Sunday, October 19, 2008

the rite of way

I was born into a very religious family. Sunday was a day of worship. A day to rest from our labors and reflect on our blessings. Sundays were tradition and family and laughter.

My mother would march us into church Sunday morning scrubbed and plaited and rosy cheeked. We were expected to sit quietly, hands to ourselves, unslouching on the pew. We were expected to take the sacrament without giggling and sing the hymns aloud. She was strict that way.

And yet, without fail, halfway through the hour, she would lean close to me and whisper in my ear, "Roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, green salad, rolls and carrots. And for dessert, your favorite, German chocolate cake. Two layers." Then she would give a quick mischievous grin and poof! she would snap back into a dutiful parishioner.

To say that Sunday dinner is a big deal in my parent's house would be a gross understatement. Resting from our labors doesn't apply to this particular event. Every week two table leafs are brandished and the nice dishes are set. Grandparents arrive in time to kiss every child before the meal is served. Potatoes are mashed and roasted beasts are carved, usually by Grandpa who divys out the samples from the end of the knife.

I don't live near my family now that I'm (supposedly) all grown up. I've tried to recreate the type of Sunday dinner that my mother puts on, but the atmosphere is lacking and my mashed potatoes aren't the same.

I love my little corner of the world here by the sea, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could be little again and have my mother whisper in my ear and listen to my family laugh together around the dinner table.

Don't forget that you still have today to enter to win the Turtle Papers calendar. Just leave a comment. The winner will be announced on Monday morning.


Sherry said...

April your reflections bring back fond memories of my own childhood and Sunday with the family until my parents' divorce, but the Sunday meal and the togetherness...something very special about that. Thank you for these reflections...and I simply love the top photograph. It's simple yet stunning.

Jill said...

I feel like I was just reading my own life story. I have so many fond memories of Sundays spent together with family. Those memories include LOTS of fun times spent with you and "Sugar Daddy" in Omaha. Thanks for being like family to me.

Love you lots! Travel safe this week. I can't wait to hear about your adventures.

Heidi said...

So I'm not the only one with a little "Pam" in me? My turkey was wonderful today, along with homemade rolls, stuffing, Normandy Mixed Veggies (with the cheese sauce and a sprinkling of paprika), and stuffing...of course! Oh and did I mention the Brown Butter Peacn Pie...with ice cream. All this served on my ivy pattern dishes! Ü

Jerusalem said...

My mom and had a similar tradition during church and she almost always made a big Sunday dinner, save for Super Bowl Sunday when my dad just wanted Chips and Sandwiches. I wish I could say that I have recreated this for my kids but I haven't. After church we either eat out or have sandwiches - unless that is we are with our parents - then it is big Sunday dinner time once again!

Jan said...

What an absolutely LOVELY article, and memory! You write beautifully.

for petesakes said...

As I was reading this I could picture it.. as I was there too. Partly because those are the same Sunday dinner memories I have too.

One thing though that I will never forget is your mom's Coffee cake. MMMM!