Sunday mornings at our house mean coffee by the pot, the network news shows and a walk in the woods. They are casual mornings, but they start early (for a weekend) at 7:30 a.m. There’s no such thing as sleeping in if it means we might miss what is arguably the best show on TV, CBS Sunday Morning.
Of course we could just watch it online later, but that’s no substitute for the real thing. The show’s strength is in its old-school pacing, the way it stacks a handful of in-depth, NPR-worthy features on people, places and things, and weaves in humorous and poetic commentaries on issues of the day. With the recent retirement of its 22-year-host Charles Osgood, the poetic element might go missing, and I will miss that, but new host Jane Pauley brings a similarly calm demeanor that works well. For my Osgood fix, there’s still The Writer’s Almanac on the radio and in my email inbox every morning.
It’s a peaceful start to the day, and in no way prepares us for what comes next: the Sunday morning political talk shows.
“It wouldn’t be Sunday morning, without Meet the Press,” says host and NBC chief political correspondent Chuck Todd says every week. Nor would it be Sunday morning without John Dickerson’s Face the Nation or George Stephanopoulous’ This Week. We watch them all and our Sunday morning peace transforms, more often than not, into a measure of irritation and anger.
We become couch pundits.
We know we should turn it off, and admittedly, this year, we have turned it off because it’s been all too much. The whole year has been too much.
When the last host signs off we go local. We shake off the morning with the best our community has to offer: a walk in the woods. At the end of our street is a 179-acre nature preserve with trails and boardwalks that meander through meadows, forests, and boardwalks. It’s the best place to spend a Sunday morning.
For more posts about our nature preserve, see my post on Tree Faces.
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