Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Weird End to October

If you are reading this on Facebook, slideshows and videos are often attached. Click on this live link to my blog: http://www.marilyfe.blogspot.com/ if you would like to get the full experience. 

The very weird end to October this year was a freak snowstorm that dumped inches of heavy wet snow onto trees that were just reaching the peak of their fall color and still loaded with leaves. The result was multiple deaths from fallen trees and power lines, a myriad of car accidents, and many days without power for tens of thousands of people. I fear I lost a number of plants and trees to the frost that I would soon have sheltered in my garage.

The last two weeks have been loaded with activity. We had Yona by herself for a delightful weekend, while the others attended a bar mitzvah in Baltimore. I took out my button box and Yona was quick  to learn how to string them and made herself a necklace. She enjoyed being an only child much more than we thought she would. Saul’s colonoscopy went well and he only had one small polyp that was removed without incident. We attended services at MBI-EE on Sukkot. We spent a day shopping for a dinner for 50 people at the synagogue. Then we spent a day preparing the dinner with our friends, Jerry and Betty, and Natalie. We were so efficient that we finished all our prep and had a day off before it was time to actually serve the dinner. The evening of the dinner, we found ourselves with many adept volunteers and were ready to go an hour ahead of schedule, which gave us all a chance to rest and schmooze a bit before dinner. Beth came early after work and helped with the preparations, also.

Our three granddaughters were here for a weekend while Jess and Alex had a chance to attend a special birthday dinner for a friend at a restaurant in downtown Philadelphia, a rare occasion when they got to interact with all adults rather than the family activities that they have been attending for the last eight years. The girls helped us make dozens of pumpkin-face cookies in preparation for Halloween. We watched movies together. We worked on the dollhouse. We celebrated Larry’s birthday with a Shabbat dinner that included many of his favorite dishes. The girls helped decorate his birthday cake. I had to prepare his dinner a day early as Simchat Torah fell on a Friday this year. On Simchat Torah, we attended services at TBS with the kids, and Saul was given so many honors, aliyot, hakafot, closing the ark doors, etc. that he was embarrassed and refused the last one offered, which was to lead the kiddush prayer. After a luncheon there with the congregation, we headed home with the girls to finish the prep for Larry’s birthday Shabbat dinner. Beth and Faith joined us and Larry was very pleased with the dinner, although he has been fighting some sort of bug for a few weeks and hasn’t had much appetite. We had homemade challah, strawberry soup and black bean soup; iceberg lettuce wedge salad with homemade Russian dressing; seared sesame-encrusted fresh tuna steaks; kasha and bow ties; fresh glazed Brussels sprouts; and a decorated Texas Sheet Cake with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream and Ben and Jerry’s Clusterfluff ice cream for dessert.

During the strange blizzard we had this weekend, we lost power for about four hours in the afternoon. Saul spent the time napping, while I polished off a NY Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle—a rare and lazy day spent in occasional wonderment gazing out the window at the huge snowflakes falling onto colorful leaves. On Sunday, Saul and I made several more dozen pumpkin cookies, some of which he delivered to a few of our neighbors. We shopped at Produce Junction to pick up lemons and other veggies and fruits, had a leisurely late lunch, and came home to prepare Etrog-Honey Jelly from the etrogim left over after Sukkot. We really enjoyed cooking together.

On Monday, Halloween, I met Saul when he finished classes, and together we continued to Cherry Hill in one car. We stopped on the way to drop off pumpkin cookies to our friend, Laura, and jars of jelly to the synagogue for Rabbi, Cantor, David and Warren. When we arrived in Cherry Hill, the girls were already in costume and hot and delicious veggie pizzas had just been delivered. Sami was a gypsy, Izzy, the goddess Athena, and Yona a princess. They were flushed with excitement over the wonderful day they had experienced at their public schools in Cherry Hill. Evidently, Halloween is a big thing in Cherry Hill. Although it was still light outside, they had already been visited by many trick-or-treaters. After dinner, Jess, Saul and I set out with the girls as the sun was setting to make the rounds of their neighborhood. Alex stayed home to hand out candy. From the warm welcome parties that had been held for them when they moved in, Jess and the girls already knew a large number of their neighbors and their children. Yona was babbling and squealing with excitement everywhere we went. The girls brought in a huge cache of candy after just over an hour. Exhausted, but happy, we made the hour-long trip home, stopping to drop off jelly to our friend, Faith. Saul and I were both asleep by 10 p.m.

No comments: