Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Torture

When I was a child, I disliked Sunday afternoons. Dreaded them, in fact. I hated coming home from church and having an early dinner, the same dinner, every week – pot roast with potatoes and carrots. Plain, drab, just like the rest of the day. My friends were of no help. They always seemed to be doing some fun activity with their families, and therefore unavailable to help me fill a few empty hours.

Later in the afternoon, we would visit my dad’s grandparents, whose main activity seemed to be working puzzles, crossword and jigsaw. Bor-ing. My cousins, all males, all older, would either be watching sports on TV or out in the yard playing some silly game, like catch. Being kind of a girly girl, that wasn’t my idea of fun. I did enjoy shimmying up a tree and throwing twigs on their heads, however. Seemed only just for leaving me out.

Afterward, we’d drive across town to my other grandparents’ house and have supper. At least that grandma made pies. I always looked forward to her homemade noodles and homemade pies. But then we would sit in front of their TV to watch the Lawrence Welk show. Bor-ING.

I always felt adrift on Sundays. After church, there seemed to be no purpose to the day, so I moped a lot. Luckily, when things got really bad, I had my imaginary friends to keep me company. Also my cowgirl outfit. I was quite the horseback rider, as you can see from the photo.

When my children were young, we did the grandparent routine, too. But at least my family did fun things when we got together. I didn't mind that and I don't think my kids did, either.

Now, I love Sunday afternoons. I enjoy the freedom of having nothing pressing to do. I bask in the feeling of the new week to come, starting with a blank slate, anticipating the many hours I'll have to work on my current book (she said hopefully.)

I wish I had appreciated those boring Sundays with my grandparents. Now, when I’m so curious about their lives -- and no one is around to fill in the details -- I wish I could go back in time, revisit those afternoons and really soak them in. (And by the way, I can't watch OUR TOWN without sobbing my heart out.)

Do you like Sundays? Did you like them as a child?

Kate, ever curious