Hi guys! Yesterday (23rd) was my first day back at homeschool. It went pretty well. I’m using AmblesideOnline for most of my subjects. Yesterday I studied William of Orange, read half of a (very very long) letter from Benjamin Franklin to his son, did a little last minute planning and other things. In my notebook I wrote down a quote from the letter of Mr. Franklin that I found interesting. It’s always intriguing to explore the mind of a famous guy…
And lastly (I may as well confess it, as the denial of it would be believed by nobody), I shall perhaps not a little gratify my own vanity. Indeed, I never heard or saw the introductory words “Without vanity I may say,” &c., but some vain thing immediately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it a fair quarter, whenever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are within his sphere of action: and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.” – Benjamin Franklin
One of the other things I included was creative writing where I chose a prompt and wrote a story on it. Here is the prompt I used:
While sight-seeing in a foreign city, a tourist gets lost, robbed, chased by a pretty girl’s angry fiance, and even catches on fire for a little bit. All in all, it’s an unforgettable experience.
A Day in New York City
I don’t know how he ended up there. But there he was. Just a tiny speck amidst the sky-scraping buildings, the hustle and bustle of the city; and, unlike at the rolling green hills of his home, Andrew could barely hear himself think.
Ever since he was boy, he would sit in his tree, perched on the highest branch, dreaming of the day he would finally set foot on the grounds of New York City. Now in his early twenties, Andrew ignored his alternate life of marriage, hopped on a plane and flew through the skies to the greatest country in the world.
The young man shrugged of his backpack and sat it down on a bench. From where he was standing, he could see the Statue of Liberty atop the little island near the harbor. He fumbled around his backpack for his iPod, and snapped a quick picture of the statue. He sighed happily, a smile creeping onto his lips.
This was going to be a beautiful day.
“I’ll take two, please.” Andrew dug his fingers into his pocket and came out with a dollar bill he had changed into American currency. “Thanks.” He took the paper bag heavied with two corn-dogs. “Have a good one.”
Andrew walked down the street, cars zooming by him. A truck roared past and more than one horns honked. “Off all the things to be doing on a tour in New York City, I eat corn-dogs.” He scolded himself, glaring at the golden brown of his lunch.
He surveyed the place for a spot to sit, and found a bench with barely an empty spot right on the edge of the seat. “Excuse me.” He said to the person who would be sitting next to him, and the woman just nodded and walked off. Andrew shrugged and sat down.
“Hi sweetie,” a young lady placed her hands on a man’s shoulders, popped her heeled foot up and planted a kiss on his cheek.
Andrew looked up. Her blue eyes and silky blond hair reminded him of his little sister back home. He grinned.
The young man who had received the kiss shot a glare at Andrew. “Are you flirting with my fiance?” he demanded, taking a step towards where Andrew was sitting, his fists clenched at his sides.
“No.” Andrew said, making the face that he always made when someone asked him a stupid question. “She just reminded me of-”
“Of a pretty lady?” The man barked.
“No!” Andrew stood up, then nearly dropped his corn-dogs in fright when he realized how much taller and bulkier the guy was than him. “Excuse me, I’m outta here.” He held his hands up in defense and walked off.
The man grabbed Andrew’s shirt and halted him. Andrew turned around. “Look mate, I don’t want any trouble, okay?”
The man roared and swung a punch at Andrew, but he ducked just before the punch would’ve sent him onto the ground with a broken nose and a lost eye. “Calm down!”
“Herb!” the girl rushed towards her fiance. “Just let it be!”
The man ignored his fiance and Andrew figured it was about time to start running. He ripped his shirt from the man’s hand and took of. The crowd parted like a wave, obviously not wanting to be hit by a 200 pound maniac yet knowing they could easily toss aside a skimpy fellow like Andrew.
Andrew swerved to the right, running down a street that seemed to be fuller than the last, if that was even possible, and flattened himself against the hot, sun burned wall. Herb ran past, sweat forming at the back of his shirt. Suddenly the screech of brakes being slammed on shrieked in everyone’s ears and Herb stopped to yell at the driver for almost running him over. He turned around and gave a roar of anger when he saw Andrew zip back down the road the same way he came.
A road neared, and Andrew skid to a stop as a car sped past not regarding that he could possibly run a building over at that speed. Andrew frantically pressed the button for the pedestrian. The crazy 200 pound maniac was right behind him, so Andrew leaped onto the road and hailed a taxi to stop. Thankfully, no one was inside, so he ripped the door open and slid into the middle seat, slamming his finger onto the lock. He was more than sure that the guy could catch up to the car and rip the door right of its hinges if he wanted to.
“Where do you wanna go?” the taxi driver tapped his finger on the wheel and coal black eyes looked at him through the rear-view mirror.
“Anywhere.” Andrew panted. “Farthest place away from here.”
The driver chuckled. “Bad day, huh?”
“It was going great at first, but then it just went downhill from there.” Andrew sighed. “Got any recommendations for a good place to eat?” he asked, realizing his corn-dogs were no where to be seen.
“If you could care less and you’re running low on money, Los Tacos no. 1 has great food. If you’re fine with pricey and you’re a fancy guy, Mastro’s Steakhouse is a great place. ”
“I have one day in the city of my dreams. I’m starving. I just got chased by a girl’s angry maniac fiance because I thought she looked like my little sis back home. I’m willing to spend anything as long as the food’s good.”
Lunch was a huge success, the food was great, except for one small detail:
While Andrew was sitting at the table waiting for his food when a young man cleared his throat behind him.
