Sunday Rules

Those of us from the sixty’s, have had their feet in two very different centuries. From outhouses to indoor plumbing, party lines to cell phones… so on, and so on!

I am a baby-boomer— a product of those returning, homesick GI’s who knew if they wanted to get past second base, and slide into home—getting married was pretty much the only way they were going to get there. in other words, there were a whole passel of kids born in the late forties, and fifties.

Anyway I was thinking about how we kids passed the time on weekends and particularly on Sunday’s back in the day?


Old photos 005

As you can see in the picture we, my two siblings and I, usually started the Sabbath by going to church.

My dad would stay home so he could read the Des Moines Register and have some peace and quiet while my mother wore herself out haranguing the three of us into a somewhat civilized dress and behavior. Dad only went when his offspring were involved in a Christmas Pageant or other special occasion. Of course in my mind he was getting off easy.

I would have loved to stay home to read the funnies.

I will say that dad usually had our Sunday meal started by the time we got home from the First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant. The potatoes would be boiling on the stove and the roast or chicken was well on its way to being our main course. He also made the best white gravy in the state of Iowa, if not the world!

Sunday afternoons were spent playing outside if it wasn’t raining. We were sometimes permitted to invite friends home from church or bike to one of our friends in the farming community. It was tough goin’ up and down those dusty gravel roads, but we didn’t mind one bit.

Sunday afternoons were boring!

Our parents needed rest before they started the hard work week, once again. Early morning chores and long days in the field gave them plenty of reasons for us to stay out of their hair for a few hours on Sunday afternoon!

If we stayed home there were certain decrees that were to be obeyed to the letter…don’t set anything on fire, don’t pester your sister or brother, don’t piece, it’ll spoil your appetite for supper, and don’t disturb our dad when he and mom were taking a nap!

If the latter should happen, which it did on occasion, there would be sore bottoms to pay, and a good tongue lashing for sure.

On one particular Sunday afternoon my brother Stan, who was still in his puberty pupa stage, forgot this rule and barged in on my “napping parents. I’d never seen my brother so ghostly white or so speechless in my young life.

He learned a hard lesson—one I’m certainly glad to have avoided especially since I couldn’t remember which one of us said, “Go ask mom and dad!” And I dare say he’d rather have plucked his eyes out than look at my parents after that!

He was scarred for life!

It’s one of those memories I can laugh about now, but make no mistake… there was a lock installed the bedroom door when I became a parent.


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