Sunday, Day of Rest


We’ve been trying to institute a Sunday, Day of Rest around here. This isn’t easy to accomplish because sometimes I have workshops on Sundays. Not real often–maybe one Sunday a month where I have a private workshop or a two-day all weekend workshop that runs on Sundays. But I also have workshops two to three Saturdays a month, and then sometimes other things or family events take up Sundays, so those Sundays when we can play “Day at Rest” are special. Yesterday, I did milk the cow. And we shuffled the cows to a different field. And we went up the road to move some dirt for a neighbor with the tractor. But other than that, we watched hours of a marathon of a show we’d never seen before–The Carbonaro Effect. (On TruTV channel. This is a hilarious show.) And mostly ate leftovers because that was low effort. And snuggled on the couch. And sat on the porch and talked. And generally kicked back.

My new rocking chair. It’s super good for resting.
When I was a kid and my dad would take us to West Virginia, I can remember how the ladies would sit on the porch and throw their aprons from their laps up over their heads and take a nap after Sunday lunch was over.

Sundays should have that kind of feeling. A long week of good work, and now time to block out the world and relax. (Best way to make that happen is stay away from your computer and cell phone.)

Last week was a long week here. The water company had broken water line problems. I had people arriving Wednesday evening to camp two nights and have an all-day private cheesemaking class on Thursday. It was an adorable engaged couple, two law school students. The water came back on Wednesday evening, but by Thursday morning was gone again and wasn’t back on til Thursday evening. We got through the day with cheesemaking, using bottled water for what water was absolutely necessary and just piling up pots and dishes in the sink for later. If I had to get through a day of workshops with no water, this was the couple with which to do it. They took it all in laidback stride, very cheerful, and definitely adventuresome. When they arrived, the girl got out of the car and looked around…. I knew that her boyfriend had brought her here as a surprise, because he’d told me when he’d signed up for the private workshop day. I asked her if she knew why she was here. She said, “No!” Yep, he drove her all the way here from Virginia without telling her where she was going or why. They camped in the upper pasture with the horses, and made cheese all day on Thursday. When they couldn’t take a shower the usual way because of the water problems, they took an outdoor shower from the cistern. I told them about cistern showers because I could tell they had the personalities to take that cold plunge. There is a cistern under the house that collects rainwater. Let me tell ya, your hair and skin will never feel so soft as after you take a rainwater shower–if you can handle the fact that it’s quite cold. There’s a pump to the cistern, and a hose. In a water outage, you can take a shower with the cistern water on the back patio, in private. Well, mostly, there is a slight view to the road through the trees, but there’s not much traffic out here at the end of the hard road. I showed them how to turn on the pump, handed them the hose, and told them I’d be waiting on the front porch, to let me know when they were finished and dressed. (Inside the house, there are windows onto the back patio, so for their privacy, I went to the front porch.) I could hear squealing and laughing from the back of the house, so I knew they had a good time.

They left Friday morning (after a hot shower in the studio with the water back on) and I immediately turned around to prepare for a regular workshop day for 10 on Saturday. By Sunday, I was oh so ready for that Day of Rest.

Sunday being a “Day of Rest” is for some people a Christian principle, but in generalized terms, at least in the Western world perspective, it’s part of the weekend when (usually) there’s no work on school. Back in the “old days” this was a little easier to accomplish–without cell phones and laptops constantly connecting us to work or school and the world. We are a rush rush society with so many things to do. Whether for religious reasons or not, the fundamental idea behind Sunday, Day of Rest, is to make purposeful, intentional time to let the world around us hush, pay attention to the ones closest to us, and to ourselves.

This doesn’t always work out. This coming weekend, I have a two-day canning retreat, Saturday and Sunday. But next year I’ll be planning fewer Sunday workshops. Sundays are fast becoming my favorite day of the week.

They had it right in the old days. Sunday is the time to throw your apron over your head and narrow the world….and just rest.


  1. Jersey Lady says:

    Thank you for sharing such a sweet memory about the aprons. My husband’s grandmother used to do that. Hope the water company got the lines fixed once and for all. Have a good week.

  2. joykenn says:

    Funny but I don’t remember Sunday as much of a rest for my mother and grandmother. Get all the kids up, get everyone fed, start some things for the big Sunday supper after church, go to church, keep the kids quiet and seated for service, visit with everyone on the way out, maybe invite some back to supper. Get everyone home and out of their Sunday best (and hung up please!). Get the rolls in the oven, get all the other dishes on, keep herd of the kids and menfolk who all proclaimed they were dying of hunger as you fry chicken, mash the potatoes, put on the green beans, the other sides, (no you CANNOT have a piece of pie NOW), make the cream gravy, dish up everything and then try to retrieve all the children who are running around outside, get them all washed up and at the table. Settle fights amongst them on who gets to sit next to company. And, FINALLY sit down.

    No wonder they needed an apron over their face and a nap afterwards.

  3. Joell says:

    I was born and raised my Grandparents farm. The chores were done early and them off to church.My grandparents lived in a German community in Ill. the families there were very close, each Sunday there was always a big Sunday dinner at someones farms, every one took turns, after dinner the men would sit and talk about farm thing, the ladies would talk about various things and the kids would play, the rest of the day was to rest and relax and reflect.
    To this day, we try not to do a lot on Sunday.

  4. marrypoppinz says:

    very nice story….loved the memories…wish I could do more of that!

  5. Granma2girls says:

    We are a Christian family,our kids have all married and left home, 2 hrs.away. When our kids were little my MIL had the big Sunday dinner. She would prep and roast meat on Sat. And on Sunday, after church, she put everything in the oven and within the hour everything was on the table. And of course there was always pie for dessert.
    The rest of the day was resting and relaxing. Simple sandwiches, or leftovers were for supper.
    Growing up it was just a simple lunch and visiting friends in other counties. Often these Mennonite ladies had pans of rolls made Sat. And buckets of cookies for supper ,along with smoked meats and cheeses. And we would play all afternoon in hay lofts and muck around in creeks.
    We all need a pause day. A day to visit family or friends,nap or do something fun and recreational. A mental break from things we can do other days of the week. Good for you,Suzanne!

  6. holstein woman says:

    I wish to have my Sunday’s back. I can’t honestly say I remember much about Sunday rest on the farm, but those days are most certainly needed here today. God BLESS your heart. Keep Sunday’s for rest.

  7. brookdale says:

    I love this picture of your inviting front porch with the rockers, and your sweet little doggie (I forget her name) looking happy now that she finally has her dress off!(haha)
    And I love the Day of Rest idea. We all should try it!

  8. zteagirl71 says:

    It doesn’t matter what day is your rest day, especially since many people work on the weekends thanks to the national suspension of many of the blue laws. What counts is that you take one. Like Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees who were hassling the Lord about breaking the Sabbath, he said that the Sabbath is for men, not men for the Sabbath. And what about the priests who broke the Sabbath every week with their work? You have the right idea, pick a day, any day, and relax! Like Pa Ingalls (Michael Landon) told Ma (Karen Grassle) “God understands farmers!”

Add Your Thoughts