Posts Tagged 'Sunday drive'

The Sunday Drive

Does anyone remember Sunday drives?

Back in my kid-hood, everyone knew that Sundays were not for chores but for church and for big dinners with extended family followed by “Sunday drives.”

My brothers and I have fond memories of driving to such exciting activities such as watching cows get milked at the local country dairy. They always gave the “viewers” little bottles of chocolate milk, very enticing.

Other drives included visiting the closest state park, Siloam Springs, or even driving to our local dam. That took about five minutes so we usually added ice cream to that Sunday outing.  Once a year we would pack up my mom’s fried chicken and coleslaw and meet all the other relatives and their picnic baskets in historic Nauvoo, Illinois, about an hour’s drive from home.

I never noticed when we stopped doing them, maybe my parents never did.

Last Sunday, I piled my 90 year old mom and her walker into her blue Buick and told her we were taking a Sunday drive before I had to catch to train home.  Plan A had fallen through and I was making up Plan B on the spot. You know how that goes.

I drove out of her assisted living facility where she has been since her stroke last summer heading no place in particular. Only on a Sunday drive can you get away with that.

Little Illinois town

It doesn’t take long to get out to the country from Quincy. The day was sunny and warm and I just kept driving. We passed through about four little towns and noticed signs for about a half a dozen others. Not much was going on anywhere. At one intersection, we passed a sign to West Point and it wasn’t talking about the military academy.

“Aunt Sadie is buried there” my mom informed me. A great-aunt I never met and knew little about but in this season of family story-telling, I longed to drive down that road and find that graveyard. I didn’t.

She dozed most of the way back from nowhere in particular, just a Sunday drive.

I didn’t want the drive to end and still had a little time. “Do you want to get some ice cream, mom?” I asked. She nodded so we headed there next and mostly just enjoyed the treat without much conversation.

Coming to take me home.

I was back on the train within the hour but the memory of the Sunday drive is still so strong. Nostalgia, slo-mo pace, the beauty of the day, but mostly my mom sitting next to me, frail but present.

Next time maybe I’ll pick up some fried chicken to bring along.

Hope for the best,

Tish

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