As I prepared the roast beef for the oven, my thoughts wandered to my childhood.
On Sunday afternoons in what seems like a lifetime ago, we (my Dad, Mom, and siblings) often went to my paternal grandmother’s house…and we feasted.
Together as one huge family, we celebrated food and it was bountiful–roast beef, ham, potatoes, gravy-like velvet, salads of every color, Halupki, Pierogi, homemade pickles, cakes, pies, and cookies. You name it, it was a cornucopia of all the comfort food you could possibly imagine.
All my Dad’s relatives were there…aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, and at least a baker’s dozen of my cousins.
I have such vivid and fond memories of those days.
I miss those days.
Glorious, unrestrained days of real-life adventure that seemed to go on forever.
Yes, those were the days; before the age of virtual reality–the dark dawn of the electronic age and the advent of the Internet, cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, digital recorders, and yes, even before the microwave.
You know, the days when kids could actually be kids and play outdoors with imagination and abandon–no video games, no computer-simulated environment, no ridiculous “play dates” arranged by what they call helicopter parents today–no fear of the boogeyman coming to get us, no sign of any child molesters lurking about and on the prowl (though I am sure they existed somewhere), nothing of that sort. And if these dangers were awaiting ambush…well, we surely didn’t have time to notice. No, we stayed outside from dawn to dusk without any parental supervision at all and we survived. We lived to tell about it.
How things have changed.
We played in the “crick,” as we called it–a bubbling little creek thick with a huge canopy of maple and oak that ran the length of my grandmother’s New York estate. We caught crawdads and frogs; we poked, prodded, and marveled at them until the next adventure called, then tossed them aside to return for them another day.
We played hide and seek and fought hard battles–sticks serving as our swords and branches as our firearms–yes, guns! Giant tree limbs were our trusty steeds.
Together we would hike a mile down the tree-lined country road to a nearby golf course. We would compete to find stray golf balls in the brush and those of us who got lucky were paid the princely sum of a penny a ball from the Club manager.
And when evening came, oh when evening came, and the sun began to slip into the horizon, well that’s when the magic really started to happen.
We all dashed into my grandmother’s house and with a warm smile, she would deal out glass mason jars in which we would capture the fireflies–those otherworldly creatures that would soon be sparking about on the lawn. What wonderful and marvelous creatures. I truly believe God made them just for the children.
Sundays, Roast Beef, and cherished memories…
Is there anything more classic?
And, yes, much to my family’s delight, the roast was absolutely delicious.