Posted tagged ‘Sunday dinner’

“It was Sunday morning, and old people passed me like sad grey waves on their way to church.”

October 15, 2017

I’m wondering where the sun is hiding. The day is damp and cloudy. It’s a quiet day, no breeze rustles the leaves and no voices are loud enough to be heard. I have to go out and do a couple of errands later and tonight is game night. That’s like a full day for me.

When I was a kid, the expectations for Sunday were pretty much nonexistent. It was a nothing day much the same week after week. It started with church. The only unknown was which mass I’d attend. Would I go early with my dad, the usher, or later by myself or with my brother? Sunday dinner was the biggest meal of the week. It was always a roast, sometimes a roast beef and other times a whole chicken. It was the one meal all week where we all sat down to eat together though my mother sometimes stood by the counter to eat. On weekdays my dad was late getting home from work so he was never there for dinner. We were usually watching TV when he got home.

Once in a while, on a Sunday afternoon, we visited my grandparents in the city. I was amazed by the city. Houses were close together. The Italian bakeries sold pizza. A house down the street sold Italian ice through an open window. On the corner of my grandparents’ street was a private club. My uncle was a member. I remember going there once for a family party.

If we didn’t go out to visit, we’d sit around watching TV until my dad took over and turned to a football game. That sent us to the kitchen to play a board game or down the cellar to play. If I had a book, I’d go read it in my room away from the noise. My mother cooked in the kitchen. She peeled potatoes and opened cans of vegetables. We usually ate around two. Most times there was no special dessert. We’d grab cookies.

Sunday night we’d watch a bit of TV then it was early to bed because of school the next day. We always grumbled. That never got us anywhere except upstairs to bed at our regular time.

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“I will continue my path, but I will keep a memory always.”

July 16, 2017

Today is a sunny, bright, warm but getting hotter day. The blue sky is perfectly clear. The breeze is ever so slight. Every now and then I hear voices from down the street, but mostly it’s quiet, quiet enough that the birds can easily be heard singing. It’s like a Sunday from my childhood memories.

Roast beef, peas and mashed potatoes with gravy have long been my favorite meal. It was a Sunday dinner treat to have the beef. Mostly we had chicken. We always had mashed potatoes. My father didn’t believe dinner was dinner without the mashed potatoes. Back then we had canned vegetables. I remember the French green beans and my father’s asparagus. My mother served Le Sueur small, sweet baby peas, the ones in the silver can. I loved those. When I was really little, I mixed them with the mashed potatoes. The concoction wasn’t pretty but it was tasty and that was the easiest way to eat the peas. They were never fork food, too round and too small.

A long time ago there was a club in Bourne with male strippers. One night my friends and I were brave enough to go. We went, each of us, with many dollar bills. The place was filled. It was smoky. In the middle of the room was the stage. The fully dressed men, the policeman, the firefighter, the soldier, came out together and faced the different sides of the room. When the music started, so did they. The clothes flew off until the men were down to their G-strings. We didn’t approach them at first, being a bit embarrassed. Other women were quick to leave their dollars bills in the tops of the g-strings. I don’t remember who but one of us got brave, and the rest of us followed. We laughed a lot. It was a fun evening. We never went again and the place at some point closed down. I think it was because everyone went just once.

I used to love going to the Melody Tent in Hyannis when it was a theater in the round. I remember The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Debbie Reynolds. I was so excited to see a real movie actress in person. Much later, I saw the house of the real Margaret Brown on whom the character is based. It is in Denver, Colorado. I even found that exciting.

My life is filled with all these memories. Every now and then one pops up, one I hadn’t given thought to in years. Today’s memories are some of those.

“Happiness is a hot bath on a Sunday afternoon.”

February 12, 2017

The clouds are storm clouds, maybe carrying a couple of inches of snow, but I wouldn’t mind. The new flakes will cover the dirty snow left on the sides of the roads and the sawdust and small branches covering the snow on my lawn.

Gracie went down the back steps this morning. I was going to lead her down, but she left without me and made it down safely. On the inside steps, though, Gracie’s back leg slides so I stand beside her as she goes from step to step.

The house is getting dark, but I like the feel of today. It is a comfortable day, a day to stay warm and cozy. The cat and dog are sleeping. The dog is snoring, not unusual.

