Sunday, September 24, 2006

Family Day

When I was a kid, Sunday was a family day. A day of rest. No shopping, no housework, no tv. Church was attended without fail unless you were sick, and then afterwards we usually would go to Grandma's house.

My Grandmother's house was on a farm. We enjoyed collecting the eggs, looking at the cows, and avoiding the cow patties on the way to the barn. Before she got older I remember a giant garden out back of her house, and Grandma chasing the cows out of it while they stood and stupidly munched on her cabbage. There were no other children, so I remember being very bored as the adults sat around loudly discussing politics and eating while I either read or did homework. We would come home in the evening and I would watch Disney on our 2 channel tv, and that would be Sunday.

Sundays in my house are different. We don't attend church, but we do make Sunday our family day. Usually the mornings are spent sleeping in, and after lunch we always go on a hike. The hike could be out by the ocean, in a forest filled with ferns and blackberry bushes, or by a burbling stream. Sometimes we've seen deer or heard bears. Kevin used to scamper ahead of us, then turn and scamper back. Now he walks with us and excitedly points out every fungus and mushroom along the way, while occasionally using his compass to figure out what direction we're going. Sometimes we all tease each other about one of us being fed to the bears, or pushed in the river. We try to identify the kinds of
trees, marvel at the leaves that are now beginning to turn golden, and pick the occasional ripe blackberry. Our walks have dissolved into snowball fights, mushroom collecting sessions, and viewing the salmon spawning in the river. Each time, however, it's our time to be together. No friends, no work, no calls. Just us. Afterwards, we always go out for coffee and a sweet treat at either Starbucks or Tim Hortons (these days, it's Starbucks). I love family day, it's our day to just be together.

So if you'll excuse me, we're off for a walk in the woods. I'll tell the squirrels you say hello.

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