Posted tagged ‘sundays’

“People can say what they like about the eternal verities, love and truth and so on, but nothing’s as eternal as the dishes”

June 28, 2015

Last night the sky opened and the rain fell and kept falling until just a little while ago. I’m thinking we got an inch or more of rain. During the height of storm the wind was fierce, and the trees were blown about as if it were a hurricane. I have a branch down in the front yard, and my umbrella, despite its 100 pound base, tipped over onto the deck rail. One of my giant clay pots either fell or, more likely, was shoved off the rail and it shattered on the steps. I saw two grey spawns chasing each other on the deck, amorously I suspect, and they might be the broken clay pot culprits. I cleaned the mess and now have dirt under my nails.

I like Sundays, and though they are no longer the same quiet Sundays of my childhood, they do seem more subdued than any other day of the week. The kids aren’t playing in the street and even the dogs are quiet. I remember Sunday dinner as my favorite meal of the week, and I remember all of us eating together at the table. That was unusual as my Dad worked long hours and generally came home late, after we’d already eaten. He was a salesman who worked back then for J. P. Manning Co, a huge tobacco wholesaler in Boston which, among other things, sold cigars and cigarette vending machines. Once I went with my Dad to his office in Boston, but I stayed in the car. All I remember is seeing the name J. P. Manning across the top of a window.

Every dinner on Sunday had a roast as the center piece, mashed potatoes, gravy and a vegetable or two: green beans, peas, yellow waxed beans or string beans, all from cans. My mother bought her set of Sunday dishes from the supermarket, a dish a week. She also bought the accompanying dishes including a gravy boat, a vegetable server which held two vegetables and a platter for the cut slices of meat. The dishes were off-white with what looked like wheat on them as a decoration and were made of melmac. Though the dishes lasted forever, they started to fade over time and were relegated to being every day dishes.

When my mother started serving Sunday dinner on real dishes, it was cause for celebration. My mother was acknowledging we were growing up and could now be trusted with breakable dishes.

SUNDAY The day..I planned a lot but actually do nothing.”

August 10, 2014

The Sunday of old is gone. Stores are now open, churches have far fewer people and Sunday dinners with the whole family around the table are a thing of the past. I loved that Sunday, except for the church part, but I have noticed the Sunday of today has become, in some ways, like that Sunday of my childhood. Not a single lawn mower breaks the Sunday morning quiet. The birds can be heard singing. My neighbor works every other day of the week, but today he’ll sit on his deck, chat with his family and later he’ll barbecue. He does the same thing every Sunday. That is, I’m thinking, the new definition of a family Sunday dinner: sitting on the deck enjoying each other’s company and barbecuing a chicken.

The day is gorgeous. I couldn’t invent a nicer day. The sun is bright and the morning is still cool. It will get warm today, in the high 70’s, but tonight will be cool again, down in the 60’s, and wonderful for sleeping. This is when I wish I had a tree house so I could sleep outside. I’ve already build one in my imagination. The walkway will be from the deck and will have rope sides and a wooden bottom for easy walking. It will jiggle a bit but still be safe. The treehouse will be big enough for a table, a couple of chairs and a day bed. There will be a tablecloth, a bit retro like the ones from the 50’s, and flowers in a vase on the table. The windows will have curtains; I’m thinking flowers. Below each window on the outside will be flower boxes filled with blossoms of all colors. The door and the windows will have screens which let in the night air but not the night bugs. I will fall asleep among the trees lulled by the songs of night birds.

“When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don’t be surprised if they learn their lesson”

August 14, 2011

Today is heavy with humidity. It has the look and feel of rain which won’t come, but its possibility will hang in the air all day. Nothing stirs, not a leaf, not a spawn, not a dog named Gracie. I’m already thinking nap, and I only woke up a couple of hours ago.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. I was out of cat food, the only thing which forces me to shop. The aisles were filled with abandoned carts leaving no room on either side to pass. The cart owners were checking shelves and jars up and down the aisles. I moved a couple of carts to give me space and got such looks you’d think I was abusing children or small animals.

Sunday by its very nature is languid. On the seventh day he rested seems still to be a piece of the day. I went to church, stayed close to home and ate a big Sunday dinner. It was the same every week, and I think remnants of those Sundays are still part of my every Sunday. Seldom do I go anywhere other than breakfast. I do a wash every now and then, but that’s a leftover from my working days when I stayed home, changed the bed, did the laundry and corrected papers every Sunday afternoon. I also took a nap.

Elaine Clapper was always the target in my class. Every kid, make that mostly every boy, said she smelled. That Elaine was not especially attractive or smart or funny made her an easy target. The teasing was covert: laughing behind her back or pointing at her as she walked away. Most kids had little to do with Elaine. She was usually isolated. I think we girls were afraid of being drawn into her circle and becoming another Elaine. We all said hi, but that was the extent of our interaction. Once I invited her to my house. I don’t know why. I think I just felt sorry for her. She came. I have no recollection of how we spent the afternoon. I never invited her again. She went to the local high school, and I didn’t. I never saw or heard about Elaine Clapper again. I wish I were braver back then.

“When ambition ends, happiness begins.”

July 18, 2010

The weather is the same. The deck has a breeze, but it’s still hot. I want to drink icy cold liquids and stand in front of the air conditioner. Winter is never when you want it.

Movie night was great. We saw part 1 of Gene Autry in The Phantom Empire, and it really was a cliffhanger. Our heroes were plunging off the side of a cliff after the rope to which they clung had split in half. I hope they’ll survive. The main feature was Casablanca. I hadn’t seen it in a while, and I loved watching it again. It’s on of my favorite movies.

Today is a retro Sunday, like the leisurely Sundays I remember as a kid. We sometimes went to the beach all day and other times we did absolutely nothing. The big family dinner was never a summer event so we were free in the afternoon, not expected at the table. When I was really young, I just hung around. Nothing was open on a Sunday, and I used to moan because there was nothing to do. When I got older, my friends and I would take off for the day. Usually we had no destination in mind. It was the driving around which was the attraction. Funny, but I still do that only I’m not checking out the boys in the next car or the ones hanging around Carroll’s, the local hamburger joint. I’m just riding for the fun of the ride.

I took my time reading the papers this morning, watched the crow for a while, the one that comes every day, then sat on the deck looking around and doing nothing. Later I’m going to sit in front of the fan while watching the Red Sox. I have no ambition at all, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing.


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