When I was a kid, days like today sometimes made us quiet. We could sit and watch TV and say very little, just watch the shows. We never fought about what to watch. There weren’t many choices. We had a schedule we kept to every night. Mostly I remember the years of the westerns. I swear we watched at least two every night. I remember watching The Adventures of Rin, Tin, Tin, of Wild Bill Hickock, Kit Carson, and Jim Bowie. Rin, Tin, Tin was my favorite Adventure. I watched Annie Oakley and Bat Masterson and so many more. I think that’s why I’m not a fan of westerns. I’ve had my fill already.

I used to like to lie in bed under the covers with my headboard lamp shining on my book. It was always quiet. The noise was downstairs. Sometimes I’d take a nap but not on purpose. I just fell asleep.

We usually had a 1 or 2 o’clock Sunday dinner because it was also the day of eggs and bacon for breakfast so we weren’t hungry until later. My favorite was roast beef, but we had roast chicken more which I never really minded. Always mashed potatoes, LeSoeur peas and one other vegetable.

My mother used to use the school night argument to get us to go to bed early. We’d argue and got a bit more time. My little sisters went first then a half hour or so later my brother and I went to bed. I don’t remember much after that. I easily fell asleep.

Sunday can be the best day of the week sometimes.

 

“Facts must be faced. Vegetables simply don’t taste as good as most other things do.”

February 28, 2016

We have lots of sun this morning and a light blue sky, but the day is breezy and cool. I can hear the sweet sounds of the wind chimes blowing.

I’m in a Sunday frame of mind, the kind of Sunday we had when I was a kid, a quiet day, a hang around the house day waiting for dinner. Sunday was always special. It was the only day we had dinner, a fancier fare than we had all week. Dinner was always in the afternoon, usually around two. Supper was at night. My dad used to work late and wasn’t always home in time for supper. We were always together for Sunday dinner. The meal centered around a roast of some sort and mashed potatoes. The vegetables differed from week to week. Bread was never served though I remember it was always on the table at the Cleaver’s, the Walton’s and most other programs about families. Their bread wasn’t fancy, just sliced bread stacked on a plate. I never saw any of them use salt or pepper on their foods. We didn’t either. The table held our plates and silverware and the food. There was barely room for the six of us. Most times my mother would move the food to the counter after we had served ourselves. If we wanted more, she’d always get up to serve us. I don’t remember my mother ever sitting down for an entire meal. We seldom had dessert, not even at Sunday dinner. If there was any in the house, we’d have a bowl of ice cream or we’d grab a few cookies, Oreos were the favorite.

I didn’t know until I was older that potatoes could be more than mashed or French fried. I was surprised to find out carrots and potatoes weren’t the only vegetables which could be served fresh, not out of a can. I did know about corn on the cob, but that was a summer vegetable for a cook-out.

I don’t remember having Sunday dinners in the summer. We had picnics at the beach and cookouts in the backyard. We ate a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs. Corn on the cob and baked beans, out of a can of course, were usually the vegetables. In those days we never had salad. Potato salad came much later, when we were older. Green salad was never a hit.

Despite the canned veggies and the lack of salads and greenery, we were healthy kids. We suffered from the usually maladies of childhood in those days like measles or the mumps, but that was about it. I might have wished to have a few stay at home from school sick days, but I wasn’t ever that lucky.

 

“My favorite meal would have to be good old-fashioned eggs, over easy, with bacon. Many others, but you can’t beat that on a Sunday morning, especially with a cup of tea.”

April 26, 2015

It’s cold again today. The high will be 51˚. The nights are still in the mid to high 30’s. The sun was here for a bit then the clouds came in and the sun was covered, but the day is still light.

When I was a kid, I either went to the early mass with my dad, the usher, or I walked to mass later in the morning. If it was a lucky Sunday, my aunt would be at the later mass, see me and invite me to the Stoneham Spa for a lime ricky. The spa was uptown. It was old and looked like the malt shops on TV. It had wooden booths with all sorts of names carved on the tables, faded signs on the walls highlighting some of the menu items and stools at the counter. It had been a hangout even during my mother’s high school days. I don’t remember when it closed down, but I know it was before I was in high school or we would have been there.

