Friday, October 28, 2011

Walmart and Growing Grass

I'm sitting here at my computer, fingers poised and ready. Time for a new blog. Uh, time for a new blog. I'm wracking my brain for that first sentence. Should I talk about a new way to fix oatmeal? Maybe a life changing quote I found on facebook? I know - I'll talk about my darling children. Oh, wait, that's right, I't have five absolutely darling little kids living at home doing absolutely darling things. Yeah, I know I could go on and on about the Grands. They are darling and cute...
  So here's the dilemma. Nuthin's happened to warrant that prize winning blog. My cat hasn't done anything cute for days. And hairballs in hubby's shoes wouldn't be cute anyway.
 The High Holy days are over, and even though the sukkah is still up, we don't eat in it anymore. The weather is steady and pleasant - no major storms to report, or floods to clean up. Could this be the calm before the storm?? Nah.
So here's my story and I'm stickin' to it. 
I got up this morning, ate breakfast - a scrambled egg with mushrooms, brushed my teeth and fixed my hair. Then I went to Walmart.
I did dress up mind you. No jammy pants or short shorts for me. Ooooo, now that's a scary thought...
Our Walmart is probably tame compared to some, but if you eat at the Subway that's tucked inside near the front door, you can have lunch or dinner and a show. Not a bad deal.
 Anyway, I came home, and will soon prepare Shabbat dinner - stuffed bell peppers and cottage cheese. Oh wait... a hummingbird just drank from the feeder...
Grass GrowingSo in honor of my life at the moment, grab that someone special, and those lawn chairs. Find a comfy place in the grass - and watch it grow.
And stay tuned. Who knows what may happen next.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yom Kippur

I've dipped my apples in honey for a sweet new year. Then I threw bread into the river to cast off all that nasty accumulated sin. Now tonight, another leg of the journey - the Kol Nidre service. All Vows. This time we stand, beat our chest and renounce all - and I mean all the vows one could ever think of.
Here's a text of the prayer. As you can see nothing is left to the imagination.
It looks long and tedious and for most people over the top. It's easy to smugly sniff, " I haven't committed THAT sin and never would. And granted that's probably true. And it's also easy to say, " and besides, Yeshua(Jesus) already forgave me and I can come to Him any time I want. And that's true too. But sometimes it takes a little prompt to fire up the remembrance. Sometimes we do things that we justify as "their fault" or "it was really nothing at all".
I suppose the whole process could be viewed as a spiritual Mayo Clinic. That complete physical that we all dread. The one where they leave no place untouched and sometimes it's quite uncomfortable, what with the poking and prodding. And we dread when we hear that phrase, "how long have you had this?" Especially when we didn't know we had "this" in the first place.
Or, "oh that...I just thought it was a...(list of nonthreatening excuses).
There's something quite impowering and freeing when we all stand together beating our chest about the same thing. Very private in a public sort of way. Here we are confessing some pretty ugly stuff and right next to you, Mr or Miss perfect is doing the same thing. Lets face it, we're all a pretty guilty bunch and we need to stand in our communities and agree that we all need help. We all need forgiveness. All of us. Together. It's when we try to do it alone that we get in trouble.
And so tonight I'll stand with my community, unified. Tomorrow I'll fast with my community - stomachs growling - together.
More about that feeling of forgiveness and cleansing and a full stomach in a few days.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shoes and Socks

Today is a turning point. I've retired my sandals for the year. It's time for shoes and socks ~ and long sleeve tops, and soups. I will use my oven too.
I always look forward to that turning point in the year. The sky is gray and there's a cool breeze wafting in through my dining room window. I'm not ready to close it quite yet. I will when the rain comes ~ but not until then.

I search for the colors of fall. Today as I drove down a street in our neighborhood I found them. There's a row of trees that show off sooner than the rest. They make me smile and I do a little happy dance right there in the driver side of my car.
So tonight we'll celebrate with a big bowl of beef bone broth, potatoes and carrots, fresh warm french bread and a large glass of fresh spiced apple cider. And for desert ~ pumpkin pudding.
Can a warm slice of apple pie be far behind?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


With a pocket full of bread, I make my way to the river. It is slow going as I pick my way among the river rocks and shells. Although its only 1pm, the sun is already demanding and its uncomfortable.
Tashlich - to cast off. The first day of Rosh Hashana is set aside to rid oneself of sin. Its the beginning of the High Holy days. Each year we're challenged to examine - take inventory. Time to search for those buried sins, right the wrongs, repair the breeches, restore what's been damaged. Time for appologies, forgiveness, restitution. Uncomfortable stuff. But necessary as we head into a new year - free and clear. And so we find bodies of water to cast stones or bread into. We act out a spiritual principle in a physical way. An object lession.
I listen to the words of Yeshua's close friend John as he reminds me -  If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.(1John 1:8-9)
I have a promise I can take with me. And then the call from the shofar blast. Time to take action.

At the river's edge I watch the sparkling water. It becons me to reach into my pocket. The first piece of bread - into the water. It floats away from me. Confessing and releasing and cleansing. One by one - piece by piece. And then one last scoop for those crumbs. Little irritations, hurtful words, unnecessary thoughts - a final soul cleaning.
With a fresh and grateful heart I make my way back to others who have lightened their own souls. One last community prayer. The laughter of little ones as they splash in the refreshing water. One more rock to skip. Back to the routine of the day.