My grandparents, both maternal and paternal, lived in Hodgdon, Aroostook County in Northern Maine where folks farmed 6-days a week and attended the East Hodgdon Bible Church. On Sundays, it was essential chores only, and the women cooked in advance – we ate leftovers or fare deemed acceptable for God’s day of rest. I remember looking forward to Sundays while on family vacations in Maine because acceptable fare was often fruit salad with blueberries.
But those yummy fruit salads came at a mighty high price: no games – not even croquet and never cards, no reading, no playtime, no knitting or crocheting or sewing, nothing to occupy the long hours after morning church, just adults driving to each others houses and sitting and chatting about boring stuff. Oh, and even if my grandparents had TV, which they didn’t until years later, there would have been no TV either.
Now that I am of grandparent age, I embrace the idea of a day of rest, with certain modifications.
Yesterday, my husband and I showered up in the morning (unlike Saturday night baths in Maine) and attended the service and visited with people at church. We ate leftovers for lunch and made a simple meal for supper: ham steak, corn bread and steamed broccoli. No fruit salad with blueberries, but a dessert of fresh strawberry ice cream with fresh pineapple on top. It was rainy and foggy all day; Mother Nature watered all my new plantings, and housework got set aside for a little reading, writing, napping and watching a program on the History Channel.
I’ve been told that if a writer takes a day off, it takes at least a day or two to get back into the groove. Well, I cheated a bit on my day of rest: I read for tonight’s crit group and Tuesday’s class, researched a thought and scribbled a few lines. Ok, so it was a paragraph, perhaps the beginning of a new essay, but none of my activities broke the liquid flow of my day of rest.
Perhaps my grandparents’ Sundays, free except for the bare minimum of chores, provided time for them to think and to see the world in its glory. Seemingly quiet Sundays, like mine yesterday, might have fed their souls with the love of people, fresh ideas and precious fruit.
What do you do on your days of rest?
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