Slightly Retired

"In olden times, when gas was very, very cheap, before TV, computers, the Beatles, shopping malls, professional sporting events...Sunday was a special day of the week, separate from the other six. There were Sunday traditions, when I was a child, that don't fit now and haven't for quite a while. I still resist the changes. I want to cling to some of the older differences of that one day a week--a slower pace, elbow room for reflection and relaxation, a chance to let go of the demands of the other six days.At one time, people really dressed up for church: The term Sunday best meant just that, including hats, gloves, shined shoes. When I complained, my parents explained that if we dressed up for the President or a very important person, we should also dress up for God. Now, more realistically, we believe what we wear is not important for worship.Before the many present-day Sunday distractions and attractions, my parents insisted ALL the family attend Sunday school and church; only a raging fever or broken leg allowed for an exception. Looking back, I think it was good for me; it set an example of commitment. Although as a child, I didn't understand most of what was going on and what was being said in the service, the formative message got through. I grew to love the music, feel a safety in ritual, and though the words of prayers were strange, I sensed the love of God and the love in others.On reflection later in life, I realized the Sunday of my parents' was different too from the one they were raised with. I would wonder why my mother, on a cold rainy Sunday, would stand at the door wringing her hands and saying, It just doesn't seem right on a Sunday, as her children trooped off to a matinee of Flash Gordon.We never had a social hour after the church service. Everyone bailed out of church as fast as they could to get home and rescue the pot roast or the chicken dinner left simmering on the stove--Sunday dinner was a tradition. But that was before the Sunday afternoon TV hooks of football, golf, baseball and extravaganzas.After dinner, under the leadership of my father, my brothers and I would go sledding, hiking, gathering wild berries. I'm not sure he always wanted to do these things, but he thought he should provide a time for his children, and so he did. Occasionally the car would be backed out of the barn and we'd all pile in for a drive to visit more distant friends. If the weather was very, very cold, or a blizzard raged, we would stay at home to play games--Monopoly being the favorite.For my mother, after the Sunday dinner had been cleared, the rest of the day was time for herself. She wrote letters or visited a friend and occasionally joined the rest of us. Toward the end of the afternoon, she always changed the beds and gathered up the laundry for wash day on Monday. For the evening meal, we made our own sandwiches from dinner leftovers and had a glass of milk.Once in a great while on a Sunday, I will once again join the parade of cars on the highway for an aimless drive, maybe stopping for an ice cream. More often i stay at home to take a nap. I love doing that. If I feel really energetic, I'll take a slow stroll on the beach or read a book.I've come to realize that if I get caught up in frenzied TV competition or the obsession to have fun or clean house, before I know it, Sunday evening is upon me and I feel the sad loss of an opportunity. It's a shame there is no longer a day set aside that moves slower than the rest. People once felt they deserved it, and I think we still do. Have a lovely Sunday!Around the Bayview Senior CenterOn every Thursday at 11:30 a.m., Ladies Auxiliary of the Eagles hosts a pinochle party with prizes, cake and coffee. Entry fee $4, proceeds to Diabetes Foundation. Join the fun and play your heart out.Wednesday, May 10, 10:30 a.m., a workshop on Long Term Care Planning--A First Step to Protect Your Estate. Facilitators are Shannon Affholter and Thomas Brandt of the Lutheran Brotherhood. Reserve your place by calling 321-1600. Tuesday and Wednesday, May 16 and 17, from noon to 4 p.m., another AARP sponsored Defensive Driving Class for seniors 55 and older. Must attend both days. These classes fill well ahead of time so register at the center soon with $10 material fee. Senior Center Activity ScheduleMonday, April 24: 8:30 a.m. foot clinic by app't., 9 a.m. bridge, 9 a.m. tai chi, 9:30 a.m. INVESTMENT 101, 10 a.m. stretch and strengthen, 11:45 a.m. lunch, 7 p.m. INVESTMENT 101.Tuesday, April 25: VOTING - available all day, 9-12 a.m. SHIBA training, 8:45 & 9:45 a.m. tai chi, 10 a.m. Time Together, 11:45 a.m. lunch, 1 p.m. writing group, 3:30 p.m. hula.Wednesday, April 26: 10 a.m. quilters, 11:45 a.m. lunch, 9:30 a.m, 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. computer classes, 6:30 p.m. BINGO.Thursday, April 27: 10 a.m. WICI meeting, 10 a.m. stretch & strengthen, 10 a.m. arts & crafts, 11:30 a.m. PINOCHLE, 1:30 p.m. Rainbow singers, 2 p.m. computer class.Friday, April 28: 10 a.m. Time Together, 9-12 a.m. SHIBA by app't., 9 a.m. bridge, 10:45 a.m. Fun Band, 11:45 a.m. lunch."

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