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Posts tagged ‘Wishes’

What Mess? What Noise?

 

Whatta lotta matzah!

Whatta lotta matzah!

Passover is done for another year.

I loved it. I loved having five of our children around and various guests. I loved the planning, cooking, and serving. Even the cleanup after meals didn’t faze me. I was “in the zone.” I felt connected and fulfilled. My shopping list on Google Drive made me ecstatic in the stores. I felt efficient and prepared. I loved the crumbs on the table, the potatoes, and having to reach into a different cupboard than usual for a plate. I loved the seeming mess, having things displaced, needing to walk new paths, searching for equipment. A change, a shake-up. Spring-cleaning for the mind. Last year we were slaves; this year we are free.

And oh my–the second batch of chicken soup was one of the best I’ve ever made! With matzah balls! (The first batch was great, but this second batch… ummm yummm!)

Single-Bottle Wine Caddy
Last Sunday I “turned my kitchen over,” i.e., boxed up and sequestered all of the Passover plates, cookware, and equipment so I could bring out the year-round items. I discarded unused equipment: the wine bottle caddy my husband received with a Purim package ages ago but is not useful at the Seder; his Chinese-patterned melamine plates from before we were married that we used before we bought the new purple ones; and the decorative metal and glass serving box for machine-made square matzah because we predominantly eat handmade, round matzahs. I climbed up the stepladder to the cupboard above the refrigerator–which is closed year-round–and lovingly tucked the Passover supplies to sleep for another year.

I wish there had been more noise. Crazy? I wish there had been more visitors. I wish the apartment had been full of our children and their friends laughing, playing games, and squabbling. Although we played Settlers of Catan one afternoon, people drifted away for naps instead of digging in for the noisy, competitive, seemingly endless tournaments we’d played in younger years. The friends live elsewhere and a small New York City apartment gets crowded quickly.

I have memories of family meals from my childhood. Adults babbled in important adult tones; children laughed and shrieked while spilling drinks and tracking crumbs. Blotchy with wine stains, the tablecloth reminded us of years past. There’s a photo of my sister and our cousin, both about 5 years old, pouring soda and laughing. That’s what I remember.

Don't open! חמץ (Chometz; leavened items) may be lurking there!

Don’t open! חמץ (Chometz; leavened items) may be lurking there!

That’s what I hope to recreate.

The noise, the mess, the planning, the excitement. The expectation of the Seder meal, retelling our exodus from slavery in Egypt. The drama of one whole week of the year dominating our minds so thoroughly. That is Passover of the past, present, and of the future. I hope our children will retain happy memories of this year’s holiday. Doesn’t every parent wish this to be so?

We pray: Let us all be reunited in Jerusalem as One People, celebrating the Passover together, giving thanks to the One Who freed us and continues to sustain us throughout all time.

לשנה הבאה בירשלים

Next year in Jerusalem!

A N-E-W Car!

Uhura-mobile

A new-ew-ew-ew car! (What’s an ’88 Jeep Wagoneer got to do with Star Trek?)

I’m sitting in the repair shop waiting for my car to be finished and The Price Is Right (TPIR) is on the TV. Drew Carey receives a bear hug from the petite woman who ran onto the stage. He reveals the next game and the prizes to her. The announcer’s voice rings out, “…a new-ew-ew-ew car!” and the audience cheers wildly, insanely. The contestant shimmies like jello and swoons with pleasure. “A new car” crowns the prize pyramid on TPIR. Winning the car fulfills the American Dream.

I want to go to California and be a contestant on TPIR.

I want to jump and carry on like a maniac. It wouldn’t suffice to sit in the audience; I’d have to be assured a chance in Contestant’s Row, the closest to Nirvana you can be on TPIR without actually being there.  I’d want to be in the front row wearing a t-shirt with a sappy saying like “It’s My 83rd Birthday and I’m Celebrating on TPIR,” “Waiting 40+ years to ‘Come On Down’,” or “Bid $1 More Than the Previous Contestant.” I know the shirt is the key to getting to Contestant’s Row.

My TPIR wishing features (sorry, Drew) Bob Barker (never just “Bob”) in his dark-haired years, a blast from my youth. Johnny Olson (not Rod Roddy) enthusiastically announces, “JustHavingFun, c’mon down! YOU are the next contestant on TPIR!” and I look around for JustHavingFun then give a double take when I realize he’s calling me! Jumping up from my seat at the back of the studio and climbing over four people, I stumble into the aisle.  I run to the stage and the camera hungrily emphasizes my massive bosom’s vertical motion and my monumental tummy’s sideways lurching. The shirt must have worked.

In Contestant’s Row I’m smokin’ hot! Jumping up and down, I guess the actual retail price on the price of the range, lower than everyone else’s bids. They all bid over the actual price! Ding ding ding ding! I get a cash bonus, too! Now I’m ready for the Big Time! I sprint up to the stage… next to Bob Barker!!! He greets me and I stutter my two-second intro: “I’m a writer slash environmental scientist from Pittsburgh trapped in NYC. I also like doodling, burping (thanks Soda Stream!), and detangling my hair.” “OK,” Bob will say, looking at me with his trademark interested look, “let’s play TPIR.” I grin and do the happy dance.

Toasters, cat treats, trips to Cancun, Dior sunglasses, smoker grills, and motorbikes–I know all the prices. I’m in the groove! I could really clean up. I hope for the ‘Clock Game’ (Higher! Lower!) because I don’t like games that rely on chance (except Plinko–everyone loves Plinko). I’m ready to putt in the ‘Hole in One’ game. I can select the wrong number in ‘Squeeze Play.’ I’m ready. Wonder what game it will be….

I get ‘Any Number’ with the car, a microwave, or the darned piggy bank. Of course I win the car.  I go on to the Big Wheel, win that, and then to the Showcase, winning both Showcases. Another car, a catamaran, and a trip to Belgium.  Easy peasy. Bob looks at my shirt. It says, “I came to TPIR and won two cars, a boat and a trip to Netherlands.” Close enough. Bob Barker hugs me and says, “Remember to have your pets spayed or neutered.” He could say whatever he wants at this point. I’ve won enough to boost the economy of a small country and life is g-o-o-d. Or at least, life is consumer g-o-o-d-s.

But who needs California and TPIR?

I could get that new-ew-ew car… for $1.29 at Target. A very special customized vehicle, with girl power by Lt. Uhura. That way I’ll be prepared if there’s a planetary disaster in the Sigma Quadrant.

 

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