We got a Sunday paper today.  On Thursday, a lady called asking if we’d like a promotional subscription to the Sunday paper, to try out for 26 weeks.  Jeff and I had talked about getting a subscription at one time so I signed us up.  I was thinking I was signing up for the Duluth News Tribune.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email saying ‘Thanks for your subscription to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’.  What?!?!?  We’re not really interested in the Minneapolis paper.  Hello, we live three hours north.  I wanted the local paper!  She really should have specified MINNEAPOLIS.  It was the “Tribune” part that tricked me up.  I tried to cancel on Friday, but couldn’t.  So, today our first paper showed up.

When I was a little girl, it seemed like pretty much every Sunday afternoon was spent at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  We would go to church in the morning and afterword I would skip across the street to my grandparents house.  Since my Grandpa was the pastor of our little church, their house was conveniently located right across the street.  The parsonage.  Do they even have parsonages any more??  My brother, sister and I would would have lots of energy from sitting in church for an hour and I remember lots of excitement while the others (mom, dad, Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins… the whole nine yards)  made their way across the street.  Then there would be the hussle and bussle of getting Sunday dinner ready.  The ladies would be busy in the kitchen and the men would sit around in the living room.  That’s how I remember it anyway.

When I was very young, I had lots of uncles around at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  And there were plenty of laps to occupy.  While the dinner preparations were being made, I’d find the Sunday comics and whichever uncle was lazing on the couch.  “Would you read me the comics?”  I would then snuggle in for the best part of Sunday afternoon.  I LOVED having the comics read to me.  Once I learned to read, I remember the uncles, seeming to think it was better for me to read them myself (more likely they were just tired of reading the comics), would have me read a couple to them, but really, I liked it best when they read.   The comics are still my favorite part of the news paper.

Today we came home from church, had a simple lunch, and took a really long nap.  There wasn’t the loud commotion of a big family, the preparations of a large family dinner or all the loud laughter of my big Scandinavian family that dominates my memories of my childhood.  It was just our little family.  Later in the afternoon, I pulled out the paper.  I separated the ads, the sections and the comics.  After a while Ava joined me.  She looked at the ads for a while, insisting on showing me all the cute pictures she came across.  Cute animals on the Purina ads, cute pictures that you can get on your checks…  At one point, she showed me one of Tom and Jerry.  “Look Mom!  The Bonus Features!”  What did you say?  “This one’s got the Bonus Features!”  She was pretty excited about it.  Ummm, I’m not sure how to respond to that or even sure why she thinks Tom and Jerry would indicate bonus features.  Then she discovered the comics.

“Mama, could you read these to me??” 

Oh, in an instant I was 5 years old again, back at my Grandma’s house, snuggled into an uncle’s lap.

“Sure Baby, come on up.”

So we sat and read the comics.  It seemed like a rite of passage in some ways.

It may possibly be the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


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