Saturday, March 30, 2013
Passover - NOW AND THEN
Last Friday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and for the past eight days the Jewish people observed Passover.
These Spring-time holidays got me thinking about all the different ways, and different people I have shared Passover with over the years.
Photo by Howard Walfish CC BY-NC-SA
When I was a child, Passover was celebrated at home with my mother, father and a few close family members.
The highlight of Passover is the observance of the Sedar which is held on the first and second nights.
During the service there is a point where we welcome Elijah to drink the wine that has been poured for him.
Every Passover, that I remember as a child, this took place.
I was a trusting child but I had my doubts about there really being an Elijah.
One Passover I had just "had it."
How could this happen? Who was this strange person, and how did he know to show up every year?
I JUST DIDN'T BELIEVE IT, so I decided to take a small piece of matzo and stick it on to Elijah's glass and see if he really did show up and take a drink!
No, he did not drink any of the wine!
Imagine what would have happened to him if he did partake in every Jewish home!
Many of those years were shared with my family and my husband's family. Most years were at their homes and in later years when the families grew we would celebrate the holiday at a temple or a function hall.
As time went by changes happened - close family members were no longer with us. When the family got smaller it was back to observing Passover at home.
Being in Florida during Passover was a totally different experience! One year Aaron and I held the Seder at our Condo. There were a handful of cousins living in Florida at the time so we shared the holiday with them. One year we invited new and old friends for the evening.
One year we joined an organization which was holding a Seder at a fine country club. There was a Rabbi there to take us though the seder, there was a fine kosher meal with all the trimmings AND there was a band to dance to!
What a way to celebrate Passover! ONLY IN FLORIDA!
There were years that we went to restaurants that had a token service, not much of a seder but plenty of good food!
In my last few years in Florida my dear cousins invited me to share the holiday at their home with family and friends. Those get togethers were very special to me, every Seder had something special about it, the food was always great but the most memorable thing about it all was sharing the holiday with them.
Never did I imagine that I would be sharing a Seder with Steve and Carol at Brooksby Village.
There is a Jewish Council here that offers Friday night services, Jewish Films, a Yiddish Class and much more.
We joined a group of about one hundred people for a service and dinner right here on the premises.
A good time was had by all, the guests participated in the service, the gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzo balls and the brisket were all delicious - and I didn't have to cook one bit!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
IF YOU DON'T GO OUT, NOTHING HAPPENS
How many times have you decided that you would rather stay home and watch TV rather than make the effort to get dressed, put on your makeup or if you are a guy, take a shave and get out of those comfortable jean, just to maybe have a fun or interesting experience.
I've heard all kinds of stories about people who have said to themselves, "maybe I'll just stay home, why make the effort, last time I went to that meeting it was dull, no one of interest was there, it's cold out, it's hot out."
They think negatively, so nothing happens.
When I was growing up I learned many things from my parents. Some things I learned by observing, some things I learned by listening, and some by what my mother told me.
One of the best things she ever told me was - "IF YOU DON'T GO OUT, NOTHING HAPPENS."
There are times when I choose to stay home. I'm tired, I don't feel well, there is a TV show I want to watch, or there's a book I want to read.
That's ok, but really nothing much happens.
And then there are times that I join some friends for dinner, for a a movie, or go to a meeting.
That's a good thing.
Sometimes there is an event that I want to go to, but no one I know is available or interested.
I go myself, and what do you know, I have a great time.
I recently went(myself) to a musical event that featured music of the 50's.
I enjoyed it immensely.
Seated next to me was a woman who had also gone to the event by herself.
We got to talking and she told me about a book club in the area that she attends and told me where and when this group meets.
I marked my calendar!
There have been other occasions when I got to talk to people, learned about them, and what they enjoy doing.
Sometimes it's something I'd like to do too.
I'm not a gambler, but sometimes it's good to take a chance and try something new.
Now that I've told you about my mother's most impressive saying, I want to tell you what my favorite saying is to myself at this time in my life.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE LITTLE!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
KINGS POINT DOCUMENTARY TELLS THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT AGING
First off I want to thank Ronni Bennett from Times Goes By for her Saturday "Interesting Stuff post" about the "Kings Point Documentary" which was shown on HBO Sunday night. My husband and I spent many wonderful winters there and if I had missed seeing this documentary I would have missed something that was very special to me.
From the very moment the film started I was captivated by how "they explained" what was going on in New York in 1972, there were population changes, thefts and serious crimes that were affecting the daily lives of the residents.
At that time a Senior Retirement community in Florida started offering condominiums at a very reasonable price. When the New Yorkers learned about Kings Point they stood in line to buy a little bit of heaven. They packed up, left friends and family and started a new life.
This film was ten years in the making and follows the lives of six people who express their thoughts about their life experiences.
So much of what they had to say are things that I have felt, thought and discussed with my friends as time goes by.
For example: One gentleman explains to a lady friend - he loves her, enjoys the companionship but
he doesn't want anymore than that because he says, "he buried one wife and that's enough for him."
A woman says, "my children want me back up North." "My daughter has her life - my grandchildren have their lives." "I'm staying here."
Another woman said, "A man would like me to take care of him, I just have to take care of myself. (that reminds me of a saying I heard in Florida -" the man wants a nurse with a purse.")"
I found most of the documentary sad because it was mostly about what has happened to the residents in recent years. For example: One scene takes place in the ballroom on New Years eve, the place is jumping, as only seniors can jump, not much.
The next scene shows the same couple dancing years latter. There are just a few people present and the lady says to her gentleman friend, years ago you had to stand in line to make sure you got a ticket for the NewYears Eve dance. "Sad."
What I did enjoy about this film was when they had shots of "my familiar hangouts like the Burgundy Pool, the Flanders Clubhouse, Monaco clubhouse and even where we dumped the trash!
I was always a snowbird, only there for the winter and did not own a condo so when it came time to stay up north, I just walked away. Seeing this film got me thinking about how lucky I was to be at Kings Point in its hey day and able to share good times with family and friends.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
MORE SNOW ON THE WAY
When I was a kid one of my favorite sayings was, "Snow snow, go away, come again another day."
Today as an adult I don't like that saying at all. I want that snow to STOP coming and not come back for a very long time.
The weather man says that white stuff is going to start again tonight and continue through the day tomorrow.
I don't have to go out in the snow, rain or wind,. Whatever I have to do, it can wait for a nice sunny day whenever that will happen!!! At this point in time I want to put away the heavy coat, wool sweaters, gloves and hats. Oh, to go out in a short sleeve top and shorts!!!
What to do to bring the sunshine in, or at least pretend that it is here?
I needed ideas and what do you know I got them from Beverly Beckham who writes for the Boston Globe. Her articles appear in the North section of the Sunday newspaper.
Well this past Sunday Beverly had a column entitled "Think spring...spring...spring." Her approach was so different from the way I had written about "snow' in a recent post. I enjoyed her positive approach dealing with winter!
She wrote about some tried and true tricks that could ward off those winter blues.
Here are a few of my favorites that I'd like to share with anyone who can't wait for spring to arrive.
1. Listen to summer songs. "Summertime," "Those Lazy HazyDays of Summer," "Old Cape Cod."
2. Buy tulips and set them in a clear glass vase on the kitchen table.
3. Get a pedicure. Sit back, relax, put your feet in the water and think summer!
4. Wear something colorful like yellow or pink.
5. Look at photos of summers past and smile.
Beverly, I'm going to keep your "Think spring" until the real thing comes along.
Every time I read it, it does make me feel better. Thanks. ;-)