Post Bar Mitzvah Quiet

Whew after all the planning and all the preparation the year has sped by and we are reliving the wonderful day in our rear view mirror – well not quite, we haven’t left yet, nor do we plan to for another week. Carol covered the “day” in her recent blog at Eyeshine.

Once again the tent was set up in the orchard, this time with walls and heaters. The family gathered Friday night at the house and the celebration began with Sabbath rituals and plenty of good food.

By 10 in the morning the tent was filling, the parkers were about done, and the service got off, just a bit late. I will admit that I had tears in my eyes for most of the service. After we finished the Torah service and Josh had lifted the Torah and we had put it away, Dan grabbed Corey and started to dance, before you could say,”this isn’t on the schedule” I was up to join them and then all my boys were circling with Corey. Then the Queen of the family, Carol, joined in and we concluded with Corey in the middle being squashed by all. Oh, was I in tears then!

After Kiddush (lunch) under the tent, the crowd began to thin. Eventually leaving just the family to reassemble for a cook out in the early evening. One tradition that has continued through all kinds of family events was that whatever Scotch Whiskey I had brought was consumed, thank you Joel for the anCnoc, it went down very well when the Lagavulin was gone 🙂 Everyone reappeared for Sunday Morning Brunch at Brookville Restaurant and then the exodus began. The last family, other than Carol and I, were gone by Tuesday morning. We are sticking around at least through Carol’s birthday.

Once again I was delighted not to be the senior family member as Uncle Josh, my dad’s brother, and Aunt Gloria attended and participated in handing down the Torah and later helping us dispatch the Scotch. It is so special to have four generations present at a celebration such as this.

Double Birthday Blog

My grandson Corey and I have birthdays one day apart. His is on the 16th and mine is the 17th of October. The family joke is that I told Malena to hold up on his birth for a day. You can imagine her answer, actually if you don’t know her maybe you can’t 🙂

This year we were together for birthday for the first time in a long time. Corey really, really wanted to go to Busch Gardens because, in keeping with the Halloween season, they have terror night each weekend night through October. So Friday the 16th, bright and early – 7:30 AM – Corey, Dan, Alex and I were in the car headed for Busch Gardens. about 2 and a half hours from the house. During the day we rode all six roller coasters, a couple more than once. I figure we stood in lines for 4 or 5 hours for a grand total of maybe 15 minutes of time on the rides. Three times they stopped the coasters while we were in line for “maintenance.” The first time we walked away and got in another line. The next two times we just stayed in place and watched the line in front of us melt away. One of Corey’s friends was expected to be in Busch Gardens as well and we managed to connect and Jessa stayed with us for a while. By about 7:30 we agreed we had had enough, even the boys didn’t complain about leaving even though the festivities were in high gear and spooks and goblins and nasty men with chain saws were patrolling the darkened grounds looking to scare us.

There are no pictures because I kept forgetting to get the camera out.

When we arrived back in Hungrytown Hollow the chickens were roosting in an apple tree rather than in there coop. I pulled the car to light the area so Dan and Alex could get them out of the tree. Dan vanished up into the tree and the next thing I knew it was raining chickens. He scared and shook them out of the tree and Alex ran around on the ground and picked them up and tossed them in the coop.

The next day was my turn and after a relaxing day we all went to dinner at Tavola where we had a pleasant wait in the lounge until our table cleared. I will admit to enjoying a very well made Martini which resulted in me being very relaxed for the meal and wine which was a very nice Chianti.

Birthday time is almost past. Carol’s is just two weeks off. First we need to reach a new high with Corey’s Bar Mitzvah which I have been counting down here and in other posts. 5 days to go and the first arrival will be Josh late tomorrow.