If I didn’t see my aunt, I’d trudge home after mass to spend the most boring day of the week in the house. We didn’t go anywhere to play or roam on Sunday because we had to be there for the big Sunday dinner. It was usually the only time in the week we had roast beef so it wasn’t all that bad being stuck in the house waiting for dinner. I’d read the comics, the only part of the paper I cared about, or watch the Sunday movie. Sometimes we’d go visit my grandparents after dinner, but mostly we just stayed around the house. On Sunday nights we went to bed earlier than usual. My mother gave us the excuse, which we never believed, that because we had been up late on Friday and Saturday nights we needed to go early to get our rest for school on Monday. We used to argue and plead but to no avail. I think my displeasure was evidenced by my feet pounding each step as I went upstairs, but I was usually wearing slippers so the noise wasn’t bad enough for my father to yell.

Sundays haven’t really changed much. They are still mostly boring. Now I read all of the papers, but I still start with comics. Old, ingrained habits seldom die. I don’t cook a big meal for myself but I like Sunday breakfast. That comes from when I’d visit my parents, and my dad always made me my Sunday breakfast. He’d cook eggs, anyway I wanted them, bacon and toast. Mostly I liked them sunny-side up. That’s what I make for myself, but he never broke the yolks. I sometimes do.

“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”

November 16, 2014

Dreary is the best description for this morning. It is a dark, cloudy, cold day. Dead leaves hang motionless from the branches of the big oak trees in the backyard. Everything is brown.

Yesterday Gracie had another test for her irregular heart beats, but I won’t know the results until Monday. While I was waiting for Gracie, a woman came in with a 10 week old brindle boxer puppy. I told the woman had there been no witnesses, I would have stolen her puppy. It was the cutest dog with soft boxer ears and a mournful look, the sort boxers sometimes get. The woman has another boxer at home, a one year old rescue. I told her about Miss Gracie also being a dark, brindle. We both said we’d never have a different breed as we are such boxer lovers. Gracie came bouncing out of the back area. I patted her and then Gracie went straight to the woman and gave her kisses as only boxers can. The woman told me Gracie was beautiful. That woman has a good eye.

Sunday has always been the quietest day of the week. When I was a kid, I’d go home after mass, change out of my Sunday clothes and mostly hang around the house. I’d read the comics and then settle in with my book. My mother would be making Sunday dinner, and my dad would be watching football. This time of year the house was always closed to keep the cold away. My dad would have climbed the ladder a few weeks back to take off the screens and replace them with the storm windows. It was always a process especially the part of getting the storm windows on the hooks. The closed house held in the best smells on Sundays, especially the aroma of whatever roast was baking in the oven. My favorite will always be roast beef. The smell of one baking still brings me home, to my childhood, to those quiet Sundays.

“A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.”

September 21, 2014

The day is wonderfully warm but cloudy. A bright sun would have been a nice touch. The breeze is strong. Pine branches are swaying, and the leaves are billowing. My neighborhood is quiet, Sunday quiet, the way I remember Sundays used to be.

Today I have nothing that needs doing. The week was a busy one so I’ll just relax in sloth mode. I’m not even going to get dressed. I earned today.

I have three dresses. Two are for summer and the third is for winter. I used to wear dresses to work every day, even in Ghana, but now I seldom wear them. They are reserved for weddings and events which happen in fancy venues. Those events tend to be special and have a dress code, unmentioned but expected.

I am drawing a blank today. Nothing comes to mind. I did think about pizza and ribs earlier, and I have no idea why. They seemed strange topics to pop into my head, but they did remind me of my mother who used to make those English muffin pizzas and freeze them for later, for snacks. She also made crabbies on English muffins and would serve them on game nights. As for the ribs, I have no idea where they came from.

My parents didn’t have much money when I was growing up, but I didn’t know that. Christmas was a wonder and under the tree was always filled with gifts. Every Easter we got new clothes. For Halloween my mother made our costumes just as my friends’ mothers made theirs. Store bought costumes had no originality, no imagination and were sort of ugly with plastic masks held on by an easily broken elastic. Sunday dinners were always special. We could count on sort of a roast, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies. That is still my favorite dinner. Last night my friend served a roast chicken, tons of mashed potatoes, gravy and carrots. I was in heaven.