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Sunday rituals: Big breakfast, church -- and the Drive

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 3:42 PM

Sundays at my home place were always the same. We took our bath on Saturday nights, curled our hair (or "wrinkled" it, as my Grandpa said) and wanted to look our best for Sunday.

Always a big breakfast, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits with homemade jam or honey.

The adults always got to drink coffee. I don't think I ever sat down to breakfast at the home place that my grandpa didn't say to my mother, "Nell, you got a good scald on the coffee." That was a compliment, in case you didn't know.

Then off to the Baptist Church we would go. All the families had their own pew they sat in. The Hains' pew was back a ways, but a perfect seat to see the minister and hear his sermon. I was about 8 years old then and remember sitting by my grandma, Martha Washington Lucas Hains, who I loved dearly.

She would put her arms around me and fan me all through the service. Let me tell you, that is love.

After the service, we would file out the door shaking hands with Dr. Taylor and I remember my folks always telling him, "What a wonderful sermon. It's as if you were talking to me."

While we were at church, my mother, Nell, stayed home slaving in the kitchen. The table was set in the big dining room, a big plate of fried chicken with all the trimmings, "pass the mashed potatoes, please." Pickled peaches and homemade cherry pie made with the hand picked cherries from our back yard. (That's another story there.)

As soon as dinner was over and the dishes washed and left overs on the table with a cloth over to have for left overs later that night (you know, those left overs were even better!).

Grandpa would say, "Let's go for a ride." And off we would go for our Sunday Drive.

It was a ritual. Mother drove. Grandpa was in the front seat with her. Grandma and I wer in the back seat.

As we drove Grandpa, who was in real estate, would recite all the farms he had sold.

"I remember driving the families out to see the farm in a horse and buggy," he said. "We spent the night so they could look and see 'the lay of the land.'"

Or he would comment on the condition of the crops.

"Corn is looking good."

OK, you can imagine what I'm doing: Rolling my eyes thinking, how many more stories does my grandpa have?!

Don't you know, now I wished I had paid more attention to those stories. They were stories of history of Saline County.

And no one in Saline County loved the land more than W.W. Hains. He could tell you now deep the top soil was in every county. Grandpa's brother was Rosier Hains, the editor of the Democrat-News, and Uncle Rosier had Grandpa record his memories, so while I didn't listen much, his memories are recorded for history.

Record your memories so someday, when your grandchildren are driving around on a Sunday drive and they weren't paying attention, when they grow older they will love recalling the days of The Sunday Drive.

And, best of all, when we were on our way home we stopped and got an ice cream cone. Strawberry was my favorite. What was yours?

Next Sunday, take your family out for a Sunday Drive.

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Various members of the community, current or past residents, occasionally submit essays recalling the people, places and events of the past. We'll post them here. Also, reminisces sometimes emerge in other web forums. This will be a place those conversations can continue.
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