Sunday Down South

...I'm certainly in no position to tell you how to live your life. But if you do visit our neck of the woods, the trip might do you good

I’m no psychiatrist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t prescribe mind-numbing medication—which I most certainly can. So, if you feel like your life has turned into cosmic kitty-litter clumps, here’s a script straight from the doctor’s notepad:

1. get in your car

2. head south.

Do it now—since it’s summer. And do it on Sunday, because this is when small towns come alive. Don’t take my word for it, listen to Joel:

“Sundays in my town were somethin’ else. My dad invited folks home, after church. It was his goal to get so many people around our table that they had to stand around holding plates. His mac and cheese was somethin’ else.”

You’ll note: “somethin’ else,” is Southern for, “pretty stinking good.”

Marsha remembers Sundays from another point of view. “For my family,” she says, “the whole day was church. Mother and I arranged the flowers for two services. Afterward, we’d go home, hang up our Sunday clothes, eat lunch, then put’em back on for Sunday NIGHT.”

Sunday night service. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve watched an out-of-town preacher slap the Bible on a Sunday night. It’s somethin’ else.

Now, meet Gregory and his brother, two middle-aged fellas I met while eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I asked what their childhood Sundays were like.

Gregory laughed. “I dunno, we got in trouble a bunch. Mama’d always crawl me and my brother for fishing or hunting on the Lord’s Day.”

His brother nodded in agreement.

“She wouldn’t’ve minded us hunting our OWN land, but we poached our neighbor’s property—since he was at church. When she’d get home, all dressed up, she’d give us that look. She’d be like: ‘I know what you boys been doing. And I’m praying I see you in church next Sunday.’ But we never went.”

The two men looked at their plates.

“Fact is,” Gregory said. “We haven’t hunted on Sundays since she died.”

His brother added, “Yeah, but Greg couldn’t hunt Sundays now if he wanted.”

As it turns out, Gregory is a deacon.

So, I’m certainly in no position to tell you how to live your life. But if you do visit our neck of the woods, the trip might do you good.

And if you see a group of folks filing out of church, dressed in pastels, pearls, and white gloves, follow them to Joel’s house for lunch. Leave your smartphone in the car. And when they all gather to hold hands and say grace, you’ll feel something in your gut, it sort of makes you smile. We call it love.

Then, try the mac and cheese.

It’s somethin’ else.


  1. Maureen - July 12, 2016 8:44 pm

    and so are you

  2. Melissa Sanders - September 26, 2016 2:07 pm

    The military has brought us to the west coast. Ever since we passed Texas, church is just not church anymore. It’s like a production. Finding a God fearing congregation who just wants to have church is un heard of. I miss Sunday dinner and being in church several times a week. Your lucky here if you find a church with Sunday school, but Sunday night or mid week service doesn’t exists. Thank you for bringing me back, even just for a moment.


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