Monday, April 24, 2006

Me and You and a Blue Canoe

[Thanks for your patience, folks... I give you the rather overdue Passover/Easter/Marathon entry. Brush off the Passover plate and hide the afikomen, here we go!]

Parades, standing ovations of any kind, that part of sporting events where all the athletes from competing teams run by and give each other high fives... just a handful of occasions when I always find myself fighting back tears of some weird, misguided emotion like pride.

Yesterday's Boston Marathon was no exception, and a real doozy for my emotions... I teared up every time someone standing near me spotted someone they knew, and I cheered with them (on the inside) as some sweaty friend or sister or roommate stagger-ran by. I pretty much full-on cried when a blond, pony-tailed girl began to slump in front of us, not 100 yards from the finish line, and was helped along for a few feet on either side by two medical attendants, before finally passing out completely and being lowered to the ground. She was finally driven off the track by a little green John Deer-type vehicle. I can only hope they drove her over the finish line. One hundred little yards, after 26 miles.

On Saturday, Georgia and I joined our incomplete spiritual halves (I like to think we make up one Jew and one Christian between us, although neither of us is particularly religious), and drove out to Western Massachusetts where her parents and younger brother live on the Connecticutt River. Actually, the house is situated on the top of a hill that leads to a medium-sized cove, just before it eases into the river. There was a canoe at the bottom of the hill that jarred a memory of just a few days before, either from a dream or a potential song lyric... I had definitely been visualizing a blue canoe, and there it was, and there was the skinny, blond, 16-year-old German exchange student towing it into the water.

While the Hollister Ismans prepared Passover dinner (y'all know I don't cook, right? It's not that I can't, I just don't like to! ...etc. etc. etc.), I treated the evening as a documentary project. Here are a few of the highlights from my work in progress.

Matzoh ball preparation!

Georgia scorches an egg and tastes the tears of the slaves to see if they're salty enough.

Now that's a beautiful Passover plate as you would ever hope to see.

Georgia's mom regales us of tales of an old Jewish boyfriend.

Georgia's father, Seth, delivers beautiful Hebrew and offers constant and delightful insight.

After the third raise of the glass or so, things were really moving along.

Georgia found the afikomen. Of course.

One of my best friends ever, and she makes a snarky pillow.

By the next morning, we'd switched religions and revamped our appetites.

Some of us did the crossword puzzle, even though it was Sunday. This is a smart family, the Hollister Ismans.

The rest of the day was spent lolling around the cove in that blue canoe. Thank you, surrogate family, for taking in my weary little self for a wonderful weekend of nourishment and love.

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