Posted tagged ‘Sunday’

“How often have the greatest thoughts and ideas come to light during conversations with the family over the evening dinner?”

April 2, 2017

The sunlight is wonderfully bright. The sky is a dark blue. It is warmer than it has been so it feels warm to me. When I helped Gracie into the yard, I stayed outside for a bit basking in the sun. She ran around the yard the way she used to when she was younger then bounded up the stairs into the house. She deserved her treat!

When I went to bed last night, it was close to 2 AM. I was watching television, going through those pesky catalogs and checking out recipes on Pinterest. I woke up this morning at 10:45. My mother would have called that the sleep of the dead.

I never used to need lists. My memory was enough. Now I need list after list. Alexa keeps my grocery list and stickies hold the rest. There is a great deal of satisfaction in crossing off completed tasks despite how mundane some of them are. I have to sweep the kitchen today. That’s an easy one to complete. One down!

Despite the season or maybe because of it, a few movies on the deck films have already arrived. Most are 50’s black and white B movies with aliens or gigantic creatures or both; also, I have ordered a few of my favorites like Gunga Din and Rear Window. Spring needs to step up so summer won’t seem so far away.

If I were to choose a favorite day of the week, I’d choose Sunday. I wasn’t keen on going to mass when I was young so I consider that the only blight on the day. Most Sundays when I was a kid were quiet. I’d read the Sunday funnies. After the Sunday matinee movies started on TV, we’d watch those in the afternoon. I remember watching Lassie, Come Home. We were all at Sunday dinner in those days, jammed into the small kitchen. On the cold days, the windows there got steamy. I remember my mother used Melmac plates and bowls. For some strange reason, I have a visual memory of a bowl heaped with mashed potatoes. Sunday night meant earlier to bed because of school, but I never really complained. I was usually tired.

Even now, Sunday is different than the rest of the week. I have two papers to read, and I like to take my time. Sometimes I make eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast. I usually have dinner though I often buy it rather than make it. More than not I have mashed potatoes.

I figure more than any other day, Sunday holds the most family memories.

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

October 23, 2016

Sunday has always been the quietest day of the week for me. When I was young, it was the hang around the house day except when the whole family went to the beach or to the city to visit with my grandparents. Sunday dinner was the best meal of the week. My father got home too late during the week to eat supper with us, but he was always there on Sunday which made it special. We had a roast of some sort, mashed potatoes and a couple of vegetables. Most of the vegetables were canned except for the carrots and, of course, the potatoes. My favorite was the La Sueur baby peas. String beans appeared often, but despite the name, I ate them. They looked nothing like beans. The same with green beans. I always made a well in my potatoes for the gravy. It was like a contest not to let the gravy overflow the sides of the potatoes. Most time I lost.

Last night the weather was perfect for a Halloween movie. Trees were bent to the wind which blew so much it howled and sounded like a train, a forlorn train. I laid in bed and listened. Gracie got close to me. Fern joined us.

Sunday is game night. We have appetizers and dessert and play Phase 10 and Sorry. Tonight, though, we’ll start early and watch the Pats play. I’m bringing dessert.

This morning I noticed my lawn and deck are now covered in leaves and pine needles. They were just cleared on Friday. I think raking or blowing are fruitless tasks until the trees are bare and nothing more can fall.

The sun is bright, the sky blue and the trees quiet and still. It is a lovely fall day. The temperature will be in the high 50’s. If I had to invent a day in autumn, it would be just like today.

“cozy+smell of pancakes-alarm clock=weekend”

August 29, 2016

This morning I was forced to go to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had no coffee and no cream so Gracie and I jumped into the car and drove off for my morning elixir. When we got there, the outside line was long, but I had no choice. I hadn’t bothered to get dressed or even brush my teeth. Gracie didn’t mind the wait. She just poked her head out the window and took in the neighborhood and its smells. I listened to the radio. The line went faster than I thought it would. I was happy.

Today is already hot and humid so I am back in my fortress having shut the windows and doors and turned on the air conditioning. There are clouds but they do nothing except to obscure the sun. Rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days. The weekend, though, will be lovely with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and nights in the mid 60’s.  It is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional last hurrah of the summer.

