What do you hold onto?

Waking up without an alarm clock on a weekend morning is one of life's sweetest treasures.

How rich to look at the clock, and let the adrenaline rush subside when the day of the week becomes clear. How wonderful to snuggle back under the flannel-covered comforter, to drift back to the dream, to tell the dog to lie down again; it's the weekend.

What treasure is there in your life that you've hung onto through marriage, children, the never-ending need to do laundry, grocery shop and be particular places at particular times?

Sometimes it's easier to list what we've let go of. It's been good to have the excuse of a full-time job to keep me from doing housework until company is pulling into the driveway and I give myself over to full-fledged self-recrimination.

I cook less, and more simply these days, too, although I think that's more fatigue than a time crunch. I surprised all of us when my husband suggested we go to the Thai cooking course one of the members of our church was offering, and I answered flat-out no. Why not? he asked.

\I don't like to cook anymore, I said.

Panice flashed on the faces of my husband and teenage sons, who reminded me that they like to eat. Well, me, too, and we still sit down to a meal every night of the week, but more pizza and tacos are creeping into our diet. There's hope, though: Christopher recently pulled the bread machine out of the basement, and we wake up on many mornings to the smell of home-baked triple wheat bread. Now, if Cormac takes up soup-making, life could be grand.

So what have we clung to? Slow Saturday mornings, now that Cub Scouts are long over for our boys, and their brief stint with soccer ended years ago. That fresh pot of coffee, the paper read slowly, maybe scrambled eggs, before I descend to the basement to do laundry while listening to "Car Talk" and "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on NPR.

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