Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anita Bloom Ornoff Award

I am happy to announce that Teri B. Clark is the grand prize winner in the first Anita Bloom Ornoff Award for inspirational short story.

Congratulations, Teri!

The judges were instructed to use only one criteria in making their selection; emotional impact the story made on the reader.
Their decision is final. Teri received her award this week.

Here is her winning entry.

A Tribute To My Grandpa, Archie Mohler

I will always think of my grandpa as a farmer. That is not all my grandpa did, but his strong-willed, loving attitude, and incredible faith kept him grounded in the blessings bestowed upon him and it was through these traits that helped his gardens grow. He had the faith that if he tilled the earth, planted the seed, and tended his garden, that God would provide the rest and the garden would grow.

Grandpa was blessed to have many gardens in his life. Some were of the traditional sort with wax beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. I remember being out in those gardens with him. Feeling the cool, damp earth on my fingers as I pulled weeds, listening to him tell me stories of his youth, explain his faith in Jesus, or imparting words of wisdom based on his immense experience. Then there were the trees – plums and apples in Ohio and oranges and grapefruit in Florida. He taught me to pick the fruit and let me discover what would happen if I insisted on picking it too early. He always had faith that the garden would grow. That faith never wavered. He used his garden to teach. He was always teaching. And he was always sharing – spreading the wealth of his garden to those he loved. Grandpa loved everyone.

Grandpa had more than a traditional garden of fruits and vegetables. He also had the garden of music. He planted the seed in all of his children and grandchildren. He taught each of his children to play an instrument though he had no formal training himself. And they all sang and played together and made beautiful memories. This garden has continued on and on. In me, the seed produced a love for music so deep that I can’t imagine what life would be without it. He used his garden of music to spread happiness to those around him, just as he did his fruits and vegetables.

Then there was his garden of love. Love for Jesus, love for family, love for country. He loved those around him enough to teach them to work, to want to succeed, to never give up, to have pride in their accomplishments, and to learn whatever they needed to learn to succeed. I would have to say that his garden of love was his greatest garden of all.

Gardens came and went during his life, each within its own season. Sometimes the gardens didn’t produce as well as he had hoped, but he never declared them failures. He simply got on his knees and prayed, and then rolled up his sleeves and began again. As it says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” According to his fruits, my grandpa was a master farmer.

I had the privilege of loving Archie Wilson Mohler as Grandpa. And as my grandpa, he taught me many things. I often see, in me and in my children qualities that I know came from him. Through these qualities, my grandpa will live forever.

Anita Bloom Ornoff was an inspiration woman, who like my grandpa, exemplified a positive outlook on life.

Copyright-2008-Teri B. Clark

You can buy Anita’s Book, Beyond Dancing, at Amazon.com.


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