My sister started work today. She is a pre-school teacher in Colorado. When I spoke to her last night, she was going to take a shower so she could get to bed early. I remember my mother sending us to bed early and reminding us we had school the next day. I also remember moaning and groaning and dragging my feet upstairs.

When I was a kid, I never kept track of the weekdays. I only knew when it was Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday my father was home. He did errands uptown and mowed the lawn. On Saturday nights he often barbecued. Sometimes we went to the beach all day Saturday or the drive-in on Saturday nights. Sunday had the only consistently distinguishing event, going to mass which also meant a change in wardrobe from shorts and a sleeveless shirt to a dress or a skirt and a blouse. After mass, the day was back to casual. We didn’t have Sunday dinners during the summer. It was more of a catch as catch can. Mostly it was sandwiches.

I think my favorite weekends were in Ghana, especially the Sundays. There was a service in the dining hall where the furniture had been reconfigured to look more like the inside of a church. The students wore their Sunday clothes. Each of the four classes had a different fabric for their traditional three piece dresses, their Sunday best. They wore a top, a skirt to their ankles and a cloth wrapped around at the waist. After the service, the older students could go to town. Visitors were allowed. A photographer wandered around taking pictures, always in black and white. I have a few of the pictures given to me as gifts. When I went to town, I could see the students walking in groups and stopping at kiosks to buy personal items like powder. Others went to the market to load up on snacks to keep in their school trunks, especially gari, made from cassava and easily stored.

Being retired, my days tend to run together. I sometimes have to check the paper to see what day of the week it is. My chores and errands aren’t confined to a single day. I don’t ever have to go to bed early.

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

July 31, 2016

It is a still morning. Not a leaf blows on the trees overhanging the deck. Not even a bird disturbs the silence. The day is cloudy and feels close. The humidity is higher than the last few days but still tolerable. My house is 74˚, not time for AC yet. Gracie likes the doors open so she can survey the neighborhood. The cats just sleep. That’s what cats do.

Last night I was awoken two times. The first was Fern meowing and looking for attention. She has figured out that waking me up means she gets her pats. I scratch her by the tail, pat her a few times then fall back to sleep. She is content and sleeps the rest of the night beside me. The second time was when my bed was shaking. I knew Gracie was panting. That meant she was uncomfortable and needed to go out. We went down stairs, and when I opened the door, she was out like a shot. She was back about 5 minutes later, and we both went back to bed. She fell asleep right away. It took me a whole lot longer.

My to do list is short today. I just have to water plants inside and out, but if truth be told, I don’t even feel like making that small effort. Sunday is a quiet day for me, a throwback from my childhood. When I worked, it was dump and laundry day. Now, I can’t imagine doing both of those in one day. The effort seems monumental. I went to the dump late yesterday afternoon with two weeks worth of trash. I have laundry I could do, but there is still laundry in the dryer from last week. I have embraced a lazy lifestyle.

Where thou art – that – is Home.

June 6, 2016

Yesterday I chose to do little. I took a shower for the sake of cleanliness, but that was it for constructive. Today I go back to the old list and change my bed and do laundry then I’ll need a new list. I’m not all that enthused about doing anything so the new list will be short. Outside might just be the only item. I have chairs to clean and lights to fix, and being outside might make doing work a bit easier.

It’s noisy right now. I hear hammering and wood being piled. I suppose in the scheme of things they aren’t very loud, but this is generally a quiet place. Dogs do bark and kids do yell but that’s it. The bird songs tend to be the loudest.

Usually all three animals are here with me when taking their morning naps. The only one here now is Maddie and she is roaming. Fern is in the living room and Gracie is in her crate. I can hear her snoring. If I move around, Gracie sticks her head out to see where I’m going. She’ll follow me if it looks interesting enough. Gracie is never far from where I am.

When I went to Ghana, it was the first time I ever lived alone. It took time to be comfortable living alone because I couldn’t just pick up the phone and chat or drop over to visit. Here I was trying to adjust to a new culture and a new country so being lonely and homesick at the same time felt crushing. I had to figure ways to deal with it. I wrote letters, some of which were never sent. They were filled with my feelings, my sense of failure and my wondering if Ghana was right for me. I ached for letters from home and ran to the staff room to check my box at least twice a day. I also concentrated on figuring out how to speak English so I could be understood by my students. I gave myself until Christmas. Come to find out, that was more than enough time. I adjusted to speaking English slowly with an emphasis on letters like t in better or letter. My students were catching on as well. The more they heard, the more they understood. I started going to the market and shopping for food. It connected me to the town and the people. They stopped seeing me as simply the white lady. Now I was madam, the teacher at the training college. I used Hausa, the language Peace Corps had taught me. The Ghanians were delighted.

