Monday, February 8, 2016

Erma Bombeck Writing Contest - Entry Submitted!

I did it! This was so much fun. It is a writing contest and I got my entry finished & submitted today. 
It had to be 450 words or less - humor or human interest. It is not easy to tell a compelling story in 450 words or less, I loved the challenge of it.
Read my entry below:

1000 Bean Thanksgiving

Lord, I give thanks for blessings, big and small. I have not always had a Thanksgiving like this. That is a story for another time. Thank you for the bounty we are about to receive. Amen.”  - Red Phillips, beloved husband of Ethel May 
In 1930 the Great Depression was upon us There was hardship and little did I know, I had not yet seen my full share of it.  My father, a farmer, struggled with falling food prices.  He laid off the farm hands telling them he'd hire them back next year. 
My school was closing, more bad news. The teacher knew in advance and she taught the older students what we needed to know to get our diplomas. On June 14th 1930 twelve classmates and I graduated. 
Friends set out to see the country and search for work. Riding the rails sounded exciting and I planned a move to Boston. I had heard about jobs there. My parents did not object. I knew they cared about me but leaving would mean one less to feed. 
On the train to Boston hoboes roamed the cars shaking down anyone who did not stand up to them. I was game for a tussle. A raised voice and a gesture with my fist took care of the marauders. 
The time in Boston went quickly.  A job was hard to find. On Thanksgiving I found myself at a diner with the special, 1000 beans on a plate I’d been working for a few months and  wages paid a laborer, like me, were low. My spirits felt to equal my wages. Happy Thanksgiving indeed. 
Holidays on the farm always included a feast, no matter how small our budget. My mother was a skilled homemaker and we always had a bird. 
My situation had a bright spotI learned of a widow renting rooms and three other lads and I took a room splitting the weekly rate. I considered leaving since the cost to board exhausted most of my pay but in the end, with winter coming, I traded a roof over my head for little in my pocket. 
The widow had children and Ethel May, the oldest, was lovely.  Times were bleak but Ethel had a sparkleShe spoke of her father and cried at the loss but it did not keep her from singing in the morning or dancing in the kitchen. 
As I started on my beans, a tear ran down my cheek I heard a voice behind me and  I knew in that instant it was the voice of my bride. She was inviting me for Thanksgiving dessert.  
The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Bio - Wendy English resides in Hopedale, MA. 
Wife, working mom, full time cheerleader for my kids, aspiring writer. 
Interests include watching rom com movies, following my favorite pro sports teams, historical fiction and losing the 'baby weight' from my 3rd pregnancy 13 years ago.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I took some liberties with the story, I wonder how it really happened? :)