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For The First Time, Again: A Group of Friends Resumes A Sunday Tradition


It wasn't just the big milestones – weddings, birthdays, graduations - that the pandemic put on hold. It was also the smaller rituals: Katie Paine, of Durham, told us what it was like to resume a nearly 20 year tradition of gathering for Sunday breakfast and conversations with friends this weekend for the first time, again.

We want to hear from you: What are you excited to do for the first time, again? Let us know at voices@nhpr.org.

Katie Paine on how the Sunday breakfast tradition started: Around 2005, an eclectic group of  women began to gather at a coffee shop in Durham on Sunday mornings. Some of us would extend our walks, others would just come for coffee and to chat. But for an hour or so, this multi-generational, multi-faceted group of women would catch up, talk politics, share gossip and enjoy each other’s company. No matter the weather, this was our version of “church” - and we were pretty religious about getting there every Sunday, no matter what.

In 2013, our meetings turned into “walkies in the garden,” which meant sitting in my vegetable garden sipping tea and coffee, and eating fabulous home-made scones among the delphiniums. The exercise segment of our Sunday mornings came to an abrupt end. Since then we have met here on the farm every Sunday morning to eat fresh eggs, baking confections and various other delights, and to share our thoughts on politics, the world, our lives and our loves.

The tradition continued until last March, when the world came crashing down.

This Sunday, for the first time, we are all gathering once again in person, complete with home grown eggs, scones and locally raised sausage – and most of all, HUGS all around. 

If you’re planning to do something for the first time again, too, we’d love to help you share that story. Let us know what you’re doing at voices@nhpr.org, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate

Casey McDermott is a senior news editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Throughout her time as an NHPR reporter and editor, she has worked with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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