Sunday mornings are meant to be slow, savored and lazy. Yet, some of us have a Sunday routine of church. Although I enjoy my parish family of Old Saint Andrews in Bloomfield, summertime activities, along with a hot cup of coffee on the porch, can often be an easy distraction.
Still in your pajamas and coffee in hand, you and the dog mosey up the driveway to pick up the Sunday paper. You wave to a few passing neighbors and friendly strangers. The porch, your everyday sanctuary, is calling. The newspaper is bulging and begging to be read. The dog says, "Stay home and make that second pot of joe." Can’t argue with the dog.
As you get comfortable in one of the porch pews, you can’t help but notice distance gunshots from one of the back fields ... maybe an early morning hunt or target practice. The next-door neighbor cuts the grass with an old Sears riding mower while wearing ear protectors resembling something out of the movie Top Gun. Cars slowly pass farmers and their bouncing tractors down busy Main Street.
Children leave their half eaten bowls of cereal on the porch while the dog twists sideways to lick them clean. In between the Local and Opinion section, you glance up and notice that none of the children are wearing shoes: running around the yard, riding their bikes in the driveway and unsuccessfully bouncing basketballs on the grass.
Sometimes, while sitting on the porch, I like to stream an AM San Francisco radio station from my laptop computer — KABL radio, named for San Francisco's cable cars. Since 1959, KABL has been a hallmark of Bay Area radio. Talents such as Benny Goodman, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Evelyn Knight and The Stardusters and Henry Mancini. Legendary DJ Bill Moen occasionally plugs old stories of San Francisco landmarks and legends. It’s the radio you remember from grandfather's garage...lots of swing, no ads and classic music with understandable lyrics. The music seems to fit, appropriate for a long Sunday morning over coffee and a newspaper.
As the morning progresses, neighbors pop in on their bicycles while the dog performs his obligatory bark at the unfamiliar passerby. Dinner plans are made during passing conversations (in hallways during coffee refills) with random family members.
It’s well past noon, the second pot of coffee is empty and you’re still in your pajamas. Church has been over for hours, but the newspaper is read, kids are fed, dog is happy, dinner menu is planned and neighbors are up to speed on the local news.
Forgive yourself if you decide to blow off church (and any other regular Sunday morning commitments). You can say a little prayer from your porch pew.