I began to feel I was home, a different home but still home. I stopped running to check the mail. Sometimes I ever forgot for a day or two. I read in the evenings or wrote letters about my day to day life. Every one of those got sent. I loved being in Ghana.

“Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.”

April 17, 2016

Today is a beautiful day despite the chill in the air. The sun is just so bright you have to squint when you go outside. The breeze is slight and only the tops of the pine trees sway a bit.

Yesterday I had my fish and chips for lunch, but they were more than just a lunch to me. They inaugurated the official start of summer food. Bring on the shrimp and the scallops. Light up the grill. I’m ready!

Operation Fern and Maddie isn’t going as easily as I’d hoped. Maddie runs and hides. Fern tries to run, but I usually catch her. This morning Fern got her liquid medicine, and I was able to rub the other one in her ear. Maddie took off. We played musical chairs for a while around the dining room table. I lost so she has yet to have a dose and she needs two. It is no big deal. I just have to rub medicine in each ear. That’s it. I could get her right now as she is asleep on the chair, but she loves to sleep there so I don’t want it associated with medicine. I’ll have to wait until she gets up and moves around.

The neighborhood is quiet, an unusual occurrence. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and Sunday was always a quite day. Every family had pretty much the same rituals: church then family dinner. There was a reverence about the day.

When I’d visit my parents for the weekend, Friday night was game night. My uncle got dropped off by one of his kids because after the night’s festivities they knew he shouldn’t get behind the wheel. He was a weekly visitor. Sometimes my aunt, not related to my uncle, also showed up. She was my father’s sister, and they unmercifully teased each other. The kitchen was the only room ever used. It was always noisy, even raucous. It was filled with laughs, even guffaws, at somebody’s expense. My dad was often the target. The room would be filled with smoke, and the backdoor, even in winter, was usually left open. The bar was on the counter. The person closest to the counter got stuck getting the drinks. We’d play game after game of cards. We’d play for hours. The room would get louder and louder. Many times I was the bartender. I used to joke with my parents and say I learned my bartending skills by the time I was six. When I delve into my memory drawer, I can still see the table filled all around, the bottles on the counter, the air thick with smoke and most of all I can hear the laughter. My uncle is the only one left of the Friday night gatherings. I have all the memories and I can still see everyone when I close my eyes and remember.

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”

April 16, 2016

I guess it is too early in the spring for the sun to sustain itself more than a day or two. It is gray and windy, big time windy. I can hear the sweet sound of the chimes hanging in the backyard.

The cats hate me. Fern has medicine once a day and the medicine ear rub is also once a day. Maddie has a daily ear rub in each ear. This morning Fern has had her medicine and Maddie her first rub. Both have disappeared. Gracie the snoring dog is the only pet still here with me.

Saturday has always been the best day of the week ever since I was really young. Weekdays meant school. I liked school, but I didn’t like being stuck there all day long. One recess a day just wasn’t enough. Sunday had church, a perfect reason not to like the day. In winter there was always the Saturday matinee or a day to do anything we wanted. On TV was the Creature Double Feature. I saw giant spiders, a colossal man, a 50 foot woman, Mole people, giants ants, a teenage werewolf and Godzilla. Both the Colossal Man and the 50 Foot Woman were quite ill-tempered, and she was even vengeful in going after her philandering husband who was carousing at a bar while she grew taller. I didn’t blame her. The giant creatures like the ants in Them were the results of the atomic bomb. I never minded staying home on a rainy Saturday. Watching TV was like being in B-movie heaven. Every now and then I find a favorite B&W science fiction movie on TCM. It’s like finding a treasure, a gem.

Most of this week was a bust. I’m hoping for better starting tomorrow. I’m not as obnoxious as Pollyanna and her glad game, but I’d like a few days with warm sun, a neat ride or two and maybe my first fish and chips of the season now that my favorite summer restaurants are open. I really don’t think I’m asking for a whole lot. I’ll even take just one. I pick the warm sun.