Always on Sunday

Always on Sunday I wake to a flash of “we have to visit Grandma,” even though she’s been dead for almost six years now. While my relationship with my grandfather was closer in many ways, my grandmother was also a constant part of my life.

I hear her words in my head, used them on another blog I keep, just a few days ago. “That’s dear,” she said in my brain, as I noticed the price of avocados today ($1.79 each). She would have made one of those inverted hissing sounds that occur when you inhale through your teeth. The sound of disapproval. She might even have decided not to buy the avocado. I chose to buy it anyway. Other people buy shoes, I buy vegetables.

(Okay, actually, I do have quite the shoe collection.)

Always on Sunday, I wish we had a physical Sunday paper. My favorite newspaper is not the New York Times, but the San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner dual Sunday edition with the crossword puzzle and the pink pages. I love the pink pages. I enjoy the comics. I do the crossword in ink.

But we rarely actually took the time to read the paper, and they would stack up, unread, wasted money. I read news online, and follow CNN, but printed news is more visceral despite the lack of color video clips. Power of the pen, and all that.

Always on Sunday, I call my mother, even if I talked to her more than once during the week. It’s a ritual. We each have a mug of something – tea, coffee, whatever – and we chat as if we were sharing a table. It’s the one day of the week where we’re not talking about work.

Other days of the week, I might talk to my step-father as well, but never on Sunday. Sunday is just for mother-daughter bonding.

Always on Sunday I try to write at least one letter to someone. Lately, it’s been the day I write to my adopted soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it used to be personal correspondence. There’s email, and IM, and text and phone calls, but none of that approaches the magic of a physical letter, with colorful stamps, odd paper, bad handwriting. Letters represent the human condition so much more than anything technological.

Always on Sunday, I find myself a little more thoughtful, a little quieter inside. I have a personal rule that I don’t like to do things outside the house after about seven PM on Sunday evening. It’s important to have quiet time before the business and busy-ness of the work week begin on Monday morning. Sometimes we do the church thing, but recently I’m finding more value in just spending time alone with Fuzzy and the dogs, alternately napping, reading, and puttering on our computers.

And Always on Sunday, I miss my grandmother, because she used to hate Sundays. She said they were for families. She never realized that she and my grandfather, after their children had all grown up and moved on, were still a family, if only a family of two.

Fuzzy and I are also a family of two. Four if you count the dogs, which we do, though others may not.

But I love Sundays.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Always on Sunday by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “Always on Sunday

  1. This entry deserves to be framed, because it’s a little piece of literary/family/writing art that manages to remind me, powerfully, of my own childhood with my grandparents.

    Damn, can you write!

  2. I ran across your note quite by accident. As I’ve gotten older, my values have changed. I feel the same way about Sundays and the same way about the Sunday Chronicle. I’ve been reading it for 25 years. I can actually mark milestones in my life by the events published in the chronicle. Not that it matters to anyone except me. Anyway, thanks for the reminiscence.

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