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

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.

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

  1. olof1 Says:

    Quite the opposite here today, cold and rainy but they say it will turn towards sunnier and warmer weather again from tomorrow. I think however that summer is over for this time.

    I always looked forward to go to school and since I’ve always been a morning person I never had any problems going to bed early since I always did anyway 🙂

    We never went to church so Sundays was just like Saturdays for me unless we weren’t going to my grandmother for Sunday dinner. No dressing up though.

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      The sun is back out, but it is still hot and humid. We need some of that rain.

      I also had no problem getting up for school. Even when I worked, I’d get up at 5 or 5:15. Now I sometimes stay up late as I have no time to have to get up.

      We went to my grandparents house when I was young, but not when I got older. We did what we wanted on Sundays. Now I do that every day!!

      Have a great evening!

  2. flyboybob Says:

    Today we have another slight chance of rain with highs only in the low 90s. The humidity is high but at least the temperature is below 100 degrees.

    Did you get a donut with your coffee?

    My cousin reported that the Chinese restaurant that we patronized in Queens, King Yum, is closing after more than 50 years of continuous operation. The owner’s children are ready to give up servicing Americanized Chinese food. The restaurant is located just next door to a Jewish Temple and community center. Many Jewish people began eating at Chinese restaurants after they returned from service in WWII. It was their first foray into international cuisine after giving up eating Kosher food that they grew up eating in their immigrant parent’s home. We ate Chinese on Sunday evenings to give my aunt a break from cooking dinner. It’s an unwritten Jewish tradition that we go to the movies and eat Chinese food on Christmas Day. That may have been one of the five commandments that were inscribed on the tablet that Moses dropped on his way down Mt. Sinai. 🙂

    As we approach Labor Day I just realized that the Muscular Dystrophy telethon is a thing of the past which along with the closing of the Chinese restaurant reminds me that nothing lasts forever. I think the Trump phenomena is a last chance for the baby boomer generation to attempt to recapture their memory of the fifties and sixties. You know the good old days when you could say the ‘N’ word and work at the mill. Everyone knew their place and station in life. The assembly line workers were white men and the janitor was a black man. When a husband could tell his to wife get her biscuits in the oven and her buns in the bed. A return to the days portrayed in the TV sitcom, ‘All In The Family’. A last gasp at the words in the show’s theme song, ‘Those Were The Days’.

    I’ve taken the day off to use up one day of my four weeks of vacation left over from last year. In January I get another four weeks and have to figure out how to use them rather than lose them while I take this year’s allotment.

    • katry Says:

      I’m glad you got a little relief: under 100˚. Right now it is cooler than this morning, and there is a breeze.

      I did get a butternut donut, my favorite.

      Coincidentally I was just thinking of getting Chinese food for dinner. In the town where I grew up is a long-standing Chinese restaurant. In the old days of the 50’s and early 60’s the town was dry. They didn’t sell or serve alcohol. You could bring it to the restaurant, and they would provide mixers. Back then the place was always filled. Now it isn’t. They go to Boston to bring back Chinese waiters. I was last there a few months ago for a reunion of old friends. The restaurant had a buffet. The food was good.

      I never had the memories of those good old days you described. My mother would never have tolerated my father speaking to her like that, and we didn’t use the N word or any other similar derogatory words. Those days were Archie’s childhood and early adulthood, way before mine.

      I can’t believe you’d give up vacation time. You earned those days and should definitely find a way to use them.

      • Bob Says:

        Living in the South during the 1950s was an interesting experience. People in Texas used the ‘N’ word all the time and were very suspicious of Jews and Catholics. Everything was completely segregated. Jews were considered ‘N’ lovers and Catholics were connected to the Hispanic community which were considered white but lower than the Anglos. During the 1960 Presidential campaign many Protestant voters were worried that if Kennedy won he would take orders from the Pope. The majority of people in the South were Southern Baptists and Methodists who were still angry that the South had lost the Civil war. Or, as they called it the war between the states.

        Although the Archie Bunker character was a WWII vet, there are many people our age that sympathize with Archie’s views. I work with many of them now. They don’t use the ‘N’ word because it’s not polite, but they call that restraint political correctness. They are the one’s who back Trump because they think he will be able to turn back the clock.

        My father would never say that to my mother either. I think it was an expression used among men in a bar, out of hear shot of their wives, after having too many beers.

        I will use up all the vacation days that I can’t carry over to next year. Even if I spend them practicing for retirement by sitting on my couch. 🙂

  3. Birgit Says:

    When does school start in the morning? Our school started at 7:45am and it’s usually around 8 am here. Kids are half asleep in the morning, especially night owls like me and even researches say that it’s too early. We discuss it for decades here and nothing has changed. One silly explanation I heard recently was that it would be too difficult to make a new bus schedules.
    When I was in school we also had school on Saturdays. Now it’s only Monday to Friday and most of the pupils have one year less to learn for at least the same amount of work than we had so including homework they have hardly any time for friends and hobbies during the weekdays. I don’t think that this was a wise change. We may laugh about kids who check their phones all the time nowadays but it’s essential for them to keep up social life.

    • katry Says:

      The high school started at 7:20. I read those same articles which said teens need the most sleep. One school down here is reversing the order of school openings with the elementary school first, then the middle schools then the high school. Parents would complain that the little kids had to take a bus in the morning darkness, but the reverse is also true: the late afternoon darkness when they now come home.

      Saturday school was a punishment. It went from 8 to 12. If a student missed it, he/she would be suspended. Homework is getting a look. I just read an article that for little kids it serves no purpose. I think it is necessary for high school kids. I was once an English teacher and reading a novel had to be done in increments at home.

      Phones are going to start growing out of kids hands.

    • Bob Says:

      Saturday school wouldn’t work because that’s the Jewish Sabbath. The school calendar is only 180 days a year. I’m for year round school. I still tease my sister, the retired art teacher, that she only worked half a year. She get’s really angry. I only pull it out when we visit her and the conversation gets boring. 🙂 It’s better than falling asleep and have my wife complain that she was stuck with my sister while I took a nap. 🙁

      • katry Says:

        It is far too hot here for year round school as none of the schools are air conditioned. I think it would be exorbitant to install air in the old buildings.

        My father used to say the same thing about half a year. I tried to explain to him it was my choice to have my salary divided so I’d get a salary in the summer. When I was an administrator, I worked all year.

  4. Coleen Says:

    Coincidentally I brought home chinese takeout tonight for dinner…

    It blows my mind that schools now have AC in their buildings..it was unheard of in my day. We sweated it out…

    I never liked to get up early – still don’t. It was especially hard in the beginning of the school year, after having spent the summer staying up late and sleeping in. To help me keep from falling asleep in my cereal, my Mom would let me drink coffee. I was eight. I still drink it today every morning.

    Hercules the boxer has been visiting the house while his Mamma is away. I like getting doggie kisses!

    Waving to make a breeze…


    • katry Says:

      That’s funny, Coleen. There must have been something in the air.

      Down here on the Cape, you’d still sweat as no schools have air conditioning. In Texas where Bob is from they have to.

      I have been both a night person and a morning person. When I worked, I got up early so I had to go to bed early. In summers I stayed up late. Now I go to bed whenever I want and seem to sleep 8 hours getting up late some days.

      Boxers are such sloppy kissers!

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