On Sundays in our home, Mum would always cook a lunch-time Sunday roast - usually a roast chicken, with vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy. Not every Sunday, but at least one or two Sundays a month my Grandma Erickson would come and visit with us and share in our Sunday roast.
After lunch, when Mum and Dad, and Grandma would leave the table and go to digest their meal in the living room, it was up to Joyce and I to clean up the kitchen and wash and dry the dishes and put them away.
My Grandmother was fairly religious, and really didn't encourage a lot of singing or dancing on the Sabbath, unless it was to celebrate the church and all things religious. So Joyce and I would close all the doors to the kitchen and sing and harmonise while we had to do this horrible task of washing the dishes. We would sing our little hearts out! Loud and strong, and would experiment in harmonies, and would occasionally throw soapsuds and whip each other with the dishtowel, but we eventually got the job done.
As the years went by, Mum and Dad sold that house and we moved to our new home. By this stage, Joyce was on the verge of getting married, and I was 14. Very grown up!
A couple of years passed again, and I ran into Bud in town one day. I stopped and gave him a hug and asked how Elna was and asked about the old neighbourhood where I had lived so many happy memories. Bud told me about the new people who were moving into the neighbourhood, and how things had changed. He did say something though that has always stayed with me:
"When your family moved away, we lost a lot. On Sundays, I used to go sit on my back stoop, and listen to Joyce and you sing as you cleaned up the kitchen after lunch. I used to love that time each week. It was like you were singing to me. Nobody does that anymore! It was special."
He was right. Not that we were special necessarily with our singing (but we probably were!), but that the whole neighbourhood was special -I always knew that.