“Jubilee, Jubilee, You’re invited to that happy Jubilee.”
I wake up hearing this song and smelling sausage cooking. It’s Sunday morning! The night before Mama had washed my long hair, so I felt all clean and ready for day the ahead. I nudge Jennifer sleeping beside me as I got out of bed, saying, “It’s Sunday morning!” She just moans, “I know,” It took a while for Jennifer to wake in the mornings. I go in the kitchen to see Mama cooking our breakfast: sausage, biscuits and gravy, and scrambled eggs. Mama and Daddy had a Sunday morning routine. While Mama cooked our breakfast, Daddy showered and dressed (except his dress shirt and tie). Then after breakfast, Daddy cleaned up the kitchen and washed the dishes, while Mama dressed and helped us get ready. This was one of the many ways my parents worked as partners in their marriage.
Mama continues cooking, I watch the Gospel Singing Jubilee on our television, the theme song that woke me every Sunday morning. Gospel groups such as the Florida Boys, The Goodmans, the Inspirations, and the Nelons perform as I sing along. At last, Mama yells, “Breakfast is ready!”
We sit down at the table. As we begin eating, I can’t wait to ask Daddy, “Where are we going to church?” When Daddy was not a pastor of a church, he would visit churches throughout Cherokee and Forsyth counties, sometimes further away into Pickens, Dawson, Hall; well, across North Georgia. Daddy prayed, studied, and mediated on Scripture in his King James Version of the Holy Bible throughout the week. The Lord would send him to a church to visit on Sunday morning. Most often, Daddy would preach the sermon there. I often did not know where we going to church until breakfast Sunday morning. That was exciting to me; awaiting the adventure of our Sunday.
When Daddy tells us where we were going, the next question was: What time are we leaving? We could be going to a church 15 minutes from our house or an hour and 15 minutes away. If it was a church where I knew I would see my friends, I was doubly excited. If it was a church I had never been to before, I would be nervous. Even though I viewed Sundays as an adventure, walking into a church as a visitor caused some anxiety.
Finally, we finish breakfast. Jennifer and I dress in our Sunday dresses, knee high white socks, and black patent shoes. Mama brushes my hair. She makes sure we are all ready to go. Meanwhile, Daddy cleans the kitchen, washing dishes and pans. Then he’s putting on his dress shirt and tie. I watch him tie his necktie and wondering, how does he do that? Daddy puts on his suit coat. Mama puts on her red lipstick. Daddy picks up his blue leather cover Bible. We all climb into our car. Jennifer and I settle into the back seat. We are off to church.
Our Sunday morning is coming to an end. Soon it will be church time. A time shared with other people. Sunday mornings were my family time. From the moment I heard, “Jubilee, Jubilee,” until the I saw a church parking lot, I was happily embraced in my family, anticipating our Sunday adventure.