Ah ... Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure there is any more delicious time of the week. Just by the nature of when it falls during our seven-day week, and the way our culture has evolved, Sunday afternoon is unique. It's a time to do what we want, to relax, perhaps, to see our friends and family. Maybe we get some food ready for the week that's coming, putter around on household projects, or catch up on some reading or correspondence, but whatever it is we're on our own schedule and can make a choice of what to do.
One great option is always a nap. Or so my friends who nap tell me as they almost giddily relate their plans for Sunday afternoon that include a nice long nap under their favorite quilt. I'm not very good at napping yet, although I'm really adept at dropping off while sitting upright on the loveseat with my newspaper. I didn't even have to practice to learn that.
I should be pretty good at napping, because that was always part of the Sunday afternoon routine while I was growing up. After a nice Sunday breakfast, Sunday school and church for the family, and a big Sunday dinner, I can understand now why my mom needed some time to put her feet up. And my dad worked hard on the farm all the time, including chores twice a day even on Sundays, so he could well use some down time, too.
That meant that if you were in the upstairs bastion, you'd better not even think about making any kind of disruption. The ideal was for all three of us to take a nap, too, but as we got older that didn't always happen. Instead we would whisper with each other or quietly (we thought) play a game on someone's bed. Funny how we sometimes got in trouble for interrupting the downstairs naps.
Although we generally had a nice Sunday dinner, our house wasn't that quiet on Sunday afternoons when our children were little. When the grandparents came to our house for Sunday dinner after church and Sunday School, they had to get home for their ritual Sunday afternoon naps. I was always pleased if most everyone in my house was just quiet and calm on Sundays.
Remember Iowa's blue laws, when stores couldn't be open on Sundays? I still think there's something to be said for that approach, although we all know that retailers require every possible minute they can get to entice us to leave some of our money at their stores. When the stores were all closed all day Sunday, it wasn't an option to run to the mall or the grocery store. So maybe it was easier to be content staying home.
I'm not real sure we shouldn't have just left Sundays well enough alone.