Good Graciousness

by | Feb. 11, 2010

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The shutters and doors of the Radley home were closed on Sundays, another thing alien to Maycomb’s ways: closed doors meant illness and cold weather only. Of all days Sunday was the day for formal afternoon visiting: ladies wore corsets, men wore coats, children wore shoes. But to climb the Radley front steps and call, ‘he-y’ of a Sunday afternoon was something their neighbors never did” (To Kill a Mockingbird, p. 10).

Sometimes I feel a bit like the Radleys. In our friendly New England neighborhood, we are the peculiar ones, the family who isn’t doing fun runs and football practice and neighborhood brunches on Sundays. We are alien to our adopted hometown’s ways in our early Sunday morning departures, our participation in our ward’s (rather than the neighborhood’s) scout troop, our consistent absences at Sunday sports practices and games. We are friendly and open and participate in neighborhood gatherings as much as we can but I wonder sometimes if our peculiar ways are seen as Radley-like standoffishness.

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