Sunday Dinners

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

Short memoir about Sunday afternoon dinners with family and keeping that family tradition alive today.

This piece is dedicated to my grandparents who are missed and thought of every day, especially Sundays.

“Hurry up,” my mother shouted, “we’re going to be late!”These were my mother’s Sunday afternoon words that filled the house as we would scurry out to the car.When I was a child, my family would gather at my grandparent’s house almost every week.My grandmother would assemble the traditional Sunday dinner of ravioli, meatballs, and sausage.The aroma of the gravy simmering on the stove would make my stomach flip with excitement as soon and our car pulled up in front of their row home in South Philadelphia.
As we leaped out of our car, my grandfather would be standing guard at the door, with a warm inviting smile.“How was your week?” he would bellow to us, with a jolly tone, as we climbed up the front steps.My brother and I would start to ramble on and on about our activities from the past week, as we ran up the steps of the house. Once inside, I would take in the comfort of my grandmother’s hugs and marvel at how beautiful the long dinning table looked.My grandmother took pride in everything she did and our family gatherings were obviously at the top of her list.The table was always adorned with her china and cloth napkins that were perfectly ironed.On the Sundays that we would arrive early, before the table was set, I would watch her position each of the delicate white plates on the golden table cloth astonished at the level of care she demonstrated as she glided around the table.She would put me in charge of filling the water glasses and I remember feeling proud that she trusted me with this important job!Looking back, I now realize that when I watched my grandmother set the table I wasn’t experiencing astonishment - it was admiration.
My mother’s three brothers were present at these gatherings, as well. My younger brother and I were the only grandchildren for at least ten years before my cousins intruded; therefore, we were always the center of attention.Uncle Stevie, my mother’s oldest brother, and his wife, Aunt Dottie, would always take the time to uncover what my brother and I were up to, how school was going, or just play a board game or cards with us. Uncle Rick, the youngest of my uncles, still lived at my grandparents’ and would allow us to descend upon his room to listen to his albums and let my brother strum his guitar.I remember listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits album and The Beatles Let It Be album over and over again.During dinner, my grandfather would talk with his sons about work and sports and sometimes the discussion would get heated.Uncle Al, my mother’s middle brother and grandfather’s namesake, would often disagree with my grandfather’s viewpoint on certain topics, which would lead to slightly raised voices that always returned to normal pitch before the end of the day.
“Hurry up, tomorrow is a school day and we need to get home early,” my mother would warn as we gave our goodbye hugs to everyone.“Have a good week and listen to your parents,” my grandfather would say as he stood on the step waving as we pulled our car out of the tight parking spot in front of the house.Full from dinner and my family’s love I usually fell asleep during the car ride home.
I now long for those Sunday dinners and my grandparents.Just as my grandmother made Sunday dinners for her family, I do the same for mine.I enjoy preparing the food that brings everyone together and look forward to our conversations, disagreements, sharing, and love that surrounds our table and hearts.


Submitted: April 19, 2011

© Copyright 2021 Suzanne Pak . All rights reserved.

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islander8

nice...

Tue, April 19th, 2011 2:49pm

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