7. Sundays on the porch

(written one week before moving into condo)

It’s Sunday morning, and the moving truck comes Friday.

Sunday mornings are sacred to us. We practice the religion of Sunday mornings, complete with rituals, music and the breaking of bread. But this one was different.

There’s always the ritual of sitting, sipping and staring. In summer, the sanctuary is the screened-in porch; in winter, it’s the sitting room. The music is the baroque channel of Pandora, which sometimes sounds like a Renaissance mass. The bread may be toasted bagels, French toast, or even pancakes. And, of course, there’s always coffee, the life blood of Sundays.

For me, there are only two decisions to make on Sunday mornings: 1) front page or sports page first? 2) eggs or pancakes? On Sundays, there’s never a schedule, never a need to hurry. We just sit, sip and stare. After a while, we talk about last night’s movie or dinner party or bridge game.

The beauty of Sunday mornings has always been the absence of expectations. But this one is different: this is the last Sunday morning in our home of 20 years. We had to make it perfect, one we’ll remember for quite some time.

There’s a golden time on the back porch, that time between first light and full sunlight. The animals play and chatter, the air smells moist, the coffee’s fresh, and the sun isn’t in your eyes yet. The train horn always sounds mournful, like an Arlo Guthrie song.

Our Sunday morning religion, like most religions, helps us figure things out. It provides a quiet time, a framework to appreciate, process, mourn, celebrate, analyze… to ponder life’s important questions.

Questions like… Why are we leaving this beautiful home that we love? Why are our son and daughter-in-law 1,000 miles away? Why doesn’t this shirt go with these shorts?

Sunday mornings at the condo probably won’t be the same. A 4th floor deck is not a screened-in porch. A living room – even with new hardwood floors and freshly painted walls and a fresh pot of coffee – is not the sitting room where we observe the block and watch the seasons change.

Are we sure we want to do this? What are we getting out of this move? Snow storms without snow blowing? I always kinda liked snow blowing, to be honest. Do we really need to travel more? Is it that bad for a retired couple to have five bedrooms? Can anything really replace Sunday mornings on this porch? Is this the end of something, or the beginning?

That last question is probably the most important. And as we sit here this final Sunday morning, we answer it, between sips of coffee. The answer is… yes. It is the end of something. It’s the beginning of something else. But… what is that something else?

We don’t have time to ponder that one this week because the moving truck comes Friday. We’ll put that off to next Sunday morning, as we sit on our new 4th floor deck.

There will still be animal sounds, and first light. The view won’t be the same, but there will be a view. Different church, same religion.

Right now, this Sunday, there’s work to do. We have lots to pack before we sleep. Lots to pack before we sleep.

7 thoughts on “7. Sundays on the porch

  1. I don’t want to put any pressure of you, but I slowly find you and your blog becoming my mentor to retirement. You and Carol are out there in front and your blog is reporting back on what you see around that corner. So before I start to feel the gravitational pull of rounding that bend, I wanted you to know others, me in particular, are following you and counting on your blog to lead us to path of retirement enlightenment.

    1. You know, Eric, Enlightenment is my middle name. (You always thought the E was for Edward, didn’t you?) Happy to provide any retirement enlightenment I can; however, I might have to start charging you if I become too enlightening.

  2. Nothing specific but I’ve enjoyed every entry, for a number of reasons. You are a delightful writer so keep’em comin’!

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