“Excuse me.” He said. “My wife and I were having a debate-” he shot a glance at his wife, probably the lady standing behind him with her hands on her hips. “And you-” He motioned his hands toward Andrew. “You look like a smart guy and I think you might have a solution to our problem.” He looked at his wife again and folded his arms, then turned his gaze back to Andrew.
Andrew turned around in his seat. “Pardon?”
“We’re only here at this restaurant because my wife and I were discussing who should be the one to cook dinner. We both have jobs, and when we come home we never know who should cook; my wife insisted that I ask you for your opinion.” He explained.
“Well I don’t know.” Andrew looked back at him in helplessness but the man just stared at him waiting for an answer. He shifted awkwardly in his seat then stood up. “I don’t have any idea. Sorry. My Mum was usually the one to cook our dinners, but this is-“
“Excuse me!” the lady behind the man bounced up, her red curls bobbing on her shoulders. “You insolent, disrespectful fool!” she screamed. She walked over to Andrew and slapped him across the face. “How dare you?!”
“Ma’am, I simply said that my Mum usually cooked our dinners; this has nothing to do with your situation!”
“Waiter!” the lady shrieked. “This man is bothering us. What will you do about it?” she placed her hands on her hips and pursed her lips.
Andrew crossed his arms, certain the waiter would never kick him out. “Excuse me sir, I’m sorry, but we can’t tolerate behavior like this. I’m going to have to escort you out.”
What a polite way of kicking someone out.
Andrew threw his hands up. “You know what? It’s okay. I can get out myself.” With that he turned and walked out the building.
You remember how I said that the food was great? Let me rephrase myself. The food looked great. Because poor Andrew never got to have a bite of it.
He exited the restaurant where he found a young girl of about sixteen sitting against the wall crying into her tattered shirt.
“Hey, you okay?” Andrew asked.
The girl looked up, smearing dirt across her cheek as she tried to wipe the tears away. “I guess.” She said. “I’m hungry, I’m tired, I’m scared, and I have nowhere to go!”
Andrew pulled out his wallet and dug out twenty dollars and handed it to the girl. “Go get yourself something to eat, okay? The food here is great. Well it looks great… Do you have any family?”
The girl shook her head but managed a smile. “Thank you so much!” she stood up and to Andrew’s surprise, threw her arms around him in a tight hug.
Happy with himself, Andrew was around half an hour away from his car and thirty minutes away from the restaurant before he realized his wallet was missing.
“Hey!” he yelled, running back the same direction he came from. “Hey!” he yelled again, wishing the girl could hear him but knowing she wouldn’t be able to.
Nothing looked familiar except for the amount of people, the same reckless drivers and the same sky-scraping buildings. He remembered he went down an alley, so the first alley he saw, he turned down. A rat neared his foot and he kicked it away with a hiss.
Why was his day going so bad? What had he done? Was he being punished for leaving his little sister who had so long begged him not to leave? He placed his hands on his head and kicked a can. It hit the wall with a clash. His stomach was not full yet, his wallet was gone, and who knows which alley he’d run into the crazy fiance maniac again?
After about 30 minutes of walking, Andrew had no idea where in New York City he was. He’d walked down so many alley’s now.
He never got lost. But now he found himself lost. Completely and utterly lost. When finally his brain gave in to the idea of going back up the alley’s and going for help, the sun shone cruelly down on him, and more so on a scrunched up ball of paper, so that its rays burned it and it burst into flames. In a second it caught onto a cardboard box, and flames shot up everywhere.
Andrew rushed towards it trying to stomp out the flames. But it was too big. “Hey!” he yelled. “Help!” he started to run up the alley, but the flames grew slightly bigger. A dirty towel lay sprawled on the ground covered in rat poop, and Andrew snatched it up. He slapped it frantically against the flames, but the little ragged piece of cloth was consumed in seconds and the fire lapped up his pants. He yelled, dancing around in his pants on fire. He dropped to the ground and rolled, and the fire around his legs ceased to a sparkle and smoke drifted up from his singed legs.
But that wasn’t the biggest problem, because the flames were getting bigger by the second.
Suddenly a cold blast of water met his back and then water spewed onto the flames and they bowed to the water and turned into billowing smoke.
Andrew turned around. It was the girl he had given the money to. “You!” he yelled. The girl just stared at him frozen like a mouse. Then she dropped the hose she held, threw Andrew’s wallet at him, then took of running.
The wallet still had everything inside of it. She had probably felt guilty and tried to find him again to give it back.
“Hey!” Andrew yelled. “Wait!” he sighed and shook his head. “Poor kid.”And he ruffled his hair and walked back up the alley.
I still don’t know how a guy like Andrew ended up in New York City. But, one thing he was sure of: he was never going back to New York again.
Like it? 😉
Yesterday for Bible we read in 2 Kings how Elijah was taken up to heaven. Did Elijah go up to heaven in a chariot, or in a whirlwind? I’ve always thought he went up in a chariot, but it said in one of the verses that a chariot of fire separated Elisha and Elijah but Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. In earlier verses it also said that Elisha would never leave Elijah and then when asked what he wanted before Elijah left, Elisha asked for double the connection with God that Elijah had. Elijah told Elisha that he could have it if he saw him when he was taken up to heaven. Perhaps the chariot of fire was to test Elisha’s loyalty and to distract him and he would’ve missed Elijah’s ascend to heaven.
Or maybe the whirlwind is just a metaphor that Elijah went up to heaven fast?
What do you think?
Smile! God loves you.