An Old-Fashioned Sunday

‘Make It Fun’ By Pam Young

“An Afternoon that Seemed to Stretch Forever,” that was the title of a magazine article I didn’t have time to read, but wished I did. I was just too busy. Still the idea haunted me throughout my hectic day and on into the packed weekend. “Don’t you just love this sentence,” I asked my friend as we put the lids on the last canning jars of applesauce. “An afternoon that seemed to stretch forever.” “That all depends on what kind of an afternoon you’re having!” (She’d just spent a nerve fraying, toxic weekend camping out in a leaky tent with a wild toddler and two cranky teenaged pubicydes belonging to her husband’s relative.) I hadn’t even thought about how awful it is when a lousy day drags on and on. Since I laid eyes on the words, my brain had been creating for me a perfect, November afternoon. It would be an old-fashioned Sunday that would capture the soul of the season. Actually, the perfect day would start the day before. Everything would be done that had to be; the laundry hampers and ironing basket would be empty so that everybody would have stuff in their closet to choose from to wear the next morning to church. Nobody would need to hunt for a thing, and just knowing that, would ensure a good night’s sleep. (Looking good would also ward off an in-transit church fight. Instead of being mean to each other in the car on the way to the sanctuary, each one would be part of a carload of kind spirits on their way to celebrate the Sabbath!) The house would be clean, but comfortable. The floors would shine and the oven wouldn’t smoke and stink when it was time to use it. The refrigerator would be fully stocked so that having to run to the store on Sunday for something for a recipe would simply not happen. The pantry would be practically spilling over with the bounty of the season’s harvest. Since everything in there would be delicious anyway, the biggest decision would be what to choose. And choosing would be like being a chef in a four-star restaurant. The menu would be planned in vivid color and with the list of ingredients accounted for; a bit of preliminary chopping, peeling, pitting and paring would make things run smoothly in the kitchen when it came time to start the dinner. The dinner would be fit for company, but fixed just for the family. The last of the autumn chrysanthemums from the garden would take their place of honor at the dining room table, waiting to greet the family when everyone sat down together for the perfect old-fashioned Sunday dinner. At the table, there would definitely be a roast with heaps of fluffy mashed potatoes and a gravy pitcher of wonderful gravy! There would also be a freezer of homemade ice cream that each one in the family had taken a crank at. After everyone was stuffed and said so, the table would be cleared and the happy people who had gathered together to share the meal would casually separate and move to other parts of the house. Some would watch the football game, some would play cards, others would go for an after dinner stroll. But everybody would be cozy and contented and each one would wish that the old-fashioned Sunday afternoon would stretch forever. This article was written 23 years ago, but it’s still a dream that’s stayed in my head and it never happened in real life. If you’re in the middle of raising a family, just enjoy it, in spite of the mess it’s in (even the in-transit church fights). This whole life thing is a miracle, so don’t miss it waiting for some perfect day. For more from Pam Young go to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, ways to lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed slob’s point of view.


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