Posted tagged ‘Venial sin’

“My homework was not stolen by a one-armed man”

October 23, 2011

The nights are chilly, afghan chilly, animals right beside me chilly. I can barely move in bed as they are huddled beside me, and it isn’t even winter yet. The house was around 65° when I woke up this morning which meant a sweatshirt and warm slippers. The sandals have been put way back in the closet.

The day started out sunny but has since become cloudy and dark and is supposed to stay this way. It’s 56°, tolerable but sad. It means no open windows and wearing socks and shoes. I hate that it gets dark so early in the afternoon now. That mole feeling which comes with winter is getting stronger.

When we were kids, early darkness this time of year left little time to play outside after school. Besides, it was too cold for the usual games except for an occasional bike ride. The walk to and from school and recess were about the only physical activities we had until snow and ice gave us more options. I don’t remember minding having to stay inside as we had plenty of games, and I had my books to keep me company. Late in the afternoon the TV went on, and we’d sit on the carpet close to the set and watch our favorite programs on the flickering black and white screen. Only my mother calling us to dinner pulled us away.

I was the one who always did her homework right away. I’d sit at the kitchen table with my papers and do mostly English, religion, spelling or math. We almost never brought home books except for our catechism, which we had bought. I think the nuns were afraid we’d lose the other books and money was hard to come by to replace lost or damaged books. Most times we brought home worksheets with math problems, spellings lists or fill in the blanks with the right pronoun, country or whatever else was asked for. For some reason the coin sheet jumps out of my memory drawer, and I remember black and white pictures of coins. For homework we had to add or subtract them from the total number of coins. Religion homework was always memorize something. Where is God? God is everywhere was on the first page of one of my catechisms. My favorite picture was of the three milk bottles. One was white for sinless, one was half white and half black for venial sins and the last was all black for mortal sins. I wonder what they do now. You can’t see through cartons.