Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday in the Thirties

This is the four of us on a Sunday. In years earlier than this, Mother would dress us in our best clothes, sit us on the couch and say,"Don't move", while she readied herself to take us to church. I loved my Sunday School with its singing and stories but absolutely hated church, the long dreary sermons, the sitting still, make no noise, relieved only by the ocassional hymn. Mother would say, "You can give one hour a week to the Lord." but I didn't think so, and quit going to service as soon as I got away to college.
Our main meal on Sunday was after church, usually a fat chicken with lots of good, overcooked vegetables, my dad carving at the head of the table and passing each plate down. Afternoons in the years before the war (there was only one war in my youth - the Second World War) were to be spent quietly, no running around outdoors, but playing with dolls was OK. We Baptists (Northern Freewill Baptists) didn't believe in dancing or playing cards on Sunday. But visiting relatives was fine and we'd load up our small Ford coupe, all four girls, Mother and Dad, and be off to visit the Simonini's, my Father's people. They were Catholic and didn't have the strictures of Sabbath behavior that we had at home - as long as my grandmother didn't know about it, we played with flair outdoors.
The war changed all that - fashions of behavior loosened up, we could even shop on Sundays, imagine!!
I wouldn't go back to those prewar years, I prefer the tug and tussle of life as I live it now but those early memories remain tucked away like a delicate handkerchief to take out and touch on this Sunday afternoon so many miles and years away from my New England childhood.
©Natalie Norman Baer

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