One  reason my mother married my dad. He was hot, but never on a Sunday!

Sindach Hoole*

Most families I knew in southern Manitoba growing up knew Sunday was a day of rest, for prayer & church, or a day to play. He was a strong believer in Sindach Hoole, despite beginning with Sin it actually means *”holding Sunday,” which was the same as keeping the Sabbath.

My father must have felt the irony  asking everyone to rest on the Sabbath, while he went to work. When we were kids there was very little money in the ministry, if any at all.  My father was a “Liebesprediger” which had several meanings depending  on who you talked to. 

One was that ministers preached for the love of the Lord, or the love of the job, but to preachers’ kids from last century it was because they were called by the Lord, or conned by the community to do it for free. To kids it usually meant less time with our fathers (That’s how it was, not how it should of been), and more work at home for the mothers, or if they wanted to do good volunteer for the church in several different ways to improve their husband’s chances for promotion.

My mother stood her ground and my father accepted a compromise which was to be a “Reiseprediger,” travelling minister, which meant travelling to every church in your district and occasionally others, because of their extra education,  ability with homilies, or a willingness to consider the Lord’s work more important than spending time with your family. Let’s not start with degrees of suffering from 1 to ten, Missionary kids had it way worse a 10, for many.

W-A-Y worse with parents putting their children in harms way to do the work of their Lord. I have no Lord, but I took all my kids to Sunday school for the basic stories and and yes, values or prejudices of other kids like them. One of my sons played in the worship band. I will spare you the story of “Mental Health Sunday,” and my only appearance in a really prominent Winnipeg church pulpit putting an end to it. 

Back to my mother. She was excommunicated from her Summerfelder church for marrying my father in the first place. She had acquiesced to farm with my father, which resulted, as as he expected,  in pain, having two children, and hardship, no earnings. They left farming my father always said because he wasn’t smart enough to be a farmer so he became a teacher instead.

My sibs who are 8 and ten years older than me had it the worst as our parents  returned to teaching, which was incredibly poorly paid. I came out of the chute in 1955 and my mother was asked to return to teaching in 1958 as the boomer kids began to need more teachers. Salaries went up, but not all that quickly. My father was worried the community would think he couldn’t support his wife. My mother told him they could fuck right off with a carefully folded snot rag. 

Two salaries still weren’t enough and in Gretna we had cows, chickens always a horse for us boys to learn responsibility;  dad loved to ride when he could cram a ride in-between preparing  a sermon, teaching, and raising food for us all. There was enough extra eggs and milk to earn another $2,000 or a bit more, pretty close to schoolteachers’ salaries. Sunday’s were hard for Dad because he had to prepare for school, and for preaching on Sunday sometimes hours away.

What my mother liked about this “Reiseprediger”  arrangement especially when we moved to Winnipeg in  1968-69, was having Sunday mornings, and sometime all day to herself.  This was when she read Margaret Laurence novels and wrote handwritten letters. She made this time for herself by cleaning the house from top to bottom, on Saturday,  conscripting whichever kid might not be teaching or taking piano lessons to help, baking bread, especially her “butter horn rolls” now known as crescent rolls, Platz, Plautie Pie before her weekly appointment held for her in a neighbouring suburb’s beauty salon to have her hair done. 

I have no hair or God that needs tending to. My father had both. You should read my story about his hair somewhere else in these pages. Sunday morning is nearly over. Here’s a poem about my father on his way home from serving the Lord in southwestern Manitoba. I’ll put it up front in another post.


Thanks to Ralph Friesen for the correct spelling. 








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