Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: A Table for Two
By Donna Haug
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Finally, with all emotions spent, Christine sat on the edge of her bed. She reached over to the up-ended milk crate that served as an end table looking for a tissue. Finding an empty box, she threw her hands into the air and stomped into the bathroom to find a toilet paper roll. As she blew her nose, a little sparrow singing lustily in the branch of the tree outside her window caught her attention. “Stupid bird!”
Suddenly, it was as if she could hear her mother singing in the next room. “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Christine closed the toilet lid and sat down. The sparrow continued its song, but for some reason the song seemed to soothe her heart. “He watches me. He sees me. He cares for me.” Her head slumped down into her hands, and she began to pour her heart out to God. She released all the pent up frustration and anger into the waiting arms of her Lord. Sweet reassurance swept over her soul as she lingered in her sanctified prayer chamber.
As she rose to wash her face, Christine remembered something else her mom had told her. “Honey, you may go through some tough times. Don’t let that stop you. Even if all you have in your house to eat is hotdogs, you can put those hotdogs on your finest dishes. Light a couple of candles, and enjoy being together!”
Yes! That’s what she would do. She ran to her kitchen and opened the freezer door. What could she make? She found some ground beef. The cupboards yielded a can of tomato paste and a package of spaghetti noodles. “Well, at least it’s better than hotdogs!”
Pulling out the frying pan, Christine went about preparing her meat sauce. A pot of water was on to boil with a bit of salt. As she worked, she realized she was humming her mom’s song. She started singing the words as she cracked the package of spaghetti in half, opened it and poured it into the boiling water. “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.” Giving it a quick stir, she went to her linen closet and found the pretty tablecloth she had gotten as a wedding gift. She had never had a good enough occasion to use it until now. As she spread it on the table, she heard the spaghetti water boiling over onto the stove. Running into the kitchen she turned down the heat a bit, gave it another stir, checked on the meat sauce, and hurried back to the table. She set the table with her Corelle and simple cutlery. She only had plain white paper napkins, but she knew how to fold them in a fancy way. She found two only slightly used emergency candles and stood them on glass cup holders. She switched her little radio to their favorite jazz station.
After draining and rinsing the noodles and placing the meat sauce on the back burner to keep warm, Christine ran off to her bedroom. Where was that dress? Hanging in the back of her closet, she found the outfit she had worn as they left the wedding reception. She felt tingles down her back as she remembered how Larry had looked at her when he had seen her. She changed quickly, brushing her long hair and sweeping it up off her neck. As she made her hurried preparations, she sang quietly, “…I know He watches me!” A touch of make-up finished her preparations just in time. She heard Larry’s car drive into his parking spot just outside the apartment door. Nervous anticipation flushed her cheeks as Christine rushed towards the door.
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