Just a shot of Tito’s Vodka

Well we are about 4 hours south of Rochester in Milton PA. We made it out of town within 30 minutes of the time I declared as my preferred departure time. Everything was nominal once I corrected my first (and I hope last) basic error of this journey. As we set up in the storage yard I very carefully went through the procedure to tow Ruby. Eventually I got in the drivers seat of the coach and engaged drive and released the brake to find no motion at all! Now what? The only thing I could think of was somehow I had not gotten the Jeep set up correctly. I grabbed the key, leaving Carol in the coach and ran back to the car. Sure enough I had put the transfer case in 4 wheel drive and the transmission in park. It wasn’t going anyplace. I pulled the transfer shifter one more notch into neutral and we began to move! NOT GOOD. I had left the coach in drive with the brake off. Fortunately Carol, in the nav seat realized this was not a good thing and she set the brake and put the coach in neutral preventing who knows what kind of disaster. Lesson for those spouses who don’t regularly drive the coach. Carol didn’t have to think how to stop it. She does half the driving so she is as familiar with the controls as I am.

The rest of the drive was without incident. The leaves along I390 in NY and I 99/US 15 in PA were mostly at or near peak color and the sun was a golden glow lighting everything beautifully. We got to Yogi at Shangri La on the Creek by 3 and had time to finish setting things up and for me to wash the bugs off the nose and windshield. Darn, there have been multiple sink bug sightings. Hate those bugs. I guess by the time we turn west we will be distributing a new crop as we go.

Tomorrow, 10/12, we plan to complete the trip to Covesville and the Dan, Malena, Alexander and Corey.

A Stroll Down Memory Lane and Planning

Thursday night, October 1, we went to a concert in the JCC Center Stage Theater. I’m not sure when we were in it last, certainly not in the past year. We went to hear a performance by John Sebastian and David Gristman. If you don’t know the names its okay, you just weren’t paying attention over the last 50 years. Gristman recorded with Jerry Garcia and Sebastian was all over the place as backup or rhythm guitar and harmonica and composer. They are not kids and Gristman only sang solo on one number, Shady Grove. they covered the spectrum from Rock to Folk with plenty of stops along the way.  It was a wonderful 90 minutes of unbroken music and stage chat.

Where was I? I wrote the above 7 days ago and we got really busy with doctors and social calls as we prepare to get back on the road after three months of not so sedentary time. Sunday morning the 11th we plan to hook up the car to Gee Whiz and roll to Yogi at Shangri La in Milton PA. This lets us not push too hard getting under way and leaves us a reasonable 6 hours to get to Covesville – Dan Goldberg family. We need to arrive in daylight, first because we would prefer to never drive the coach after dark; coach headlights are notoriously poor and second it takes some serious close quarter maneuvering to position the coach upon arrival.

 I have given up trying to plan our route and travel beyond Covesville. Eventually we will leave before we freeze and work our way south. We would like to visit people in Ivanhoe NC and Charlotte NC and maybe St Petersburg FL before we make our way to California. Stops along the way would include Las Cruces NM and ?? We think we will spend New Years Eve in Jojoba Hills, but will not force the issue if something distracts us along the way.

We have been entertained in our apartment by a major painting job that has been underway since June! This view from our window is common:

Skylift capable of reaching at least 7 stories

Since our window blinds do not cover the top two feet of the windows we need to be alert in the morning as we prepare for the day and move to the interior bathroom when they are working outside our apartment. Maybe by the time we get back to the apartment in 10 months or so they will be done. We have more privacy in the coach.

Other changes we have been watching in Rochester include the filling in of the Inner Loop, this was a four lane roadway that was set below grade sometime in the 60’s. It has functioned as a moat and has been lightly used as a traffic route. It will be interesting to see what use is made of the reclaimed land. Up north, by Charlotte beach the city has been excavating a former parking lot and abandoned land next to the Genesee River near the lake to create a sizable marina. They plan to be letting water in this week or next. There is much more going on that we will follow from afar and look forward to seeing when we work our way east next summer.

We are looking forward to staying put, sort of, in Jojoba Hills. I expect we will spend more time based there than in Rochester for the future. Of course we will take our time passing through our “home state” of Texas as well. The big family things we are looking forward to are the last two grandson Bar Mitzvahs. Corey, in Covesville, in a couple of weeks and Avi in LA July 2. Add two months in New Zealand/Australia and a stop in Hawaii starting late March and we have a very full year.

Next post should be from Covesville VA.