The Art of Lunch

“I don't think anyone has after-church lunches anymore,” Jim said.“They're gone. A thing of the past. Young folks have quit such things.”

“In Alabama,” said my father-in-law. “Everybody had Sunday lunches, especially in Brewton. It’s how things were done. We all gathered at Mother and Daddy’s for a big Sunday meal.”

Jim stood behind the pot of oyster stew, stirring to keep the butter and milk from burning. I stood watching him, wearing a look on my face I refer to as my lazy-but-poised look.

“I don’t think anyone has after-church lunches anymore,” Jim said. “They’re gone. A thing of the past. Young folks have quit such things.”

“Well what do people do then?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but they sure as hell don’t go home and cook. I reckon, after church, they go home, lay down, and watch FOX News.”

“But Jim, you watch FOX News.”

“You’re missing the point.” Jim cleared his throat and assumed his preaching-voice. “People in big towns go to big churches, they go to big Walmarts, they send big text-messages.” He pointed at my phone. “I don’t even know what a text is.”

I silently thanked the Lord for that.

“Shoot,” he said. “Doctors don’t even come to anyone’s houses anymore. We’ve gotten so big, you and I are nothing but numbers, nowadays.”

“What’s that have to do with anything?”

“It has everything to do with everything. Because, nobody eats together anymore. Nobody cooks big Sunday meals – with gravy. We’ve gotten too big. People don’t visit after church. They don’t visit at all.”

“But Jim,” I said. “You cook every Sunday, and we’re always here.”

“I’m not talking about you.” He scoffed. “You’re just a lazy-ass looking for free food.”


  1. Cathy Everitt - July 13, 2016 9:43 pm

    Sean of the South, when the big meal on Sunday occurred at lunch time, didn’t we always call it Sunday “dinner,” instead of lunch?

  2. Connie Ryland - June 30, 2017 1:36 pm

    We always called it Sunday dinner, but I get it. I miss that. My mom has dementia and is in a nursing home, so none of my family gets together for anything anymore. My mother-in-law still has Sunday dinner at her house, but my ex got her in the divorce, so I don’t get to go there anymore. My kids are all busy with their own lives and don’t come “home” on Sunday. So if anyone still has that luxury, I sure hope they indulge in it as often as possible.


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