Days Gone By

The first stanza of this poem from one of the Five Poets, Lenore Langs, is the perfect way to start off the week:

She Never Finished Anything

was distracted from her prayers

by the flash of a finch’s wing

decided to follow a regime

of monday cleaning tuesday laundry

but took her coffee

to the backyard for ten minutes

on the first monday

and stayed all morning

watching the light change

lilac Syringa vulgaris in bloom

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

on the leaves of the lilac.

Lunch at Saint James Cheese Company

(Photo credit: Brother O’Mara)

I love this poem for so many reasons. I remember that my mom had wash day on Monday, ironing day on Tuesday, and heavy duty cleaning day on Friday (she cleaned every day but especially on Friday); and Friday night was grocery night and on many a Saturday night we had sandwiches and potato chips and not a big meat and potato meal that we had every other day of the week. I loved the Saturday suppers — so relaxed and everyone would seem to be in a good mood. Mom would set out the cold cuts and lettuce and condiments and pickles and we would make our own sandwiches around the kitchen table. And if Mom had not baked we would have probably made a Saturday trip to town to the bake shop and feasted on jelly donuts for dessert. Heaven!

What are some of your heavenly blissful memories of days gone by?

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Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm  Comments (42)  
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  1. I love your post today. What a wonderful poem. I love the irony that she is distracted away from her prayers to appreciating nature and God’s creation. I also love your memories of simpler times when Monday was washday. I remember it all.

    • what a lovely circle you have drawn–I did not notice that — that is why I just love it when people leave their comments–I learn so much

  2. My husband’s mother was one to do the Mon. clean Tues. Laundry etc.
    but my Mom was more sporadic…But there was always the dependable Sunday Roast dinners…Diane

    • we had roast dinners on Sunday too – roast beef, pork, ham or chicken — I loved roast day, particularly if there was gravy!

  3. We always had fried chicken or roast beef with vegetables after church on Sundays. Then we’d play in the backyard, there would usually be a radio playing rock somewhere, the garage while Daddy worked on something. Daddy would mow the yard and we always had a garden. My parents always had such a bountiful garden and they took so much pride in it. Every time I smell honeysuckles or cut grass, I think of those things.

    • My parents had a huge garden too–and we had a big back yard where we would play baseball, skate in the winter, and my dad even had a horseshoe pit–those are lovely memories for us, aren’t they?

  4. My mom was a working mom, so things got done when they got done – but Sundays were always a quiet day that started with church and ended with a family dinner and a roast beast of some kind. I am like the lady in the poem – likely to start out with good intentions of becomming organized and then distracteed by something much more interesting.

    • my mom started working outside the home on a regular basis when I was in grade eight — so things changed then and My sister and I and my youngest older brother were responsible for meals, some cleaning etc —
      I am much like Lenore too

  5. “…and stayed all morning watching the light change”
    This is sooooo me. I cannot count the times a day has gotten away from me because my mind chased it down a rabbit hole. HA!

  6. I remember the same type of routine in our house when I was growing up, but that was back in the day when the mom could stay at home and was actually able to clean the house regularly. I just don’t have the time it seems to keep up with my house, and I’m finding I just don’t care anymore. My house is tidy and fairly organized but not clean :). Spring cleaning – what the hell is that?? LOL

    • when my mom started working outside the home, her kid were old enough to take over a lot of the chores–we learned from the best
      personally I hate domestic chores, but love the results

  7. I love the poem and the post. I especially love to read about Grandma, to get to know tidbits about her that I was unaware of as a kid.

    • I am glad you liked the poem — and hearing things about Grandma just makes you know her that little bit better — she loved you girls so much!

  8. I wish I had a reply, instead I will say hello :) and get lost in my dreams of actually smelling and seeing some lilacs– will they ever come back?

    • oh, I hope so, seems like a far off reality right now doesn’t it — is it snowing where you are–it is snowing here

      • thankfully no snow. and the snow is finally melting again

      • that is a good thing – supposed to go up to 40 by the end of the day so hopefully most of ours will melt

  9. Days gone by seemed so much easir. Then again – I had no responsibilities like I do now. I was blessed with wonderful parents who always took care of us, had food on the table for us & kept us in clothes that always fit. And – I never heard a complaint out of them either. Who knew things were really not that easy? They sure made it seem so ;)

    • Our parents did make it look easy didn’t they — but it was not, and is not

  10. I love that poem! Thanks for the introduction to it.

    My most blissful memory is of being about 8 and living in Perranporth just up the hill from the beach. I used to get dressed in my swimming costume (cotton with shirred elastic squares, remember?) and go to the beach in the morning, only coming home when I was hungry and going back as soon as I had had my sandwich. Making friends with new people week after week was great fun too as they came and went on holiday!

    Thank you for stirring that memory! :)

  11. I’ve tried to organize my cleaning chores like that… but I’ve never been successful. I like it because you can consider yourself ‘done’. By just doing things as I do them, there is always MORE to do, and I feel guilty if I’m not doing it. I like a tidy/clean house but I hate doing the deed. As for ‘no cook’ nights … I have a lot of those!

    • I may have given it a fleeting thought–but I don’t iron and hate domestic chores — but I know what you mean, without a system you are never done

  12. I’m trying to think of routines we had in my home—um, nothing is coming to mind. That does explain some things.

    • I am afraid that is what my kids are going to remember — routines went by the wayside when they hit the teen years

  13. What wonderful memories. My mother had quite the routine, too, even down to which day of the week we had spaghetti. Our cold cuts, potato chips, and ice cream meal was Sunday evening. Potato chips were so special on that one day a week. Things certainly do change. Love the poem; thanks for sharing.

    • those meals were quite a treat from the usual fare which was good but not quite a kid-friendly
      glad you liked the poem

  14. Lovely poem… bliss from days of old…. Saturday night everyone scrubbed clean for church in the morning. Clean warm jammies…We got to stay up late and watch TV and have a Pepsi and soda crackers!

    • maybe once a week we got to have coke and chips–nothing better than clean warm jammies – even today!

  15. One of my blissful memories is the smell of burnt toast and coffee, neither of which will I consume. I love the smell though, because it was what I would wake up to whenever I spent the night at my Nana’s house. I don’t know why, but she likes burnt toast. :)

    • lovely memories even if they don’t taste good–I used to love the smell of perked coffee, long before I drank it

  16. Love the poem. The speaker sounds like someone I would get along very well with. ;)
    There was a brief period of time in my childhood when nearly every Sunday afternoon, my mom would take my sister and I to Disneyland. We live about 20 min away from it and at the time, we had yearly passes so we certainly made good use of it. It’s not so much about Disneyland as it is the memory of being with my family and just enjoying the time we had together that I really cherish. :)

    • what a lucky kid you were — Disneyland and family time–such good memories

  17. This is the quote of the day from goodreads. I thought you would appreciate the author note.

    Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.

    Joseph Campbell

    March 26, 1904: Ever wonder who first uttered the New Age proclamation: Follow your bliss? It was Joseph Campbell, mythologizer of the myth, who was born 109 years ago today.

    • so many people sing his praises — I need to get some of his books — there are none at my local library
      I love the quote–it puts the responsibility where it should be

  18. our night was sunday-pancakes or sausage with waffles or pancakes while we watched Lassie and then Walt Disney. loved it.

  19. I love lilacs! What a lovely poem! ~ Sheila

  20. [...] Days Gone By (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) [...]


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