“I’m a detective, but nuns could stonewall Sam Spade into an asylum”

Yesterday it rained on and off most of the day. In the early afternoon the rain stopped but left air so thick with humidity you could see the mist. Later, in the early evening, the rain returned in earnest with drops heavy enough to be heard. They fell on the leaves of the oak trees, on the wooden deck and, loudest, on the top of the metal barrel. Both dogs got soaked. I don’t know when the rain stopped, but around 2:30 or 3 the rain started again, a gentle rain. It lulled me to sleep.

When I was a kid, Sunday was a wasted day. We, all the kids in my neighborhood and I, were captives. It was a day without choices. First, I was stuck going to mass. That I could choose the time didn’t matter. I was still stuck. I always sat in the back, the easiest seat for a quick escape. As soon as I heard, “Go in peace,” I was out the door. At Sunday mass there was always a sermon. I think I groaned out loud when the priest walked to the pulpit. I always prayed for a short sermon. I swear people applauded when the priest finally finished. The rest of the mass was a blur.

Sunday was the only day we didn’t have supper. The roast and all the fixings elevated the midday meal to dinner. It was sacrosanct when I was young and was always the highpoint of the day. I had to stay within shouting distance if I went outside to ride my bike or play around the yard so I could hear my mother call for us. The table was always set ready for dinner when I got home.

It’s a school night, one of my least favorite phrases, was used every Sunday to get us into bed earlier. My mother always said we needed to be rested for school. That made me groan. It seemed unfair that every week I had to go to school five days and every week I got only two days off though one, Sunday, was iffy.

I was never a worrier when I was a kid. Duck and cover, which we practiced in school, was just silly fun. While we were covered, while our heads were hidden in our folded arms, we used to covertly look at each other and silently laugh. The nuns never did explain all that well why we were on the floor in the corridor with our arms around our heads, and we never asked. The nuns said to do it so we did.

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5 Comments on ““I’m a detective, but nuns could stonewall Sam Spade into an asylum””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I won’t give you the weather report until it changes. When I was a kid we never went to the the synagogue on Friday nights nor Saturday mornings. My father was not an observant person and neither am I. I was required to attend services on the sabbath during the year I was preparing for my Bar Mitzvah. My father would drop me off and then pick me up when it was over. The only time he went, and I accompanied him, to the synagogue was for the Jewish high holidays. And then he would leave for a break during the Rabbi’s sermon. He said they are always asking for a donation. If it was the New Year, Ross Hashanah, he would take a cigarette break. On the day of atonement, Yom Kippur he would omit the smoke. We were and are gastronomically Jewish, we ate bagels and lox with cream cheese and Chinese food. 🙂

    The Sunday night bedtime rush is a universal parent ploy to get some quality time away from the kids.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      My father was an usher at an early mass. His only responsibilities were to pass the donation basket and then count the money from his basket. He and all the other ushers never sat down during the mass. I think that’s why he liked being an usher.

      My mother always cooked corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. That was the only nod to Irish ancestors. We ate everything except for a few odd vegetables here and there.

      The day stayed nice, but it is going to be chilly tonight, in the 50’s.

      I used to read when I got to bed until usually it was my mother who yelled upstairs for me to turn off the light.

      • Bob Says:

        In the Jewish religion handling money on the sabbath or on holidays is prohibited. Therefore, we don’t pass the plate. Instead, we take pledges that congregants will meet later in the week.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Douglas Adams wrote a book called The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. When I first read the title, I thought of Sunday afternoons at 4 o’clock.
    Your Sundays sound like my Sundays. I took the sting off having to go to church by joining the “junior” choir which was junior because it had some young people in it and no men. We sang at the 9AM service. The Senior choir got the 11AM service and had tenors, baritones, and basses so they got to sing better music, too.

    No rain here yesterday but it did rain in the early morning hours. I guess it rained pretty hard, too, but I didn’t hear a thing.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I hadn’t heard of that book before your comment. I have read all the Hitchhiker books but not much else of his. I can totally understand why you immediately thought of Sunday afternoon at 4.

      When I was in high school, a bunch of us used to go to mass together. Having companions in misery was helpful. In the summer, when St. Pat’s drill team had a Sunday competition, we all went to mass together then hopped on the bus to wherever.

      We’ve had a lot of rain lately which still doesn’t make up for all the rain we didn’t have when you did. Finally, the rain. is finding us down here. Rain coming again tomorrow again is just fine.

      Enjoy the evening!

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