Ina’s Sundays were always quiet days, devoted to church, fellowship, a good mid-day meal, and quiet activities.
A visiting minister came the first Sunday of the month. Other Sundays, they called the service “Sunday school,” and a member would provide a lesson followed by discussion. Today, Bertha shared the story of the Wisemen. An inspiring discussion followed. The congregation sang several Christmas carols.
Pot roast was a natural for Sunday dinners since the meal roasted while they were at church and was mostly ready when they arrived home. Today, it was just the three of them. Shirley Anne set the table while Ina put the food in serving dishes. The meal and the dishes were finished quickly, and Ina was glad, since she wanted to start her Christmas cards.
Mid-afternoon, Ina became aware that Shirley Anne was sad and rightly guessed that she was missing her mother. It was difficult to know how to cheer her, but just then the phone rang – a long and two shorts – and Ina lifted the earpiece to answer. Yes! It was Mrs. Smith calling to talk to Shirley Anne. “Why, she’s right here. I’ll put her on,” said Ina.
Telephone calls were kept short in those days because they were expensive. If I told you the cost of a long distance call, you would think it a pittance, but even loose change was dear. Ina set the 3-minute egg timer on the windowsill, and Shirley Anne knew what it meant. Undaunted, she forgot her sadness in hearing her mother’s voice and chatted along about the magic closet, the new nightgown, robe, and slippers, and even about the poem she was learning for the school Christmas pageant. Ina was pleased to know the child was happy in her stay, even though she naturally missed her mother.
The call ended satisfactorily within the three-minute limit, and Shirley Anne’s cheerful nature was restored. Ina set her to work putting stickers on the back of Christmas cards and letters. KW