We have just come down from the spiritual "up" of the holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates, in addition to the offering of the first fruits (originally it was also an agricultural holiday) to the Holy Temple, the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. That is definitely a spiritual high, if there ever was one. This is the culmination of the Jewish peoples' exodus from slavery in Egypt, a physical-freeing, building up over a period of seven weeks during which time we count the Omer (a measure of barley which in ancient times was brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) to the spiritual-freeing of the Jewish people becoming G-d's chosen nation and receiving our "blueprint for life," the Holy Torah.
This year was just a little different, because I was sick during the holiday and we had no guests--nada--none, for the first time in a long time (we've always had, at least, guests for one of the four meals during the 2-day chag). I was approaching non-functionality from last Shabbat--yes, even on Sunday which was Mother's Day; I faked it at the Deli restaurant, sitting with a big box of tissues by my side--all the way through to Shavuot. Guess who did the cooking? Right. My D.H. all by his lonesome made eggplant parmigiana, a delicious milchig (dairy) cheese kugel, and for the second day, salmon filets and cheese blintzes (the latter not from scratch. There's a limit...). Here are samples. Our eggplant actually looked like the photo below, the top one. There is still enough left over so that we are having a milchig Friday night Shabbat seudah, and fleishigs for lunch tomorrow.
The food was delicious. But there was a big gaping hole in our observance and celebration: none of our kids were here, and none of our grandkids were, either. Today, early in the morning before Shabbat came in for him, we Skyped with our son in Israel and saw his new baby boy, Eliezer--who seemed to have grown enormously in a month and a half. He's a beauty,( ptu, ptu, ptu!) looks like his mother! Our son agreed (they had talked about it just a couple of days earlier, and came to the same conclusion). And then he had to sign off, immediately--Shabbat and candle lighting were imminent. And they were gone.
And that was that. Back to our quiet existence, in our empty townhome with just the two of us in it. Although I love Colorado so much, the need for family is pulling me away. It is just a matter of finding the right place within our budget. Am I ready to downsize? We've already done so, from our house here which we sold in 2003. A little more, maybe. But I'm not emotionally ready for a 2-bedroom apartment. Nor any apartment, for that matter. I really like having a town home, multistory, which is attached on either side to other town homes but has the feel of a single-family home. We are looking...
If we could only find something like what we are renting now, and we are considering buying--which in the long run makes more sense than throwing one's money down the drain without building any equity--near family, ideally walking-distance--we would do it in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, my D.H. indulges in his hobby (cooking), and I indulge in mine (blogging). His, I fear, is more creative. Oh well. Shabbat shalom.