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CJ Heck

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Sundays at My House
By CJ Heck   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, June 05, 2011
Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011

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church bells ring in a memory ...

As I drink my coffee and greet the new day, I can hear the bells in one of the church towers nearby. On the street where we live, we're within walking distance of three different churches, and I especially love it when they all ring their bells at the same time. It's a peaceful, familiar sound and it always reminds me of what Sundays were like when I was a little girl in a big family.

I remember in those days, people always got dressed up for church, and this was how it was in my family, too. Sundays were always a major production at my house. I had two sisters, and Mama carefully made sure our dresses were starched and ironed. My three brothers wore their dress shirts and pants, daddy, a suit and tie, and mama looked so pretty in a dress and high heels -- if I try, I can still see the two rows of freshly polished shoes lined up across the kitchen table, like large, medium, and small soldiers all standing at attention. And, oh my God, the sound mama's heels made tapping on the sidewalk when she walked, and then up each of the steps into the church. Even now, it's a sound I associate with being a grown up. I wanted to be just like her and make the very same sounds with my shoes some day. Little did I know, back then, that I would grow up to be more of a sneakers and blue jeans kind of lady ...

In our family, we children always attended Sunday school first. When it was over, mama and daddy met us out in the hallway and we went in to the church together. We always sat in the same pew on Sunday mornings -- our family was large and we took up the whole pew in the front row of the balcony. Mama usually scooted in first, followed by the six of us children, and then Daddy completed the Parrish "sandwich" by sitting at the other end near the aisle. That way, mama and daddy could keep a protective eye on us, while at the same time, making sure our whispering and fidgetting was kept to a bare minimum, as well.

Reverend Kaser was a wonderful pastor and everyone thought very highly of him as a person, too. He and Mrs. Kaser were highly visible in most community projects, school and sporting events, as well as visits to the sick in their homes and in the hospital. He and his family only lived a block away from us and some of us even went to school with his children. I remember Rev. Kaser had a kind and gentle voice and a special way of using a little humor to deliver his sermons so that even kids could understand. He would take the weekly Bible passage and turn it into a modern day lesson that everyone could relate to. Reverend Kaser also had the unique gift of grasping and holding the attention of both old and young with his mezmorizing voice ... with the possible exception of one.

In spite of the uniquely talented Reverend Kaser, on most Sundays, Daddy would inevitably nod off during the church service. Looking back, I suppose it was due to the long hours he worked as a foreman at the steel mill in town to provide for our large family. Anyway, daddy's nodding off was a regular occurrence in our family. I only wish I had a nickel for every time mama would nudge the child next to her and say, "Daddy's asleep, please wake him up." We had all learned from experience -- it was then that child's job to pass the nudge and the message to the next in line and so forth, until the child closest to daddy poked him gently to wake him up. It really wasn't so bad, actually, except that Daddy had a tendency to snore ...

Happy Sunday everyone. Have a nice day!

Web Site: Barking Spiders Poetry for Children

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Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 6/11/2011
My daddy was more concerned about barking spiders. Patrick
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 6/5/2011
lovely and peaceful memories
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 6/5/2011
What a wonderful remembrance. Something as simple -- if anything was ever simple within a family of eight people -- something as simple as the remembrance of the sound of how your mother's high heels sounded to the ears of a young girl on the families' walk to church each Sunday morning. This is a beautiful story, CJ.
Your friend; Mark
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 6/5/2011
Those Good Old Days were so good. My hard working Dad often nodded off in church too, but we let him sleep!

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