Never on Sunday
We woke up yesterday – January 1, 2012 – and turned on the TV, expecting as we always do to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade. The parade was nowhere to be found.
Finally I Googled it (thank you, Google) and learned that the parade is ‘never on Sunday.’ Early parade organizers didn’t want to frighten horses tied up in front of churches and risk disrupting church services.
If someone had asked, I would have responded that I watched the Rose Parade every year of my entire life. Not on Sunday? I hardly knew what to do with the rest of the day.
Growing up on the farm, the only day my folks let us kids sleep in was New Year’s Day. They took pity on us because New Year’s Eve was the only night we could stay up beyond 10 p.m. Or even wanted to, for that matter. Getting up before 6 a.m. every day to do chores and milk cows meant we could hardly keep our eyes open after dark. That didn’t have positive implications for dating, but that’s a different post.
On New Years Eve, we gathered with the Zidlickys and Staneks. The adults played cards. We kids played Monopoly, ate dishpans full of popcorn, and did our level best to stay awake until midnight. Then we put on hats and blow horns and rang in the new year. Before midnight, we dined on oyster stew and chili – or if we were at Zidlicky’s, we ate lutafisk and lefsa. It was a night unlike any other in our year. When we finally hit the beds, it was with the blessed knowledge that we could sleep in.
On New Year’s Day, our dog Butch did not come in to lick us awake, we stumbled out of bed long after daylight and still dressed in pajamas settled in front of the TV. Mom oohed and aahed along with us as the floats passed by.
I do not recall the Rose Parade ever falling on a Sunday when I was a kid, but it must have. I expect we did not notice because even if we didn’t have to pile out of bed to milk cows, we never missed church. And it didn’t matter how late you were up the night before. And it didn’t matter what big thing was on TV. Church was always on Sunday.