As a child I didn't always appreciate the fact that we had to get up on Sunday morning and get ready for church. Some of the preparations started the night before. My younger sister and I had really long hair. My mother would wash it on Saturday evening and roll it up in rags. I hated those rags in my hair and it hurt when she would pull them up tight so they would stay. On Sunday morning, when she removed the rags, I would have the most beautiful long curls. I looked like somebody from Little House on The Prairie. My brother's would put on their suits, and my younger sister and I had on our best dresses.
We headed off to church, but Dad got to stay home. He would occasionally be encouraged to go. When Dad went with I us I remembered feeling so proud to be walking in with him. We would all sit in a long pew and we were a family. Occasionally, one of my older siblings, who had already moved out, would attend with us. As years, went by there were nieces and nephews. coming along. When my brothers got a little older they convinced Dad to let them stay at home with him. I wanted to stay home sometimes but Mom wouldn't let me. My little sister and I went until we moved out of the house. Mom wasn't going to let go of us that easily.
At the church services, my mother sometimes sang. She had grown up in church. Her father was a Pilgrim Holiness minister. I don't think her mom ever let her skip church when she was young either. She had lots of friends at church. After church, everyone stood around talking to each other for about an hour. Well maybe it wasn't that long, sometimes it just seemed that way. I wasn't allowed to run around and play because I would mess up my "church clothes".
After church the fun began, we would go home and Mom would get Sunday dinner ready. Even when money was really tight it seemed Sunday dinner was always great! The salads and desserts were fixed on Saturday night. She almost always made fried chicken for Sunday dinner. I didn't realize it at the time, but now I'm sure it was because chicken was inexpensive. Her fried chicken was so good! On really good days she would make Blackberry Cobbler. She was known for her Blackberry Cobbler. When I started doing research I called a cousin and asked him what he remembered about my parents when he was younger. His first comment was, " Your mom's Blackberry Cobbler." My sister and I had to go home and get out of our church clothes and help get dinner on the table.
The best part of Sundays at home was all the married siblings and their families would start showing up. Some of them came and ate, others just stopped by for a while. When my older sisters came to help with dinner I had to get out of the kitchen and let the grown-ups work. Yeah!! I always loved spending the time with all of them. Sunday was just the day for everyone to come home and see Mom and Dad.
In the summer, after I had gotten married, the dinners became picnics during the summer. We would all go to Whitewater State Park and spend the afternoon. They had a beach there, so there was some swimming. The highlight of the day was always the baseball game. By this time our family had grown tremendously. All of the families started bringing their spouses families too! It had become a pitch-in. Mom's still made a good deal of food, but everyone else brought lots too. We had playpens out for the babies to play in and everyone gave them lots of attention. It was a fantastic time. I was sad that my children were so young when we were doing this and don't really remember.
We had a lot of deaths in the family in a few short years, my brother, my dad, my first husband, and my younger sister's husband. We still went by Mom's but the picnics came to an end. I didn't make it to Mom's every Sunday any more because we lived far away and my children were getting older and having activities at home. Life moves on, sometimes you lose beautiful traditions in the process.
I WISH I HAD PICTURES TO POST OF OUR EARLY DAYS, BUT THE FIRES THAT MOM HAD OVER THE YEARS TOOK THOSE AWAY. ONLY THE MEMORIES SURVIVED. THANKFULLY I DO HAVE SOME WITH THE PICNICS IN LATER YEARS.
This isn't a great picture. My Dad is tired from playing baseball that day. His health was getting bad but he wanted to be out with us. This is me and my younger sister, and my daughter.