Selling on Sunday
I have to say that I’m most grateful for the wonderful invention, GPS. She is my constant companion. Yes, I talk to her. I’ve named her Arlien. That’s my mother’s name. I’ve named her after my mother because we have similar relationships. She tells me where to turn, I argue I have a better way, but still do what she says. In the end, she’s right. She keeps me out of trouble, keeps me from getting lost, making wrong decisions. She never gloats .........
The other thing I’m grateful for is my supportive husband. He’s my numero uno cheerleader. He encourages me to go and do whatever I want to do, whatever I need to get it done. He never whines that I’m gone, or complains that I neglect things at home.
The thing that’s hardest for me is being gone on Sunday when I’d rather be kneeling beside him at Church. It’s hard to reconcile selling on Sundays. As I was growing up, my family did not go to church; not my parents, either set of grandparents, my many aunts, uncles or cousins. The only time I ever saw my parents in church was on my wedding day. I started attending Sunday School when I was a mere babe in Cradle Roll. The pastor of Bethany Chapel and his large family lived near us and their teenage daughter took me. I never missed. Mom encouraged me to go, helped me with scripture memorization, saw that I had new patent leather shoes for Easter. I loved Sunday School lessons, revivals, the annual Sunday School picnic, singing and I looked forward to Daily Vacation Bible School in the summer. By the time I moved on in about 6th grade, I had earned a stack of Holy Bibles with my name in gold for memorizing Bible verses. Then I began to branch out and attend other churches with my friends. The Ninth Street Methodist had the best hay rides and youth group, The Calvary had the liveliest Sunday School, and my best friend was preparing for Confirmation at the Lutheran Church across the street from my house. I went to her classes with her. In the 9th grade I started going to the First Methodist Church on the other side of town. I liked singing in the adult choir with other high school friends from H.S. Chorus, and my boyfriend and his parents went there. About six years later he and I were married in that church. As a newly married couple we taught 4 year-old Sunday School at the Wesleyan Church on campus. Two years later, my husband and I became Catholic.
Why was church so important to me? I don’t know, but I always knew it was where I needed to be. The thing that I remember so distinctly from my non church-going- family, was the question, “On Sunday?” My mother would never hang laundry out on a Sunday. And if she saw some sheets or undies fluttering in the breeze on that holy day, she would gasp, “On Sunday?” She always had the housework done, pies baked on Saturday as well as any shopping. There weren’t any stores open on Sunday in our town. It was unheard of. “Open on Sunday?” Sometimes I’d ask to go biking or do something with a friend’s family. “On Sunday?” Raising my own family that question often haunted me. Several of my kids had soccer games on Sunday afternoon. “On Sunday?” I asked their coach. Some of my kids, all parents, are now working on Sundays. Lots of businesses these days view Sunday as just another day. Some of my grandkids play sports on Sunday mornings. Really? “On Sunday?”
So, when it comes to selling books on Sunday, I don’t take it comfortably. I sell books at Civil War Reenactments which are weekend events. I go to Mass whenever I can, and participate in the camp interdenominational Church Service. And certainly as a Catholic I can go to Mass every day of the week. I listen to devotional CD’s when I travel, and pray the rosary with a CD every morning in the car while I’m traveling. But when I sit down at my signing table, on Sunday mornings I can hear my mother say, “On Sunday?”