Monday, December 26, 2016
This family got up together. The boy dressed and went to milk the cow. The father cut and retrieved wood for the cook stove and started the fire. The mother prepared breakfast for everyone after she got the youngest child dressed.
The father fed the livestock. The mother gathered the eggs and fed the chickens. The boy strained the milk, separating the cream, and put the milk where it would stay cool. Everyone finished breakfast, got the Bible, and finished getting ready to go to church. The mule was harnessed and each member mounted it. Snow was still on the ground, but the weather had warmed causing the yard and road to be soft and muddy. They rode five miles to the church building in town, arriving fifteen minutes early. The year was 1895.
The alarm goes off. An arm manages to swings out from under the covers and hit the snooze button. Fifteen minutes later, the scene repeats itself. He and his wife finally drag out of bed. He retrieves the Sunday paper and sits to read the funnies. The wife yells at the two boys to get up, “IT’S SUNDAY”! There is no response. A second, third, and fourth warning is called out, each getting louder. Grumbling is heard. Arguments begin. It signals that both are up!
Mom heats up some Pop-Tarts for breakfast. Three times “Breakfast is ready” bounces off the walls before anyone appears. There is bantering between the boys but breakfast is soon consumed. Instructions again about it being Sunday and the boys are admonished to “quit messing around and get dressed.” Dad is included in the instruction! He shaves and combs his hair. He and she get dressed. A few more admonitions and the boys look half way decent. It takes a few more warnings to get everyone in the family vehicle. Off they go. They live four block from the church building. The speed limit is 40, but dad fudges 5 miles more. This morning they hit all the green lights. They arrive but parking near the entrance is taken. Four part grumbling fills the car. They are in the seventh row of parked cars and down about 300 feet. All four doors open and the family exits, heading for the church entrance. The wind is brisk and cold. More grumbling. They are ten minutes late rather than the usual fifteen. They congratulate themselves on being five minutes earlier! The father is the great grandson of the youngest brother pictured on the mule. The year is 2016.
The wife sees that picture every Sunday and wonders if their ride was on a mule rather than in a Ford Bronco, would they arrive at church fifteen minutes early?