ODE TO SATURDAY MORNINGS

My eyes open and for a moment, I am in “let’s go” mode. Then, I remember:  it’s Saturday! The slow, languid feeling that is the very essence of Saturday mornings past settles in. I burrow deeper into my warm bed, savouring memories of those mornings as a kid.

My brothers and I would get up and pad, barefoot and in our pajamas, to the living room to watch cartoons. All week we looked forward to seeing what Fred, Wilma, Betty and Barney would be up to. Finally, there was Fred at work at the Bedrock quarry. The quitting time signal would blare and the big moment came when, in unison with Fred and each other, we belted out, “Yabba-dabba-doo”! Then we’d sing the theme song (Flinstones, meet the Flinstones. They’re modern, stone-age family) as we watched them all pile into the car and head to the drive-in theatre.

When we got hungry, we headed to the kitchen for breakfast. We sat at the table, still barefoot and in our pajamas, and watched the milk turn pink (or blue or green) from the Froot Loops cereal floating in our bowls. After breakfast, we could watch more TV, loaf around the house or head outside to find friends.

Somewhere in the intervening years, everything changed. Relaxing and doing nothing went out of fashion. Worse – it was scoffed at.  Adults became hard-wired to constantly be “doing” something. The hours in our days were filled from the moment we woke until we hit the pillow again at the end of the day. And not only did we have to be doing something,  we had to be the best at it – at least our own personal best. There was no time to  contemplate life and no room for mediocrity.

But we still weren’t satisfied. We then inflicted this harried, over-scheduled way of life on our kids. Instead of cartoons, bare feet and pjs, on Saturday mornings they packed their hockey duffle bags, hurried to get to swim lessons or got ready for whatever extracurricular activity was the flavour of the day. Until now.

For much of this year, we’ve been forced to slow down. Many of us are working from home. Gatherings are prohibited. Stores, restaurants, gyms, theatres and  other businesses are closed or restricted to essential services. It’s been hard on everyone for one reason or another. But maybe, just maybe, we can rediscover the art of whiling away some of that extra time on our hands by doing exactly what we want to do.

And I realize that what I want to do right now is have a nice mug of coffee – or maybe two – while I read the newspaper at my leisure. So I’m going to head to the kitchen to do just that. How will you spend your Saturday morning?

“Dad-isms” – #JusJoJan Prompt Day 6: Caught

“You chased her ’till she caught you,” my Dad said when my brother announced that he was getting married. He said it with a twinkle in his blue eyes and a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth and it made us all laugh.

My father had several “Dad-isms” that he repeated often throughout our lives. Many are funny in retrospect because they are obsolete.  I’ve blogged about some of them before including these two which, coincidentally,  both relate to a dime :

“Always carry a dime on you so you can call home in an emergency.”
Well, phone booths have gone the way of the dinosaur and cell phones cost parents a lot more than a dime!

“That and ten cents will get you a cup of coffee.”
He used this one when we were impressed with something that he thought was foolish or worthless. Since you could buy a cup of coffee for a dime back then, he made his point very clearly.

My Dad has  been gone over 20 years now and I still miss him and his Dad-isms.

Written for JusJoJan word prompt for Day 6:  Caught.

The “Sweet” Hour

Photo by jcomp:  https://www.freepik.com/photos/people

I had forgotten about the “sweet hour” until yesterday when I went out to weed the flower beds after dinner. The flicker of fire flies lit up the yard, like tiny birthday sparklers, and the chirping of crickets was the only sound I heard. Then suddenly, the clear, pure ring of children’s laughter came from a nearby yard.  It was the echo of the “sweet hour” of summers long past.

As a kid, summer days began with all the neighbourhood kids gathering outside right after breakfast. We parted only for meals and then found each other again soon after. We spent our days at the pool, at the park or playing in our yards. Our skin turned a few shades darker and our hair a few shades lighter.

The sweet hour came at the end of August days. It was that in-between time when the sun had set but darkness hadn’t yet cloaked our world.  Unlike hot, humid July evenings, there was often a subtle undercurrent of cool air, a foreshadowing of things to come. Summer was winding down and, like our well-worn sneakers, would last just a few more weeks until it was time to go back to school. We knew it and were desperate to squeeze every possible minute out of the last of our idyllic days.

Night comes earlier in August, so after dinner we had to stay close to home. We played tag until our foreheads were damp and our skin salty with sweat. Other times, we played hide and seek in our back yards. Dusk made it easy to hide in shadowy shrubs or behind the trunk of a big oak tree. Often as I waited with baited breath to be found or to run to freedom, I noticed the quiet and stillness. There was no hum of traffic. No lawn mowers buzzing. Families who ate dinner outside at this hour in summer’s prime were nowhere to be found. Dinner and the dishes were long ago done and the outdoor grills were cold. It was as if the world was preparing to transition not only from day to night but from summer to autumn.

All too soon, it seemed, we were beckoned home.  “Linda, Bobby, time to come in.” Next door, Mrs. Campbell would open her backdoor and call Valerie home, while across the street Christine and Michael were summoned by their mother.  We reluctantly said good-bye and trudged home to a warm bath, a cool bed and a good night’s sleep so could do it all over again the next day.

And just like that, as I knelt with a handful of weeds in my garden glove, the sound of children laughing brought the memories of those long-gone sweet hours tumbling back. Funny how that happens.

This post was written in response to the daily word prompts provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 6 (memories).