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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Making Ends Meet (01/16/14)

TITLE: Forward Planning
By Norma-Anne Hough


Forward planning.

Kerry and I sat watching the dolphins playing, while we sipped our coffee. The last of the holiday makers had left, and our seaside resort was once again, quiet and peaceful. As much as we appreciated the income generated, some of the holiday makers were at times more trouble than pleasure. December was our busiest time.

‘Mum what will you do now?” Kerry asked.
“The past four weeks may have been hectic and noisy for you, but at least you were busy all day. I know you always have other guests, but I worry about you.”

“I have been meaning to chat with you and Tony for some time now, but I never seem to find the time anymore. You guys are always busy doing your thing or I am run off my feet with my guests.”
“When dad realized the cancer was terminal, he and I sat down and had to plan for the future, never realizing how rapidly the cancer was spreading.”

My husband had passed away six months previously. We had a very successful Bed and Breakfast, which we ran ourselves with the help of two young girls. Ii still did baking and painting to help cover unseen expenses. The Bed and Breakfast was the fulfilment of a dream we had when first married.

Being a banker, my husband had a sound financial background. He watched every cent that was spent. Credit cards were totally forbidden. I, on the other hand, being an artist lived from hand to mouth. How we ever managed to stay happily married was a testimony of God’s grace in our lives. Kerry was an only child, due to many difficult complications.

When I was pregnant with Kerry, I knew I had to find some means of bringing in some more money. Sometimes my paintings would sell well, at other times they would sit at the local flea market for weeks. Money was tight and we needed a plan.

Baking was something I truly enjoyed, so after much thought and prayer, we decided I would bake from home and sell my goodies to a local home industry. Soon I was so busy, I had to take on help and from there we never looked back.
Kerry was taught from an early age she had to help towards household duties, for which she would receive an amount of pocket money. As we had surplus money it would go into our nest egg fund.

We then decided to expand our home and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. Kerry helped out during the weekend and school holidays, for which she was paid. We also encouraged her to budget. There were tough times to start with, but as a family we had learnt, the value of making ends meet.

Sewing being a passion of hers, she often sewed for friends to make a little extra.

“Mum as you were saying” Kerry gently chided.

“Sorry, for a moment I was lost in my thoughts.” I laughingly replied.

“We made a joint agreement that I would sell the Bed and Breakfast. In fact we have over the years been approached several times about selling, but never wanted to. You and Tony have your own home and lives to lead, and I would love to travel. In fact your aunt has already been on my back to visit her in the UK and then we will do a tour of Europe. Dad made very sound investments, which he kept on going, even through the tough times, and so I at the moment have no financial worries!”

“Wow I am happy about that and yes I think you should travel! You will love Europe, especially Paris.”

“I’ve spoken to our financial adviser, and we have agreed that Lisa and Aimee can carry on here, running the Bed and Breakfast, until we find a suitable buyer. They love the idea and I shall start making arrangements soon.”

Jumping up Kerry hugged me tightly, tears running down her face.

“Mum I am so happy for you, I know how difficult these past months have been for us all, yet you have never given in. You deserve a chance to see the world and who knows perhaps we may even put an offer in on the house. Dad and you certainly taught me valuable lessons, and I love you so very much.”

“Likewise” I replied hugging her closely.
“God truly blessed us all abundantly.”

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This article has been read 211 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 01/25/14
What a poignant and touching entry. The interaction between mom and daughter, along with the MCs internal thinking was "spot on" with the topic.

Nicely done.

God bless~
Beth LaBuff 01/27/14
Their "Forward Planning" certainly made for a satisfying ending to your story. I completely enjoyed reading about all their investments and planning. Nice work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/29/14
This is a charming story. You do a nice job of showcasing the topic throughout the story. We never know when something horrible could happen and it's nice to be reminded that with God's help, we can get through the hard times. Nice job.
C D Swanson 01/30/14

God bless~
Lillian Rhoades 01/30/14
Congratulations on your "highly commended." I highly agree. :-)