Remember This Day.

Short Story,


If you know anything about people of color, it’s this: Sunday is church day. No matter who you are, what job you do, and how much money you have or don’t have, in my neighborhood on Sunday people attend church. Anything outside of that is considered sacrilege.

The blocks that make up my community consist of brownstone houses. There are two grocery stores, one fish market owned by Mr. Martin & son, one liquor store and a laundromat. Also, there are Ms. Handy’s candy store and Ms. Shirley’s beauty parlor.

During the week,  the streets are busy with the usual activities of the number runners going door to door taking bets for  illegal numbers,  mothers  hustling their  children off to school, and men waiting for rides to go to work.

The ice truck arrives every morning just before Mr. Martin receives the fish for his market. Everyone else is busy opening their shops getting ready for a day of business. The rule in the neighborhood is that the liquor store doesn’t open until noon, a strict code of conduct that is respected because folks around here don’t believe it is right for anyone to start drinking before lunch time.

Ms. Handy opens her candy shop just in time to greet the mothers coming back from school after picking up their children. On some days when the mothers have time, they hang around the counter drinking soda pop and running their mouths, while the children sit outside eating whatever treat they are allowed to have before supper.

The older men who don’t work linger around the liquor store passing around a bottle of Thunder Bird, each taking a sip, telling dirty jokes and repeating the same war stories.  In this area nobody looks down on these men because most of them served this country by volunteering to go to war. This is a community where everybody knows everybody and people help those in need and don’t look kindly on strangers or, as the elders would say “Those who don’t fit in”.  Mostly, they are talking about people outside the colored race.

Friday is payday: this means that the men come home early and women put on their best dresses, because payday means grocery shopping and a visit to the White Castle on the other side of town.  For the families who don’t own a car, it is up to the men to do a head count and double everybody up.  These weekly outings mean a break from cooking for the women, quality time for the men, and the children consider eating at White Castle fine dining.

Sometimes on a Friday Mr. Martin will host a fish fry at his house that also doubles as a card game. Each family takes turns going by the house buying fish dinners, and Mr. Martin gives free ice cream to the children.  When it starts to get late, women take the children home and most of the men stay behind to play poker. Another special part of each Friday is that is one night that the older children are allowed to stay up an hour past their normal school night bedtime.

There is a different rhythm to the activities on Saturday. The men get up early to wash their cars, while children watch cartoons and eat bowls of sweet cereal, allowing time for mother’s to clean the house and prepare for Sunday. After the house chores are done, most of the mothers leave their children with the fathers or at grandma’s house so that they can keep their appointments at Ms. Shirley’s beauty parlor.

No matter how busy Saturday is the golden rule is Saturday is the day before the Lord’s day. People take this seriously. They believe that it is the Lord who blessed them to have jobs, a roof over their heads, and food to eat, so it is only right to give Him one day.

Preparing for Sunday means that the men shine their Sunday shoes the old-fashioned way, gather their male children to inspect their suits, and teach them how to tie a tie.  Women young and old scrutinize their closet for their best dresses and hats. Mothers instruct the oldest daughter in the house to choose outfits for the younger children to be pressed, which has to be done on Saturday night because church going folk don’t Iron clothes on the Lord’s day.

Before the sunset on Saturday, the liquor store is the first to close early and the other stores follow. The last wash at the laundromat is 3pm, and no bets can be taken after closing time because numbers don’t come in on a Sunday. The noise in most homes starts to fade around eight o’clock PM. Children are put to bed no later than nine o’clock PM. Over the course of the night, both parents help with the food preparation for Sunday’s meal.

When the sun rises Sunday morning, the first thing that one notices is that the streets are quiet; there are no number runners and the grocery stores don’t sell beer on Sunday. The smell of Sunday dinner cooking and gospel music can be heard throughout the area. Right after breakfast the men will leave the house to go and put gas in their cars. The mothers bathe and dress the children and sit them down in the living room to wait.

Even if you don’t go to church, everyone respects the Lord’s day.  No one considers himself to be what some people would refer to as a “holy roller,” because people believe that what they are doing is being obedient to the will of God.  The majority of the people around here are members of the same church, Bring it on Baptist, and the Pastor is Reverend Getright. On Sunday full names turns into church title such as sister, brother, mother, deacon, and trustee.

The church day begins with Sunday school. Pastor Getright says “Sunday school sets the tone for Sunday Service”.  Sunday school is taught by the elders, meaning the church mothers and deacons.  Pastor says that “it’s good to keep the elders, involved in the church activity.” He says, “Its’ cause they have life experience.”

Most, if not all, of the children and young adults attend Sunday school. These classes are where most of the children learn The Bible Basic, and as you get older you move from junior  class, to young adult,  and finally to adult class, and someday become a Sunday school teacher.  For me the best part of Sunday school is the snacks after classes are over.

One thing about church ladies it’s this, they can bake. I’m not taking about pouring the cake mix out of the box, adding water, and then baking. No, these sisters bake from scratch; they use real lard, lots of butter, and make their own icing. I heard some of the older sisters say that the recipes they use have been in their family for generations.

Well, I don’t know about generation of recipes, all I know is that the cakes are good!

While the Sunday school crowd is having their snacks, it is the duty of the ushers and deacons to prepare the sanctuary for morning worship. Beside the Sunday meal, the morning service is considered the highlight of the day.

