I’ve never been one for resolutions, mostly because I’ve never been one to keep them. But for 2016, having missed the boat for the start of 5776, I decided to give the resolution thing another try. (Read More)
On a recent Thursday, Kveller kindly published my blog post about how we are a changed household since I began setting the Shabbos table on Thursday night, rather than leaving the task to the last moment on Friday. It was my husband’s idea, inspired by Rabbi Paysach Krohn, and it’s true that his suggestion that “we” take it on really meant I’d be the one doing it. (Read More)
My grandparents’ apartment had a maximalist décor, which is a fancy way of saying they had plenty of stuff, all of it neatly displayed. Though the quantity of those belongings outsized their book value, together they possessed a priceless beauty I’ll never forget. Most importantly, the tchotchkes were both an extension of who they were and solid evidence that they’d lived their lives as fully as their circumstances permitted. (Read More)
When I can’t clear my head or something heavy weighs on my heart, I try to go out for a walk around town. I steadily pick up the pace while singing to an upbeat 80s soundtrack, and find it helps to flush out what’s clogging my mental and spiritual pipes. I return home a calmer, more peaceful person for the exercise. (Read More)
On the eve of Shemini Atzeret, I surveyed the disarray in our kitchen and panicked as the clock raced towards candle lighting. Chicken soup sputtered on the stovetop. Challah dough rose on the counter. It looked like yom tov and it smelled like yom tov, but I’d been shaken to distraction by the terrible news out of Israel and had only just begun to prepare. (Read More)
Soon after my husband and son #2 spent the day putting up our sukkah, I turned to my youngest and asked for his help with the decorating. His reply was one of the craziest excuses I’ve ever heard, and that’s saying a lot. The boy has cooked up a few doozies in his day. (Read More)
It’s funny what makes me cry. This week’s trigger was a stack of neatly folded polo shirts. And a travel iron. The travel iron really did me in.
My son kept looking up from the clothing labels with his name on them, offering me his warm, quirky smile before telling me to stop being weird. That no other mothers get like this, that none of them cries when their children leave for a year in Israel. (Read More)
The brick-faced library of my childhood takes up a lot of room in my memory.
It’s mostly because of the books, but it isn’t only because of the books. As a girl, I was always on the lookout for the solace of hiding places and found it nestled among the titles on the library shelves. More than once, the library saved me from sinking into self-pity, the enormous blue globe in its lobby spinning with the possibility of better things to come. (Read More)
I never expected that our front door would ever matter much to our boys.
Until recently, they ignored it entirely. Even several years ago, when we gave it sudden flair by dressing it in a lovely red called “Claret” and adding bling with a doorknocker I’d picked up on a trip to Budapest, they hardly noticed. (Read More)
Each June, the same sweet scene plays out in nursery schools across the country.
To the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” or something more festive, little girls and boys find their spots in dollhouse chairs at the front of their classroom. The audience beams as the children perform a repertoire of songs from the school year and the teacher speaks about the class’ mastery of shapes and scissor skills. The program concludes with the awarding of diplomas, after which the children smile for pictures and doff their mortarboards, a move they’ve rehearsed for weeks. (Read More)
Somewhere along the way, we became bird people.
We don’t have chicken coops in the yard, though that’s something I think about often, maybe for when we’re empty nesters. What we do have is multiple bird feeders outside the kitchen window, enabling us to watch the avian comings and goings the way we once viewed television. (Read More)
A friend lost her father a few months ago. She and I met through our sons, who have been friends for years, and became better acquainted while logging hours in the Little League bleachers. Our lives intersect, but when she suffered that loss, I realized I didn’t know her that well. We’d never had a heart to heart, spent much time together socially, or discussed our families, so I did not know what to expect when I went to pay a shiva call. (Read More)
It’s not a very popular thing to say, and some might argue that it calls into question my grip on sanity. Yet here I go anyway: I love preparing for Pesach.
Now hear me out. Like everyone I know who is Jewish and Pesach-observant, does not go away to family or a fancy hotel for the holiday, and does not have a full-time housekeeper, I find the prep enormously taxing. The shopping is just more of the same. (Read More)
One of the things I miss most about being a little girl is scampering around on the playground. I soared down that slide like nobody’s business and more than once – 3 times to be exact – fell off the monkey bars, tearing open my chin. I even have the scars from the stitches to prove it. But the freedom I felt there was unparalleled and, as I recall, well worth the wounds, though my mother might not agree. (Read More)
I’ve been busy making the bar mitzvah that came and went last Shabbos. The preceding weeks were a maelstrom of preparation and I was nervous I wouldn’t get to everything in time. But of course, it all came together at the last moment, and the simcha raced towards its finish line in what felt like a matter of seconds before disappearing into the vapor of happy memory. (Read More)
For many years, our yard has served as a rest area for a family of deer. Every morning they dine here on the grass and leaves, do their business, and nap before moving along to a different spot in the neighborhood. They gaze at me quizzically when I try to scare them off. I swear, they think their names are on the deed to the property. (Read More)