Yesterday I wrote about how the weekends always seem to me to be a sacred family time not to be disturbed by outsiders. Maybe that comes from Sunday afternoons when I was a child. We would either visit relatives or go for a Sunday afternoon walk.
My dad worked hard as a butcher through the week, always up early and exhausted when he got home, so his day off was a special time for all four of us together. Sometimes my grandma would come with us too even though she was already in her 70s (she really was a marvellous woman). The walks stopped as my brother and I got older and followed other pursuits.
When Andrew and I were “courting” and first married, the Sunday afternoon walk was also a regular occurrence following our Sunday lunch. We would take Andrew’s mum’s dog Spot with us.
The dog died, the boys came along, things change as they always do.
Yesterday I suggested going for a walk along the beach to youngest son.
He didn’t want to go but my friend said she would go for a walk with me.
Eventually we came up with a plan to go to her house after church for bacon butties and drag the kids out kicking and screaming regardless. Of course when they are with their friends the idea of walking is far more appealing and there were no tears or tantrums whatsoever.
After a lovely lunch of crispy bacon and melted brie on fresh bread (delicious!) we set off down the beach.
We had a wonderful stroll and after stopping for hot chocolate and brownies and ice creams etc. we walked back past the park and through the woods.
The park is one of those big chunky adventure type places where all the equipment is made of solid wood. Not like the swings and slides of our day, anyone remember those tall slides with the cage on top? Or the Jungle Gym, as we used to call them, that looked like a big square hunk of scaffolding?
The very last Sunday afternoon Andrew was alive we were all bored at home and he decided we should go for a walk. The boys weren’t too impressed with the plan but I desperately wanted to spend the time together as a family and not all disappear to different corners of the house.
We walked to the same park which was still relatively new and it was the first time we’d been to explore. I remember Andrew and I bouncing on the seesaw and me squealing with laughter (how old am I?). He helped youngest son ride on the zip wire and probably challenged oldest son to climb on the highest piece of equipment.
It was a good afternoon, one I will always remember for its laughter and fun, and one I recalled with fondness today as I could see Andrew smiling.
The Sunday afternoon “family” walk really is a good old tradition and I’m so glad we have extended church family to share it with.
And thanks for the bacon butties too – same time next week???