Friday, October 10, 2008

Rosh HaShanah in Texas

I had all these ideas for posts and now I can't remember any of them. However, since the holidays just past, I will write about those.

For Rosh HaShanah, I was, as you know, in Texas. (Dallas, to be specific.) It was quite nice. It's the first time I've seen Jock, Sylvia and Sunflower since they moved there. Before they moved, Syl showed me all of the colors they were going to paint the rooms. She had painted everything on paper plates to use as color swatches. It was neat to see the expansion from paper plates, to full rooms. It's very colorful. I liked the color of my room the best. Okay, I guess it's really the guest room, but I will continue to think of it as my room that I let other people stay in when I'm not there. The bed in there is unbelievably comfortable. It's also really high. Luckily, there's a little ottoman I could use as a step stool. Although I brought my swimsuit, I didn't end up going into the pool, I just stuck my feet in. It was also nice.

Sunflower, of course, is much bigger. I know it's to be expected, but if Sylvia hadn't sent me pictures ahead of time, I would have been shocked nonetheless. I feel like she is twice as big. Still cute as a bug. In fact, she's still modeling. Dallas is, of course, a step down from modeling compared to New York, but you work with what you have. I think Sunflower might have remembered me. She let me pick her up right away, which she doesn't necessarily let strangers do. My favorite activity with S? Helping her drink water from a water bottle. She doesn't care if you accidentally splash water all down the front of her shirt. I suspect she actually enjoys it.

We all went to the Texas State Fair. We spent most of the time on the Midway, where there were games and ridiculously priced food items. There was an obscene amount of fried food there. Fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried Snickers, fried Sno-balls, fried PBJ&B sandwiches, et al. That's only the half of it. Of course, what I'm not used to with a baby (almost a toddler, you can tell she's about to walk, she almost has it) is that there is only so long you can be in place before she gets cranky. Nonetheless, we did manage to see Elsie the Cow and look a little bit at the fresh food in Texas (fiber and fun, all in one place!). There was a booth selling lottery tickets and I took my chances, but I lost. I've mostly stopped playing the lottery because I've lost so many times in a row, but I figured: New state, new luck. Clearly, I had forgotten that the last time I played the New York lottery, I won eight dollars. I'm rich!

It was also nice seeing Sylvia's family. I always enjoy my time with them. I suppose it's not necessary, since I'm not technically related to them, but it's definitely a bonus.

Sylvia works at one of the Reform synagogues in Dallas, so we went there for the services. Jock was in the choir. Normally I don't like choirs in services, but for some reason this didn't bother me. I think it might be due to laziness. I liked the idea that they were doing most of the praying for me. It harkens back to Temple times, when the priests did all the work and the regular shmoes just brought the sacrifices, still brought, but now in the form of High Holiday ticket. Get this, there synagogue is so well off that they don't do a High Holiday Appeal. Can you imagine? Of course, dues are really expensive, but they also have a lot of great services (no pun intended) and, as with every synagogue I've been attached to, I am sure they work with those who can't fulfill full dues. We went to the Young Adults RH Eve service. There was a reception afterwards. I thought that would feel weird, because it's a holy day, but actually, it felt totally appropriate. After all, this is a holiday. Why not be joyous together? Could there be a better time to make new friends than at the start of a new year? Plus, there was a honey fountain. You know those chocolate fountains that you can dip strawberries into that you find as some wedding receptions? This was a honey fountain you could dip apples into. Yum.

Overall, I was surprised by Dallas. I thought Texas was a desert, like Arizona. It might be because it's so hot there during the summer and a lot drier than here. (Funny story. For J&S's wedding, people came in from both the East and West coast. Everyone from the East was breathing a sigh of relief because it was so much drier while everyone from the West was commenting on how horrible the humidity was. Notice I didn't say a hilarious story.) In any event, I was wrong. Dallas reminded me a lot of Southern California, with a lot less traffic.

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