This morning, as my husband and I sat drinking coffee and reading the Sunday paper, he made a comment on how he finds it interesting that, in today’s high-tech atmosphere, reading the Sunday paper is still an event. For us, it’s a regular part of our weekend routine. We used to read the Sunday paper while kids played on the floor around us; now, we read it in the silence of a houseful of sleeping teenagers and young adults. While I was growing up, I read the Sunday paper in the early morning hours with my dad, both of us early risers, while my mom enjoyed her one day to sleep in. After my dad died, the hardest times for me were early mornings when we’d visit my mom. I’d get up, make the coffee, collect the paper and then sit by myself sobbing.
My husband’s observation that reading the Sunday paper is still an event is, I think, probably a generational statement. While this ritual has been a big part of our routine and the routine of our parents and generations before us, I’m not sure that today’s young adult generation reads a paper or has experienced the delight of sipping coffee in a quiet house while perusing a newspaper. Today’s generation more often finds their information on their laptops or handheld devices, but I can’t imagine they get the same level of enjoyment I get from the ceremony that includes the feel of the coffee cup, the aroma of the coffee; the sound of the newspaper being folded, unfolded and pages turned; the quiet of the house broken only when one of us reads aloud something of interest; and the memories of other quiet mornings experienced throughout a lifetime.