This is a tale about the last arrangement to be chosen, or as brother David and
I remember the object, the most unappealing of the unattractive. Years ago,
while attending a trade show for the gas industry in Atlanta, our parents
decided to place an order for a new innovation in home decoration, gas-fired
Because they issued an advance notice to their clientele, three attractive sets
were sold before they were ever displayed, and others were acquired during the
holidays. Then there was the gentleman farmer who came in late on New Year's
Eve and purchased a pricey collection for his wife. She was disappointed when
her sister found a set under her Christmas tree, and she received a vacuum
Although the apparatus didn't provide much heat, the offered convenience
appealed to those husbands who were tired of chopping wood and cleaning ash and
trash from the fireplaces. Before long the more appealing ones disappeared and
the lesser alluring ones lingered. Over the winter months the few remaining
were rearranged and one unit in particular was pushed toward the back of the
As time progressed, the not-chosen individual was transported from place to
place and finally inhabited the far corner of the showroom, virtually forgotten
by the workforce. The ones that sold were sleek, this one was chunky; the others
were dressed in pleasing colors, this one was shadowy and morose; destined to
become a throwaway fixture.
Then a faithful customer came by the office late one blustery afternoon
intending to merely place an order for some propane gas. Wandering through the
showroom she glimpsed the misfit, who by now was gathering dust, and stopped
still. All the various models she inspected, she explained, were too polished,
but this was just the creation she envisioned; a diamond in the rough was
discovered, and was that day transported to a respectable abode.
Brenda S. Brown
Brenda S. Brown lives in Baldwin County with Otto, her husband of forty years.
They have two grown sons and daughters by marriage, Scott and Kimberly Brown
and Arlin and Brenda Brown, and four grandchildren; Joshua, Caleb, Catherine and
Christen. Her first manuscript, Precious Gems from Ruby, is complete and
She can be reached at www.brendasbrown.com.
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