ON THE BACK BURNER

Sept. 27

I have been reviewing my years attending Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, starting with my teen years growing up in New Orleans. Being Orthodox, the women sat up a flight of steep stairs, or you could use the fire escape, and my Daddy sat downstairs. Same row, same seat, every holiday. I was young enough to travel between my parents and Grandma. Until it was time for all of the teeny girls to travel in a pack to visit two other shulls ,to see what boys were there. We walked between the three approved shulls. One  Conservative , two Orthodox. We'd be back at home shull in time  to meet the family at the end of services. Fast forward to Bob's discharge from the service and us with a 6 month old baby. New to Chicago and out of our comfort zone, we attended services in a converted Chicago bungalow . Mostly old men. Then we moved to Park Forest, a brand new commuter community. We had a 1 year lease. I hated it and we could break our lease after 11 months. Not soon enough for me. We attended services ,but I block that part of my life out. I do remember my mother visiting and when we went to services,now at a Reform Synagogue, she commented on how having music in a service was unreligious. Move on to Chicago and now members of a huge Conservative Synagogue. So large that the High Holidays are celebrated ,by ticket only, in a reserved seat movie theatre. Your seat depended on how much you paid for them. That didn't sit well with me, so the next year, we didn't go to services at all. I hated that and still remember how I felt about not going to some service. Forward again and we finally found our religious home , in Evanston, where we raised our family. First, we met in a converted home, waiting for demolition. Then , while the synagogue was being built, the Methodist Church. ( No comment from my mother). Still under construction, the following year , we met at the Unitarian Church. Years later, like 35, we sold our house to the Unitarian Church for their new Minister and his mother. Next move , to Venice, where our synagogue made us a new family of choice.  And now there is today. Services with the very few Jews of PT, held in a magnificent vineyard , with mountains as a back drop, on the most perfect day. Led by a lay leader,with me being asked to have a honor that I shared with my Grandson, and surrounded by another Grandson and his partner,we sat under a beamed ceiling shelter ,with no walls, with that mountain view and fields all around us. This had to be the essence of what the holidays mean. Contemplating ,surrounded by nature,your mind floating back into the formal service and then out again as you remember your past year and commit yourself to making this coming year, one of expressing your feelings more,giving more of yourself ,trying your best to do no harm to yourself, your family, your friends or the environment. There is a time and place for everything and this setting, in a vineyard , is the place to start this new year of 5782 .Love is all around me. And I feel it.

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01.12 | 09:15

Safe travels. See you soon. sally

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04.07 | 08:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

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22.05 | 08:38

so glad youre here mom!

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29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

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