Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HARVEST (11/21/19)
- TITLE: Harvesting Love
By Rachel Burkum
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Lucy quirked a skeptical eyebrow and licked the spoon that had come from the mixing bowl of chocolate goodness. “Gmma ss winner tum.” She quickly swallowed the chocolate and twirled the spoon in the air. “It’s winter time,” she reiterated. Christmas was over, having left a trail of lights, greenery, garland and random ornaments. The rest of the family had gone for now - aunts, uncles, cousins - and the atmosphere was eerily silent. At least Lucy only lived five blocks away, so she could come and go whenever she wanted.
Grandma smiled as she peered over the top of her reading glasses. “Really? I thought it was summer.”
Lucy rolled her eyes before returning the spoon to the kitchen and coming back. “So what on earth are you talking about?”
“Here.” Grandma handed her a portion of Christmas cards and letters she’d received in the mail during the last month or so.
“Um… okay. These are pretty…”
Grandma chuckled. “Start reading. Anything with personal notes, set in one pile. And anything without, set in another.”
Lucy blinked. “Grandma, are you feeling okay?”
The chuckle became full laughter. “I’m not the one who ate a half bowl of chocolate.”
“It wasn’t a half bowl. It was… just a little bit.”
Grandma simply grinned then pointed to the cards again. “This is when I collect all the notes from people who took the time to write me over the holidays.”
“Well… why?” Lucy started sifting through the cards. Some were very pretty, with gold or silver in the pictures. Others were simple, like ones found at the dollar store.
“Because when everyone has gone home… sometimes I need to remember I’m not alone.”
Lucy bit her lip as the truth hit her. Grandpa had been gone for a long time now. She hadn’t really thought about Grandma being lonely. It had to be hard, especially after the entire family had been there all at once. “You’re not alone. You have me.”
“Of course I do.” Grandma reached over to give her a squeeze. “Now… who do you have there?”
“Um… somebody named Gloria.”
An hour and a half later, the mountain of mail had dwindled to a couple neatly stacked piles, now sitting next to two empty plates of brownie crumbs. “That was the last one.” Lucy flopped back in he chair. “How do you know so many people?”
Grandma just smile once again as she stood to take the dishes to the kitchen. “I’m old.”
“No, really,” Lucy called after her. “Like… half these people thanked you for things you did, or encouraged you about what you do every day and stuff. I have like… three friends at school.”
“I’ve had an entire lifetime to gather those people around me. And now God uses them to remind me He still cares for me.”
Lucy swung her legs for a few moments then finally got up to help wash the dishes. “So what will you do with the cards and letters now?”
“I put them in a special box. And then on rainy days, I open it up and read them again while I sip a nice, hot cup of tea.”
Lucy grinned at the mental image. “That… sounds nice.”
“You can start doing the same thing, you know.”
“Really? I don’t get that many cards though.”
“I didn’t get many when I was fourteen either.” Grandma shook the water off her hands before wiping them on her apron, and heading back to the dining room. She returned a few minutes later with a red, sealed envelope that had Lucy’s name on it.
Lucy squinted before taking it slowly. “What’s… this?” Without an answer, she opened the envelope to find a Christmas card sporting a horse and sleigh. And inside was a special note from Grandma that said how much she loved her granddaughter and how much God loved her, too.
“I realized I gave you gifts, but I never gave you a card,” Grandma mused. “And how can you have your own card harvest party if you don’t have any?”
Lucy’s lips spread into a smile and she hugged the card close. “Thank you.” Then she stopped. “There’s just one thing though.”
“You’ll have to teach me how to make hot tea for those rainy days.”
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