During the preparations, we can hear the organist playing hymns, warming up the organ, the drummer resetting his drums, and the choir gathering in the back room, putting on their robes and praying, asking God to help them to sing for His glory. Although this is a Baptist church, it’s modern by today’s standards. As I was told the Baptist people from down south didn’t start out with musical instruments; they sung a capella clapping their hands to keep the beat.

Well, I’d better move this story along, because Sunday dinner is waiting and there is nothing better than Sunday supper, followed by homemade cake; and if we are lucky we get to go see some of our friends in the neighborhood, which means another piece of cake.

On Sundays people behave differently. There is a lot more laugher, the men sit at the dinner table longer, and the women aren’t in a hurry to clean after dinner.  When the day starts to come to an end, families slowly make their way back to their homes. The scene is something out of a movie; the men put sleeping children in the cars, while the women say their goodbyes. The quietness of the evening is kept while each house is preparing for the start of another busy week.

In their rooms children whisper about how much fun they had, and wives and husbands talk over the things that need to be done during the week. One by one the lights go out; the activity of the day will remain in their minds until the next Lord’s Day.



An Ode To The Weekend

Dear readers,


Grinding, workaholic, pushing to the top, and burning the candle at both ends. Whatever people are calling it these days, I say, we live in a society were people are burnt out, drained and over worked. Does anyone remember the regular five-day work week, when business ended on Friday at 5 pm, and that when the weekend started.


Yes, the weekend, those two days separate from the hustle and routine of the weekdays. Saturday meant, sleeping late, relaxing, regrouping, and visiting the mall. Sundays the family drove to grandmas house for dinner, or sport parties, backyard BBQ’s in the summer, and long lazy days at the beach.

Nowadays, relax is rushed and unplanned. I hear more and more people say, ” I don’t have Time.” Vacations are getting shorter, and most people plan stay cations, instead of going away.

I was a energizer bunny from the age of 28-50. Well, the thrill is gone. I am off the treadmill of madness, got my feet planted firmly on the ground, and taking baby steps to reclaim my weekends.


What Say You


Bringing home the Bacon

Dear Readers,

Here is something to crew on.


Society consist of the nuclear family, meaning two adults and their children and throw in a pet or two. Some how its been established that man’s duty is to bring home the bacon. Why? Because he is the head of the family.

Question, if the wife of this nuclear family earns more money compared to her spouse, Does this means that she is now the head of the  family? There are countless husband, boyfriends etc., who are not comfortable with a women  earning a bigger pay check than they do.

Does this mean that a man identifies his position in his home based on his earning power? And what does this say for a woman who earns less?

What say You?



Love Gone Wrong

Dear Readers,

You may recall a few days ago, I told you I’ve found true love. His name is Boone, a two-year old Beagle, I adopted from a shelter. The process began Saturday July 9, 2016, myself and two nieces attended a dog adoption event.  We were disappointed by the low number of small dogs, the staff did their best to encourage us to adopt a large dog. If I lived out in the country, I would adopt two large dogs, but I live in a home in queens with a small backyard.

Anyway, we were referred to  a central shelter in East Harlem. I wanted to go home, my nieces encouraged me to go to the shelter. After we ate lunch, had restroom breaks, we took three trains to the shelter, singed in and was instructed to walk around and look at the dogs. I saw Boone, boom! love at first sight. When we arrived at the meet and greet room, I sat on the floor, Boone jumped into my lap all 27 pounds of him. My nieces jumped for joy and he barked in agreement.

Next step… we processed the paper work, paid the fee and was told to pick him up the following Tuesday after his nip tuck surgery. The story continues…. me and  my two nieces spend a few days shopping for dog accessories, cleaning and dog proofing my apartment,and watching endless dog training videos in You Tube.

Flash forward… to Tuesday. I had a car and driver ready,  half hour before departure, I received a call… Boone tested positive for heart worms, he would be going to a no kill shelter. I didn’t get the chance to say good-by. My nieces eyes watered. We dealt with this news by eating ice cream and talking about looking at other dogs.

On Friday, July 16, seven days after loosing Boone, we took the same three trains to the shelter, sat in the meet and greet room being introduced to countless dogs. None of them had the same personality like Boone. My nieces agreed, we were told that the adoption fee would be sent by check in the mail in about two months. We left the shelter, ate some New York pizza, boarded the train and didn’t look back.

Closure, I returned the pet items to pet-co with an explanation. I am still numb from the process.


What say you?

True Love. Yes, its Real.

Greeting from the Mad Dater,

Photos taken by aahman_-2

Hey, a funny thing happened on my journey to find a partner, soulmate, man, husband, whatever the phrase people are using these days. For those who are not aware, I’ve begun this journey on April 26, 2016 and as of today, July 13, two months and seventeen days  later, after creating three profiles on different online dating services, watching endless date coaching videos, and reading two books on relationships, I haven’t had a single date.

I’ve met men who pretend to be in search of a relationship. I encountered men online who are not who they claim their profile say they are.

I Thought all hope was lost, I met him, the one just right for me. He has brown sleepy  bedroom eyes, a tan complexion, and the cutest nose, his ears are a little large, and he is a bit on the short side,  but he is eager to please. I’ve never believed in love at first sight, but I know he is the one. His name is Boone, he is a 2-year-old beagle I’ve adopted. Once his Vet check is completed, we will be united.

I have found a true friend  for life

What say you?