No Times Left For You

Every week the New York Times Metropolitan section runs a column describing how the movers and shakers spend their Sundays. We’ve got a lot going on up here two hours north of the city – in case they ever ask:

Sunday Routine

The Mix

Rise to the sound of a freight train whistle and make a healthy breakfast by mixing together the dust from an ancient bag of muesli with the shards from a stale box of granola.

A Gauge

Then on to answering emails – well, there don’t seem to be emails to answer anymore. Decide it doesn’t mean we’re unpopular, nobody gets emails. Do they?


Consider going to the gym but instead help Eric haul 6 pieces of fresh sheet rock upstairs to the attic, then dodge flying debris as he flings the old sheet rock and plaster out the attic window onto the driveway below. Feel almost godlike from the exertion and decide it must be time for lunch.

Sam’s People

The local coffee place is never open on Sunday (who would want to sit and drink coffee on the weekend?) so we try the other cafe which is also closed. Desperate, decide to buy groceries at Walmart but we’re lured to the Subway counter by its proximity to the front door. My healthy sandwich with spinach leaves, olives and peppers on flatbread is delicious, and our seats offer a clear view of the checkout where the entertainment is watching some of the more unfortunate specimens lumbering through with massive cartloads of groceries. I could go either way: despair at the state of the human race (and that we’re eating Sunday lunch in Walmart), or smug satisfaction that neither of us are on a mobility scooter or wheeling around an oxygen tank – I choose smug satisfaction


I decide to buy a copy of the New York Times, my weekly Sunday treat. First stop Price Chopper is missing half of the sections – when I ask if they have them behind the counter somewhere, the clerks laugh “Isn’t the paper big enough already?” I go to the Hess station next, where one clerk calls another over to wonder what kind of fool would pay $6.00 for a newspaper. I start to wonder myself, and leave the store paperless.

 The Great Puzzle

Eric and I buy more sheet rock at Lowe’s and while he keeps working in the attic I go outside to mow the lawn. It’s where I do my best thinking, along the lines of “Did I mow in this direction the last time? Wonder how much a truckload of gravel costs? When was there a convention of deer in this backyard and how did they all manage to shit at the exact same time?”


The sun goes down and we eat a healthy dinner and settle in to watch Season 5 of Breaking Bad that I got out of the library. A few minutes in find the show even harder to follow than usual – then realize we still haven’t watched Season 4. Soldier on for a few more minutes but decide it’s too important to mess around with – need to go back and get Season 4.

 Ambridge vs. Ambien

Turn in with a new episode of the Archers, the longest running agriculture-based radio soap opera on earth. This is a program you don’t need continuity to enjoy – it’s coma-inducing whether you know what’s going on or not.

Nagging Question

Sneak out to the window overlooking the backyard one last time to see if I can catch those deer in action.

Attic Window

18 thoughts on “No Times Left For You

    1. Deborah Frost

      The What You Were Wearing During Week is DIFFERENT from the What You Ate or When You Walked Dog or Shlepped Sheet Rock on Sunday column. Claire, get it RIGHT!

  1. barbaraprice

    How much we would each learn about our own lives if we tried this as an exercise. Instead of exercising, of course.

    I would also love to read your 72 hours in Catskill.

  2. Daedalus

    Who would have thought that a worldwide data network would be used to lull people to sleep with the doings of imaginary English farmers (and a couple of Scots) ?

    By the way, if Ambridge stops doing it for you, you can switch to the Shipping Forecast. It’s been sending Brits off to dreamland for decades.

    1. amyrigby

      The Shipping Forecast sounds like the Lake Erie report we used on A Taste Of The Keys – “Monday, winds north by northeast, snow showers, gradually changing to rain. Tuesday, rain changing to freezing rain, changing to snow showers…”? Scintillating stuff!

    1. amyrigby

      The funny thing Hal is just when I thought of doing a Sunday Routine report, the Times ran one on Billy Miller and Miriam Linna, of Norton Records! My favorite part was Miriam wheeling a mail cart to the post office for some quiet time.

  3. dinahmow

    Pick up TV from repair man…re-connect cables,etc…check programme guide on computer…nothing worth the effort…decide to snuggle on couch with laptop and re-read the Rigby Diaries.
    Thoroughly entertaining afternoon! What with Bags With Attitude, Horrors of Walmart, Lavatorial Habits of Deer…

    Thank you, Amy 🙂

  4. Paul

    That made me laugh, which i needed after learning from Erics FB post today that I’m actually 50 years of age and not 19 as previously thought.

  5. amyrigby

    Where coffee began! I have to admit I went to the flagship Starbucks the last morning we were in Seattle (it was within walking distance), and enjoyed it just for the fashion show alone (who knew there were so many high tech fabrics/types of sport footwear etc and that was just on the toddlers). We have a wonderful coffee shop just over the river in Hudson Darren, one of the best in the country and open every day of the week. But that would’ve ruined the story.

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