Tuesday, May 1, 2012
We always had mashed potatoes with either white gravy or brown gravy, homemade biscuits or rolls or homemade bread, with butter and her homemade jelly. Some Sundays it would be fried chicken or maybe fried pork chops. Some Sundays it would be home made meatloaf or even a big pot roast. There was always a big pot of coffee for the grown-ups.
There would be corn, peas, or green beans with little bits of bacon, though sometimes it might be corn on the cob. Sometimes we had some type of salad, which you'd pick out your own dressing for. We'd have okra, spinach, collared greens, tomatoes -- just about every thing you could think of showed up on that table at one dinner or another.
For dessert, there could be homemade cake. Mine favorite was chocolate. Or she would have made pies: cherry, blueberry, apple, rhubarb, strawberry, blackberry, banana cream, lemon -- you name it, Grandma could make it.
She always had the table set so nice. Flowers of some type, depending on the time of the year. Napkins folded just so. Coffee cups with saucers for the grown-ups. Water glasses and milk glasses for the kids. A tablecloth to go with the time of season. And everyone was dressed from having come from church. And she always had an extra place setting at the table. Sometimes someone from the neighborhood would show up to eat dinner with us.
Sundays came and went. The meals were always a family thing for us. As grandma got older, the Sunday dinners slowed down. They weren't every Sunday, but.maybe once or twice a month. We tried to have the Sunday dinners at our house, but they just didn't seem the same. One of the parents would have to go get grandma and bring her to our house.
After the meal, we didn't set around and laugh and talk like the years before. Things were much more subdued. And as time went by, we didn't stay dressed in our Sunday clothes. And the table wasn't set as nicely. The meals just didn't seem to have the same feeling as they used to.
Things were changing, times were changing, and -- of course -- we were changing. We kids were growing up. Mom and dad were older. And grandma . . . she was getting older too. The Sundays of the past were gone. She could still cook. She could still get around. But it was harder for her to do things. And her eyesight was going.
You could still go to her house. The sights and smells of our childhood were still there. The smell of fresh brewed coffee and homemade bread, and cookies, and all the pies. The smell of furniture polish, the dollies on the tables. The little dust particles dancing in the strip of sunlight coming from the living room window. The nick-nac's on the shelves. These are things that I remember.
Getting the family together is hard now. It seems that we have lost something as family's. Everyone is on a different schedule. We all seem to be in a bigger hurry now. And everyone seems to always have something to do or some place to be.
I would like to start an old tradition again. Let's see if we can bring back the tradition of the Sunday family dinner. No going out to eat! A meal at home, homemade, or as close as you can get to it, with family and/or friends. Let's set and enjoy a meal together without being rushed. Share some time, tell some stories, play a game. If you can, invite some people over.
My friends, life is too short. We need to slow down every now and then. Our friends and families will not be here for us forever. It's maybe time to get to know one another all over again. And what better way can you think of than. . . A SUNDAY DINNER.