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Sunday, May 14, 2000

Now this is how to spend a Sunday. I should try it more often. Like maybe next Sunday.

Not like this, I hope: The peacock was screeching at the top of his birdy lungs at 3:30 in the morning. Before I moved to the country, I'd been using Nature's Soothing Sounds™ to obscure the city noises of traffic, hip-hop, gunfire and domestic arguments. Except for the gunfire, which is merely hypothetical, if not mythical.

Here at Green Acres, I used artificially produced imitations of natural sounds to block out Nature's Actual Sounds.

Since my paper disappeared yesterday morning before I got up and walked out to the road to get it, I rousted myself out of bed at 8:30 today and stumbled out to find it in the drainage ditch below my mailbox. (This turned serendipitous when the rain started not long afterward.) I fully intended to crawl back under the covers.

Instead, I made a pot of overly potent coffee and stretched out on the sofa in my sweats and read High Fidelity, which I'm hoping to finish while the movie is still in first run. After a while I turned on the computer and checked a few sites and wrote a few emails. Poured myself a bowl of Honey Crunch Corn Flakes™ and sat at the dining room table reading the paper — all this before shaving and showering and getting ready to face the day.

I sketch out this brief chronicle of my morning not to fill a journal entry with humdrum detail (although it does have that result), but to remind myself that this is what a Sunday morning should be about. Monday will come soon enough, with no way of escaping it. Why spend Sunday worrying about what has to be done? A day off has no value if I spend it in the same agitated state that infuses my workdays with anxiety and frustration.

Sunday has the potential to be a downer. It's the end of the weekend, and it leads directly and inexorably to a Monday, every time. The only way to make Sunday work for me is to use it as a weapon, or more precisely, as a shield against the bludgeoning I take (or like to think I take) the rest of the week.

And it's not even that my workdays are that grueling, or that I hate my job. It's just that five days a week seem to be as much as I care to devote to it. I need my down time, and if I waste half the weekend giving myself grief over what I should be doing, or what might come up tomorrow, I've chipped away a large chunk of any benefit the time off gives me.

Ah, but this wasn't your typical Sunday, was it? It was a day of family togetherness, and I absolutely wallow in those days. I relish every minute, even more as they get harder to come by. Kids grow up and move away, and the family can lose some of its heart, unless we reinforce it whenever we get a chance.

So we met at Suzanne and John's house for our Mother's Day celebration. They wanted us to be able to enjoy their new yard, which they've worked so hard to make into a festive garden showcase. Thanks to the pissy California weather, we were forced to gaze through the window at this miracle. I did venture out between showers to take a few pictures, which I've placed on a separate page, in case a beautiful green lawn, colorful flowers and trees, and assorted outdoor mini-sculptures have no appeal to you.

These are the two moms opening presents and having a good laugh, as they should since it's their day.

And here are Mom and I.

There are more family photos, for those who care, starting here.

We had a wonderful day — great food, family and friends, lots of laughter.

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For other perspectives, Mother's Day after the loss of a child is handled differently, but thoughtfully, by Al and Bev in their May 14 entries.

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