Sunday Morning

17 10 2010

Sunday morning I drove into town to get a newspaper and a gallon of milk (something I would not have done if we were not in Princeton) and saw only a very few cars in the parking lot of the grocery store.  At the time it dawned on me that people do most things in their lives according to some sort of a routine.  Obviously, going to the grocery store on Sunday morning around 9 a.m. was not in most people’s routines.  Why not?–it’s easy to find a parking place right by the door.  The answer must be that people don’t need to go to the grocery store so they don’t.  I’m not sure where my ramblings are headed but I did notice that the drive-through lane at Mickey D’s and the parking lots of a couple of restaurants had more cars in them than did the grocery store parking lot.

Sunday breakfast has always been a big deal as I was growing up.  Rarely did my family go out to eat on Sunday morning.  In part, much of that probably had to do with going to mass on Sunday morning and the church’s rule of abstaining from food for a prescribed amount of time prior to receiving communion.  Anyways, Sunday morning breakfast after church generally consisted of fried eggs, lots of either bacon, sausage or ham, toast or biscuits and gravy–gravy was a must for Sunday morning breakfast.

Today, my wife and I have developed our own Sunday morning breakfast routine.  We don’t attend church so I really don’t know how it came to be;  unless we are on the road or invited for breakfast we will have poached eggs, toast, and turkey bacon.  It’s not very glamorous or trendy but it is what we have.  During the rest of the week, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, mushroom/cheese omelets, pancakes or french toast may be on the breakfast table.  But Sundays, you can make a pat bet on the poached eggs.

I guess one of the nice things about being retired and not having a schedule or a lot of specific obligations in life is that routine or the lack of it really doesn’t matter.  Routine by choice is definitely a preferred situation than routine by necessity.  Both types of routine serve a purpose in different phases of life.  I wonder when routine turns into tradition.

My wife and I do have routines that I think have morphed to traditions and may well be on the edge of becoming rituals.  Morning coffee beside the goldfish pond, gin-and-tonics on late summer afternoons before supper along with putting underwear in the kids’ and grandkids’ Christmas stockings are examples of things we do without giving it much thought.  Being in Princeton for a month now has disrupted our routines and yet, at the same time, has made us aware of just how much those routines/traditions/rituals give us comfort and a sense of control in our lives.

I guess there is a thin line between being comfortable and being in a rut.  With our plans for future glory days I suspect that our routines fall into the comfort area and are continued by choice rather than a lack thereof.

Time will tell as we enter a new phase of our lives next year what routines we take with us and what new ones we establish.

Life just seems to be getting better.  Now that’s a routine I can live with.

-gw-

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2 responses

19 10 2010
Cass @ Back to Her Roots

I find food traditions particularly fascinating (obviously).

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has been given the spiel about how food is just fuel and you shouldn’t eat emotionally. And I think that is part of the reason why we have such an obesity epidemic. Just like teen sex, emotional eating is not going away. And all we are trying to do is teach food abstinence. If we weren’t supposed to enjoy food. And we could get everything we need to fuel our bodies by adding up numbers on the back of a packaged, our “food” would be a pill that satisfies us nutritionally. If we teach people that food is tied to traditions and family and joy and experiences, they are sure as hell more likely to appreciate and savor GOOD food instead of running to McDonald’s to stuff “fuel” in their face.

90% of my routines and traditions center around food. Pizza on Friday nights. Chili at the first sign of fall. Chili dogs for the first race of the season. Wassail at Christmas. Pancakes on Sunday mornings.

Sure, maybe I’m a little food obsessed (again, obviously), but I don’t see a problem with that rut. It’s a happy, really yummy, rut.

P.S. Christmas gift idea for me: an egg poaching pan. 🙂

19 10 2010
gw

You need to tell Santa and be a good girl.

You are so right about the importance of food as part of tradition and fond memories.

-gw-

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