand-children to arrive to share Thanksgiving feast. This year Grandma did not have to cook anything. The girls were taking care of that. It had not been easy to convince her that she could take it easy. Her To-Do list had been gently removed from her hand when Grandpa reminded her the children had been taught well and she could leave the dinner preparations in the younger generation’s capable hands.
Finally, the kitchen door opened and a rush of air blew in with all the family racing to be first with a hug for Grandma. After the hugs and kisses the older grandkids returned to their vehicles and hauled in the goodies. In minutes, quick as a flash, the table and counters were covered with aromatic foods, enough to feed an army.
What was that, bakery labels on the desserts, store labels on the dressing and salad cartons? Humm. Well, at least the turkey appeared to be in a roasting pan. Grandma was dying for answers to the questions rushing around in her head. She looked at Grandpa, but he seemed not to notice anything strange. She would have to wait – no sense in disturbing the excitement. Everyone was talking at once.
The table was extended and set with the China. Lovely napkins and real silverware were quickly in place. Holiday glasses were filled with water. All was ready. Dinner was served.
The chatter stopped when the blessing was said. Everyone was content, grateful for such delicious food, but most of all, just for being together.
Left-overs were covered or placed in take-home boxes or placed in the refrigerator for Grandpa and Grandma. Everyone’s help made short work of the task.
The satisfied cousins moaned their way with stuffed tummies,but recharged for playing games on the back deck.
Now it was time for the older bunch to relax in the family room. The conversation gave Grandma the answers she had waited for for hours, it seemed. A few of the younger kids had wandered back inside while they waited for a turn with the fooz ball game. Ellie started telling Grandma about all the fun they had planning the meal and about the games and activities their family had enjoyed during their break from school.
Hmmm, Grandma thought” No cooking!? I see.” Ellie’s Mother noticed Grandma’s puzzled expression and quickly added, “We decided that our families would rather enjoy the kids’ vacation time doing things besides exhausting ourselves in the kitchen. We divided the menu and each of our families took an item and went to the store together to make their purchases. The children helped decide what to buy for their assignment.”
“That left us time to go to the park, the movies and just play games in the back yard.”
“That explains it, Grandma said. “But what about the turkey?” Ellie responded, “Dad took it to the church and it got roasted in a hole in the ground! Don’t you think that was smart, Grandma?” Someone called her to take a turn with fooz ball, so out the door she went.
Marie, Ellie’s Mom and Grandma’s oldest child, began talking about memories of when she and her brother and sister were that age. “Mom, I’ll never forget the day you slept in. The family woke up with no smells of breakfast cooking. There was this little note on the refrigerator door. Dad read it and announced, “Well kids, I guess breakfast is up to us.”
“Since we had to hurry really quick, someone grabbed the milk. Someone grabbed the boxes of cold cereal. Someone else brought bowls and spoons to the table. Someone made toast. We ate in a hurry and even cleaned up our mess so you wouldn’t have to do it. But we left out the cereal and a bowl and spoon for you on the table.”
“Jay sneaked quietly in your room and in the dim light ‘stole’ your to-do list. He knew where to find it! He said, “I hated those lists. You never had ‘spend time with kids’ on them.”
“Look at the clock,” someone yelled. The door opened and closed each time someone left, Dad to his car, Jean to the bus and Marie and Jay down the sidewalk.
Mother rolled over in bed and rubbed her nose and then her eyes as she tried to focus on the clock.
In the kitchen, she noticed one bowl, one spoon and boxes of opened cereal on the table. Not a dirty anything was in site, but there was still a note on the refrigerator. It had more than her words on it. It said, “We love you Mom. Get some rest. BTW: look at your To-do list.” In Jay’s left-handed writing were added the words, “Take time for kids.”
Then, Mother was fully awake! She remembered that dream. It was more than a dream.
It was truly a ‘wake-up’ call!
I am afraid I a guilty of creating a multitude of To-Do lists. It is a habit, or an addiction! But I must say, the items on my lists have changed over the years to include more IMPORTANT things.
This second portion , “part two” was the inspiration of Z. M. Jensen in which she referenced the Christmas Carol as a corresponding thought.
What next, readers?