The morning is damp and cloudy, and every now and then it rains a bit then stops. The whole day is supposed to be like that: a bit rainy, but I don’t mind. I have laundry to do, a bed to change and a book to read. It’s Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly who’s not a favorite of mine but the book so far has been interesting.
I can hear lawn mowers: a Saturday sound ever since I was little. Now, though, it’s the gas mower and not the click clack of blades. Also missing is the sound of voices, of men talking to one another across lawns. Mowing was traditionally a man’s job. Women worked inside the house except when hanging laundry and men worked outside. The yard was my father’s realm.
Saturday has always been my favorite day of the week. When I was a kid, it meant no early bedtime on Friday, a matinée in the afternoon during the fall and winter and staying up late until I was tired. This time of year it was a day to roam, to ride bikes, to have no destination in mind and no real plans. Saturday was spontaneous. When I was older, in high school, Saturday meant sleeping late, and Saturday night was reserved for friends. We’d go bowling or to a movie or just hang around together. My friend Tommy would invite us over his house, and his mother would make us pizza, great homemade pizza. When Bobby got his license and a car, we’d go to the drive-in, all of us. I remember laughing a lot.
College was a whole different set of friends and Saturday was party night. Sometimes we’d go to a hockey game and sometimes we’d party before but we always partied after. I remember going for breakfast around two or three in the morning at a local hole in the wall diner. Those were the best eggs I ever tasted. I’d get to bed around four.
When I was in Ghana, Saturday was sometimes go to market day and sometimes it was go see a really old movie outside at the Hotel d’Bull, like a drive-in without the car. Saturday was chore day for the students. They did their laundry and worked around the school compound, but on Saturday night they had entertainment. Tribal dancing was one of my favorites. Usually Bill and I would roam all over to see the dancers. Peg usually stayed with the baby. Other nights we’d see a movie or a play completion or a singing competition among the houses. It was, in its own way, a special day.
When I taught, Saturday was grocery shopping day and clean the house day, but it was still the best day of the week. I got to sleep late and I usually needed it. Friday was happy hour day, a day to celebrate the end of the work week, and Saturday was the day to recuperate from all that celebrating. Most Saturday nights I was busy with friends, sometimes we’d see a movie or just hang around together.
Now I joke that every day is Saturday, but there are still a few hold-over traditions. When it gets warmer, Saturday will be movie on the deck night. I love that. It’s like a return to the matinée days but without getting hit by a JuJu bead or having a flashlight shined in my eyes.