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Sunday Dinner

Do you remember being a kid when all you could do on Sunday was go to church and then spend the rest of the day with family having dinner?

I do!

My hard-working mother would return home from 9 AM Mass, change out of her church clothes and into her cobbler apron and start preparing a Sunday dinner (either roast beef or roast chicken.)  This meal was served sharply at 1 p.m., and I knew I’d better be there.

Sometimes my Aunt Hilda would join us; better yet was when she hosted dinner at her house. We hurried to do the dishes because we knew there would be a game of Michigan rummy that afternoon before coffee and cake were served.

Back then you could not go to the grocery store or shopping mall; everything was closed.   Spending time with family was all there was to do.

I’m not trying to say that life was a magical fairy tale back then! I thought of it as the most boring day of the week, and I wished Mom would cook something besides roast beef or chicken.

Still, I wish I could get a few of those dinners back. It would be great if people could learn to stop “doing” and simply spend time together. Even though we all have chores and wish there were eight days a week, I really want to bring back Sunday dinner into my life.

There’s no way I could prepare a complete meal for 1 p.m. sharp every week, though. I just need to create a new definition for Sunday dinner – and it can’t be boring!

Once my wheels started turning, I got Kevin on board (though he is not giving up his electronic devices), and we’ve been quite successful. We made a vow not to do any big projects or shopping on Sunday.  We are learning to do things like a nice IHOP breakfast after mass, an afternoon movie, a walk to get an Italian ice or simply sit and catch up on shows we DVR’d.

Occasionally I can guilt-trip family members to join us.  We had a fun day a few weeks ago at the Georgia State Fair where we ate junk all day and watched the children having so much fun on the rides. I’m smiling as I write this because I didn’t realize the carousel was for kids only, and I was told only after clumsily on the horse that I couldn’t be there. Some of our group may have been embarrassed but not me.  It was Sunday dinner.  Aunt Donna is definitely not boring!!!!

I am learning that Sunday dinner can be a big meal prepared for two or ten, a banquet at a restaurant, or a pre-cooked meal that only needs reheating – any family event.  Heck, I don’t care it could be a day of junk-food eating.  Or it could be a day not defined by food at all.

Sunday dinner is time spent being together, listening to one another, looking into each others’ faces and having fun, laughter and conversations. It is a way to put aside the wear and tear we live with all week long.

It’s also time spent together in a new way with my friends and family, especially my son, who are back in New York. I now live in Atlanta and I am not in your life the way I wish but I am so blessed and cherish each “face time” moment we share despite being miles apart.

Everything in life changes. I don’t have to eat roast beef or chicken any more on Sundays, but thanks to my new definition, I look forward to many future Sunday dinners – a new tradition of love and caring.