How to have a Sunday

It starts with sleeping late, only not too late, or you’ll miss out. Wait until you hear tires crunching on the driveway’s crackled pavement to hop in the shower. Be quick; the hot water only lasts so long, and your father will be back any minute now.

Go into the kitchen. By now your father is waiting there with the Sunday paper, a box of Entenmann’s donuts, and real coffee in a paper cup. He had to go all the way to Trumbull to get it, a ten-minute drive. The donuts are a treat, but not a surprise. You like plain and powdered; your brother likes cinnamon. With four of each, everyone gets what they want. You can even have two.

Make yourself a cup of coffee: two tablespoons of Taster’s Choice, a spoonful of sugar, and blend with milk until the color matches your skin. Someday you’ll learn what real coffee is; for now, just feel grown-up.

Snag the comics and the Parade magazine, quick, before your brother finishes his donuts. He can start with the sports page instead. You don’t know what your Dad reads, so hand him the rest of the paper: the news, the classifieds, the obituaries, and all those circulars. He’ll sort through them, recycle the stuff no-one wants. He’ll save the coupons for your mother.

If it’s cold, spread the paper out on the living room carpet. Lie on your belly, kick your feet up. Try not to touch the paper; you hate the feel of newsprint on your hands. But if it’s warm and the morning is bright, take the paper out to table on the back deck. That’s the best way.

Break your powdered donut in half and in half again. Take small bites, tapping the excess sugar onto your plate. Repeat with the plain donut, using the broken ends to blot up the white powder, and when the donuts are gone, lick your finger and use that instead. Leave no crumb behind.

Sip your grown-up coffee; listen to the birds and the wind in the trees. Let the sun dry your hair. Hand the comics to your father when you’re done reading.


9 responses to “How to have a Sunday

  1. Christine, this so brought back childhood for me, even if my childhood didn’t include your coffee/donut/brother/dad routine. I loved the balance of the how-to and references to those earlier days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Entenmann’s! We used to get Entenmann’s Cheese Danish on special occassions! And if there was something special at breakfast the day before (danish, cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, etc.) you had to get to breakfast early the next day to get a piece of the leftovers 🙂 mmmm
    Personal food nostalgia aside, this is a great peek into your special routine, with such excellent details and good descriptions (“tires crunching on the driveway’s crackled pavement” was a favorite). Your “grown-up coffee” also made me chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You made me nostalgic Christine.I used to have school on Saturdays so Sunday was the only day off. I watched the Sunday special TV programs all day and then ended up being scolded for not doing homework:( The donuts sound yummy and your dad driving 10 minutes to get them makes them extra special.Coffee of the color to match your skin: that’s a lot of milk 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a warm, lovely, nostalgic tone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, the paper grab. The comics/Parade fight was a regular in our house. I totally lost that this was a how-to by the end. It just flowed so seamlessly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was holding my breath and waiting for something devastating to happen, Christine, and I am so glad it didn’t. I could not have taken it today (or yesterday or the day before); not the way YOU write. So, thank you for writing something good and pure and beautiful and healing. As you know, your process always fascinates me. What made you decide to write this in the third person? It works so well and I would not have ever thought to do it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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