For some of us yesterday, it snowed. I was very grateful that it did.
Years ago, very few shops opened on a Sunday. Those that did were only allowed to sell certain things and they were only permitted to open for a few hours. I remember those days very well.
On a Sunday, we would go to church in the morning and then have a family trip out in the afternoon. It didn't usually involve money, apart from perhaps an ice cream - if we were lucky.
we didn't have computers, tablets, mobile telephones or electronic games
television was limited
we had little in the way of sweets and processed foods
we didn't have holidays abroad, or hotels
we didn't have many new clothes, let alone designer clothes, or a choice of shoes
we ate and drank full-fat foods, had plenty of bread, sweet and savoury pies...
Sounds depressing, but it certainly wasn't.
we had board and card games, colouring and puzzle books and we made our own entertainment together; siblings, cousins and friends; both indoors and out
we eagerly awaited our television programmes and had a real treat when we could watch them
food was made from scratch, very tasty and without unknown additives
if we were lucky enough to have a holiday, it was in a caravan or tent
we had 'new' clothes from jumble sales or hand-me-downs
we spent quality time in family units, generally with Mum at home and Dad working as working Mums were not commonplace
the fresh air, being active, and wholesome food did us the world of good
we had less obesity, diabetes and other now common ailments
more family units
generally Sunday was a day for family to spend together with far fewer people working
churches provided most of the Toddler Groups, Youth Clubs and Adult Friendship Groups (not necessarily with a relgious angle attached)
Now, firstly, I'm not looking back with rose tinted glasses. I know that there were still broken families, abuse was going on behind closed doors, there was poverty, homlessness; all the same terrible things that happen today, happened back then.
Secondly, I am aware that some people may want to shoot me down in flames for what I am saying here, but it is my opinion.
When all but the essential industries closed on Sundays, I believe that it gave us time to spend bonding with those we love, rest and recharge our batteries. We ate more healthily when we had more time to prepare rather than eating and drinking convenience foods.
Education still put pressure on us, but, we all walked to our local school which meant that all schools had a mixture of children and abilities rather than the situation we find ourselves in now with "failing" schools due to parents choosing where to send their children to.
This system gives rise to some schools having most of the "good and clever children" from anywhere and everywhere, and others having more of those less able and sometimes troubled children. Parents don't want to send their children to those unfairly labelled lower league table/under achieving schools. It also means that, for many, the school is no longer in walking distance so we have more traffic to add to the unhealthy option of lack of exercise in walking to school.
"In my day" schools had a mixture of both and so didn't need to have outside forces come in, examine and publish reports about the kind of schools they are, concentrating more on the league than anything else.
Full-fat food and drink is not the enemy. Our portion sizes, making food from scratch and active life-styles kept today's illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and some allergies at bay, so it it our life-style today that is the enemy.
I remember the "Keep Sunday Holy" campaign. It was labelled as Christians who didn't want shops to open on Sundays so that we could all go to church instead. Well, that's may be how it all began, however, there is a lot to be said to keeping Sunday without the shops and non-essential industry being open because then, not only does it give families the chance to go to church if they want to, it gives families the chance to be together and gives so many a chance to rest and recharge.
What has all this got to do with the snow? Well, my husband had two options for yesterday after church, one involved work and one involved a favour - the snow put pay to both options.
As a result, I prepared a Sunday roast and he gave assistance, then we were able to spend the afternoon watching a film and having quality time together. It made me think back to when our children were young, and when we were young.
Sunday afternoons were spent having quality time together, bonding, laughing, loving, kicking Autumn leaves, making snowmen...we didn't have much money at all with only one breadwinner, but we were rich in love. It reminds me of a Dolly Parton song you may like to listen to.
So I'm raising my glass to that richness to be shared with everyone we know and love.
Life After Death: A Mother's Story
Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash