Saturday Mornings Always Brim with Hope

df8a8534fcc0e7beae78eddf70470aa5It’s a Saturday morning at home. I relish these days, when I go back to sleep after waking at my customary hour of 7. Yep, get up, put the cat out and catch another glorious few hours of sleep, with no one needing to wake me.

All of my adult life, I have had a look-back memory that’s become crystalized in my brain. I think back to my very first apartment in North Amherst, when I first moved to the Valley and was employed at a toothbrush factory. I worked the 11pm to 7 am shift, and so the world was upside down—I was sleeping when the rest were awake.

I have a clear memory of a Saturday morning, a crisp fall Saturday, when I woke up and made coffee in my little red percolator.  I sat in a rocking chair in the morning sun that streamed in from the window, and ate toast. I thought then, ‘ wow, I’ve got it made–my own apartment, a job, and a car…all the freedom I’d ever need.’   I had not married yet, and my children were still a few years away. It was a simple life, and one in which I still look back with a gauzy admiration.

But I also like to look back further, back to when I was growing up in Blawenburg New Jersey, in the same house that my parents still live in today. Back then my dad had a beloved Saturday roster of chores and rituals.

He’d go to the tool shed and putter, figuring out how to fix little broken things; one day I remember him hammering a nail to the bottom of a wooden stick to create a trash pick-up device.  After we would rake for a while, we would take a coffee break, and he would give me coffee with half milk. I think that’s what has created my absolute love of all things coffee, from those Saturday morning breaks with dad.

Dad would rake the leaves, and mow the lawn, and I’d spend a lot of time with him, occasionally raking, along with our neighbor Reed ,who would often join us. His dad didn’t live with them, so he liked being around mine, and I was happy to share. To this day, Reed still enjoys my parents company, four decades later.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being nostalgic for these old days, it just seemed simpler and easier and less complicated as does everything you recall about being younger.  I sometimes think of memories as a salve to whatever stress that I’m feeling today, like if I could just go back to the simpler days, all would be taken care of.  But today’s not so bad either.