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Remember the Sabbath

May 10, 2020
Mothers Day 1963

Mother’s Day 1963, Gaviota

My RV Gladis is named after my grandmother, who owned a dress shop. The shop was called “Janie’s,” because my grandmother was smart enough to figure out that no one wanted to shop somewhere called “Gladis’s.” 

Every day, she walked out of the store in the late afternoon, walked the day’s receipts down the street to the Wells Fargo bank, and went home to make dinner.

One of her shop assistants locked up and was home shortly after 6. The shop wasn’t open nights or weekends. Hardly anything was. And pretty much everything was closed on Sunday. If you needed something, you could borrow it or wait.

I remember Sundays as being both boring and fun. You knew there wasn’t going to be a lot to do, but there was always the possibility of a drive around the county. Many times, there were visitors – an aunt and uncle and their children, a random cousin driving through, neighbors who had moved to a nearby town.

Visits weren’t formal. Someone would show up and knock at the door. They would be greeted with delight. After all, we weren’t going anywhere or doing anything. Someone would make coffee. There might be a beer or two consumed while sitting on aluminum lawn chairs with green webbing out in the yard. The adults would all be smoking like mad.

We children chased each other around outside, playing freeze tag or shoot the pin, a complicated kind of hide-and-seek. We rode bikes around in circles.

That was the Sabbath. We weren’t church people. We never rarely talked about God. But we had a Sabbath – everyone off together, all at the same time. 

Covid has made me realize how much a Sabbath is missed. A time to stop, a time where just hanging out is more important than getting things done. On Sabbath, no one has classes or sports practice or meetings. 

I remember going to the park with my dog a couple years back on Thanksgiving Day and finding a softball tournament in progress. I was horrified. People can’t even take Thanksgiving Day off anymore to be together. Something must always Be Done. 

Has Covid taught us that we slow can down a little more? Yes, I realize this is a privileged position. Yes, women still do much of the labor on “days off.” Yes, some people will always have to work.

But would most things being closed one day per week be so awful? Wouldn’t it be nice to be human beings for a while and not human doings? 

Just wondering. 

  1. May 10, 2020 17:01

    I so miss Sabbath Sundays. This post makes me want to recommit my family to them. I’m an exhausted “human doing” and could really use the quiet time. I also wish 24hours were no longer a thing. I actually like that during covid stores are closing earlier for the health of their employees. We need to learn from this and reevaluate our priorities as a society.

    • May 10, 2020 17:02

      *24hour stores

    • May 11, 2020 12:05

      I’d like there to be one 24-hour pharmacy per area, though. Our normal pharmacy is closed from sometime in the afternoon on Saturday until Monday morning, and sometimes you really can’t wait 24 (or more) hours for that antibiotic prescription…

      • May 17, 2020 07:12

        True. It is comforting to have a 24-hour pharmacy.

  2. Lisajay99 permalink
    May 10, 2020 18:14

    I miss those days! My grandmother had a dress shop, too…before I ever came along, in another life.

    • May 17, 2020 07:12

      My grandma’s place was so nice. It was like a community center – people stopped by just to say hi.

  3. May 10, 2020 19:08

    This was an enjoyable read. While there are many sad aspects of Covid-19, I agree that it has given us time to savor our home and those we love. Stay safe!

  4. Gail Munro permalink
    May 10, 2020 21:08

    So true, Sue. Sunday’s were special! It would be lovely to get back to that!

    On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 4:25 PM Suebob’s Red Stapler wrote:

    > Suebob posted: ” My RV Gladis is named after my grandmother, who owned a > dress shop. The shop was called “Janie’s,” because my grandmother was smart > enough to figure out that no one wanted to shop somewhere called > “Gladis’s.” Every day, she walked out of the store in ” >

    • May 17, 2020 07:13

      I miss other stuff on Sundays, too – like seeing you.

  5. May 10, 2020 21:10

    I was born and raised in the Bible Belt. Almost everything was closed on Sunday. It wasn’t just a tradition, it was a law. My daddy closed his service station on Sundays and drove to the place he grew up where he visited his brother and sister and his mother’s grave. I usually went to church with my mother but sometimes I would go with him. It was a good way to spend a Sunday.

    • May 17, 2020 07:14

      We used to drive around just to drive around…go look at stuff. Sometimes we’d drive around neighborhoods to look at houses. I can’t imagine doing that now.

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