Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Memories

Grandma's farm

Did I ever tell you about Sunday night suppers?

Thirty years ago, my children thought eating sandwiches and potato chips for Sunday night supper on trays in the living room was just about the most exciting treat ever! That’s because we didn’t do it very often. Our only TV was in the living room, so they probably watched a Disney show. I was pretty strict about eating together as a family, and even for breakfast, the table was set. By 1976 the lime green shag living room carpet (we didn’t have a family room until 1982) was about four years old, so we probably didn’t do it at all when it was new (and they would have been too small to manage a tray much before that).

When I was a child in the 1950s, Sunday night suppers were special, too. Oh, Mom made wonderful dinners--my mouth waters as I think of it. She’d put the roast in before we went to church or she fixed fried chicken when she got home. The table in the dining room in our house on Hannah Avenue or in our Forreston home would be set with the white linen table cloth and the good white china with a gold rim. Dad would always say the prayer--and I would know the ending if I heard it today, but I‘ve forgotten it now. I’m sure there were mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetables and fruit from the cellar where she kept the home canned items in gleaming glass jars. Even though at the time I didn’t think the clean up and dishes were so great (no one had dishwashers then and she had 3 daughters), I remember that fondly now as a time to chat with Mom.

As good as dinner was at noon, Sunday night with various relatives stopping by was especially nice. Can’t even remember now what we had--maybe sandwiches or left-overs, perhaps a second helping of her fabulous apple pie. But it was casual and relaxed. And occasionally Daddy would disappear and come back with 2 pints of ice cream (we had a refrigerator, but no freezer). We children would just die of excitement and try to guess the flavor until he would get back. Mom would slice the two pints into six even portions and put them into cereal bowls. You wanted it to last as long as possible, but Dad ate quickly and would look in our bowls with his spoon poised and tease, “Do you need any help finishing that?”

Also, I know my Grandmother Mary was without electricity for only a short time after WWII at her farm in Franklin Grove, but I remember Sunday evening suppers in the 1940s of sandwiches on trays by kerosene lamp. Grandma wasn’t much of a cook, but I thought her baloney sandwiches spread thick with butter (we had neither at our house) were a fabulous treat. After a supper of sandwiches, her homemade grape juice from her backyard arbor, and factory canned peaches in dainty little glass dishes, we’d load up the car and start down the gravel lane for home. I’d press my nose against the car window and watch Grandma waving good-bye from the porch silhouetted against the flickering kerosene light in the kitchen.

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Joan, "D", Beckie, Lazy Daisy, Jen, Shelli, Lori, Libragirl, LadyBug, Bec, Froglegs, Mamassage, Purple Kangaroo, Jane, Cozy Reader.

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15 comments:

Just D said...

Norma, your memories are so precious to me! I am in my 30's and have NO such sweet memories of family, together times, dinner tables or grandmas and I so love to hear your stories!

Joan said...

Um,YUM!!! I love to read your memories. I hope to get mine posted early tomorrow. I haven't got past my writer's block yet.

Unknown said...

I love this post. It's so well written, I felt like I was right there watching!
Thanks for coming by. God bless.

Lazy Daisy said...

Now I'm hungry. I remember Sunday dinners at grandmothers' also. Precious memories!

Jen said...

Wow, that is SO COOL! That's so neat that you shared these times with your family!

My memory is up!

Joan said...

Norma, do you know where I can get the Monday Memories code? I have tried for several weeks to just click on the link at the end of your post, but it doesn't work. I just get a "page not available" error message. Thanks.

Norma said...

It's at Shelli's blog, so I went and checked it, and hers doesn't work either, so I've told her. Actually, I don't know what the code does, because I've never seen a list of the bloggers like TT. I think if you write one and tack on the technorati html that would be about it.

Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful memory, Norma! Thanks for sharing!

Libragirl said...

That's a great memory. I remember going to visit my grandparents up in the country and loving it.

My tt is up

Ladybug Crossing said...

My dad still eats his ice cream fast and asks that very same question - spoon poised... Do you think we might be related??
LadyBug

Anonymous said...

I had tears in my eyes while reading this post.

Whenever I would go and visit my Grandmother she would always allow a little treat by setting up a little picnic in the back yard; and if it was rainaing she would put together a little den so we could eat without getting wet.

Thank you for bringing this memory of mine to the surface!

Shelli said...

I can remember Sunday dinners, too. My mom either made them or we went to Grandma and Grandpa's. Ham or roast was my mom's specialty. I miss sitting on my Grandpa's lap. When I get to Heaven, that is one of the first things that I will do, I think.

Thanks for coming by my MM and for the heads up on the broken linkage.

purple_kangaroo said...

We used to have family movie nights on Sunday nights, too. We'd have a big dinner in the middle of the day and then have popcorn, apples and cheese for supper while we watched a video.

I just posted my first Monday Memory: http://purplekangaroopuzzle.blogspot.com/2006/03/monday-memories-beaker-japanese-koi.html

Jane said...

What precious memories. Somtimes I wish that things were still that simple. One of the most wonderful things about having a daughter in law from Venezuela is that she and her siblings, that live here too, have brought back to our house the wonderful family gatherings. In their home in Venezuela they would all gather in the afternoons and sit and have coffee and talk. So now, her brother and his family come often and we have coffee and visit and talk and it is SO wonderful.
BTW, I love the picture of the house. Is that the home you grew up in?

Jane said...

P.S. I forgot to say that I LOVE your new background. Very cool!