Today like every other Sunday morning since we’ve had an empty nest, I will wake up as late as possible. My cat Peppy will be asleep on my chest, and I will carefully readjust myself so I don’t disturb her, while I reach across to V’s side of the bed. V will be long gone, somewhere out on the golf course. But on his pillow V will have left what is, aside from Peppy, my other faithful companion every Sunday morning: the New York Times.
As it does for many other people, the New York Times occupies a revered place in my brain. And it also occupies a special place, for sentimental reasons, in my heart. Because there was nothing my father respected more than the New York Times.
While he was still alive, I had the opportunity to meet and/or interview many people in public life: presidents, movie stars, even Mother Teresa. My father would hear my stories, and he’d smile, but he would always remain unfazed. Through his business, he had also met celebrities and people in the public eye. Only once in all that time was he ever impressed by someone he or I had met. It was when I told my father I had met R.W. Apple of the New York Times.
The late “Johnny” Apple was a legend, the paper’s chief political correspondent, a larger-than-life figure for decades. My father was a great admirer of his writing. Apple’s talent and brilliance were dazzling in print and in person. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a soft spot in his heart. And I will never forget the night he came along with me and we unexpectedly showed up at my father’s house in Miami, giving him the chance to meet the famous R.W. Apple in person.
So there are many reasons why reading the New York Times is important to me. And once I discovered that even in small town California, you can get it delivered to your door every morning, life seemed complete.
And then. The other day I made another half-hearted attempt to clear off my desk. (I didn’t even get far enough to make another list.) I noticed something upsetting on the pile–two New York Times Book Review sections. I wasn’t saving them to file (as if I ever file anyway…) I had not read them yet.
Which is because recently, my Sunday morning routine has been rudely interrupted–by my blog. Either I wake up with an idea, forcing me to start my day at the computer rather than with the paper. Or else I start off with the paper, but read something that forces me to the computer to write something—even before I’ve finished the Style section, which is always where I start. Once my normal routine is disrupted, on some Sundays I have actually forgotten about the New York Times until late at night when I find it on the bed where I left it. Which is how the Book Review winds up unread on my desk.
This is not acceptable. So after much thought (at least a few minutes) I have come to a decision–to remove Sundays from my commitment to blog every day. The New York Times is published every day, but they have a larger staff than I do.
On Sundays there will still be something new on my blog: maybe a link; maybe even a link to the New York Times; maybe a post by someone else, or a post by me if I’m feeling ambitious; maybe a video (once I figure out how to do that).
And there are advantages. Some people tell me I’m writing so much that my blog is starting to pile up like the Book Review section on my desk—not read until they have time to catch up. So maybe Sundays would be a good time for that. While I am cuddled up with Peppy, reading the New York Times–which is where I belong on Sundays. My dad would completely understand.