Services were a bit unusual. Since our cantor is still on sabbatical, we have congregants leading the various parts of the services. We got there too late to hear Joel lead the preliminary service. I would have liked to be there for that, but with my lateness in waking up combined with the not so favorable conditions to shul, it wasn't in the cards for the day. Wendy led the bulk of services, though Terry (Teri?) led part of it. [as an aside...apparently she had about thirty seconds warning that she had to lead that part...I wish I had that kind of fluency in the service to do that under the gun]
The weather conditions meant that attendance was very sparse, but it was lovely to see that people come to service despite harsh conditions. I was happy to be a part of that group, particularly since I won't be there next week.
One thing really grated on my nerves though. Wendy led the concluding prayer in the service, Adon Olam, to the tune of "Let it Snow." Though it was funny at the time, I wondered if I was the only person that felt it was a bit, well, unnerving. It set me a bit off-balance. There's something about throwing that secular tune into a beautiful, spiritual prayer.
Were it not for the fact that I spend endless hours trying to understand the meaning behind the Hebrew prayers, it may never have bothered me. My fluency in Hebrew is limited, so I try to read through the English translation once in a while to make sure I never lose sight of what I'm praying for. If I were only singing the syllables, "Adon olam asher malakh, b'terem kol ye-tzir nivra...," I might have found it cute. But there's something about singing, "The L-rd eternal reigned before the birth of every living thing" or "G-d is with me, I shall not fear, body and spirit in His keep," to the tune of "Let it Snow" that just sets me on edge. Maybe it's just me.
The other odd thing that happened in shul was that the Torah reader managed to skip what appeared to be a whole paragraph or two (he started in the wrong place) and the gabbaim (is that the right way to make that plural?) didn't catch it until much later. The way to rectify an error of this sort, apparently, is to go all the way back to the skipped passage and read all the way from there until the end of the aliya he was supposed to be on. At least, that's what we did. This was two or three aliyot back. So it was quite a lot for the poor guy to have to re-read. I'm not sure I'd be up to that kind of pressure. But it sure does explain why I'd been having an awfully hard time following the reader and finally gave up and read at my own pace. Golly.
After shul, I walked back with Jason, Elissa, and Aaron for lunch at Sonia and Aaron's. Seth met me there with the car. It made me feel good that I wasn't further violating Shabbat by driving to Sonia and Aaron's (though one could argue it's on the way home...I only drive to and from shul...I've given up driving on Shabbat for other purposes entirely), but at the same time, it was really cold. Well, it wasn't really cold. But I didn't have on proper shoes to be walking through the park in the snow. Dalit had offered me a pair of boots, but I declined...then I would have had the quandary of carrying my shoes. Besides, it wasn't that far. It honestly wasn't that bad and I really did have a good time. We had a terrific lunch. Sonia had prepared a lasagna, plus we had salad and breadsticks and cookies and cake and homemade heath-bar-crunch ice cream. We had a great time watching the babies eat. Big Jake was especially cute.
And, Elissa and Robin commiserated with me about dress shopping (they've both "been there, done that") and Elissa said she'd go with me to look at dresses. Sonia had already commiserated with me Thursday night and had suggested a place to rent a dress, which might be worth it, since theoretically I only get married once and when else am I going to wear that monstrosity? So I'll go through some shopping hell and then find out whether it's all worth it before I decide whether to go down the renting road.
Unfortunately, I developed the worst migraine I've had in months, so Seth and I left around three so I could come home and find pain-killers. I drugged myself heavily and after Shabbat ended, we went to go see some old friends of Seth's in Owings Mills. I was sure right up until the last minute that I wouldn't go with him. I love his friends. I really wanted to see them. But my head was splitting and I was dizzy and icky from the pain. But the drugs made me not care, even if I was still in pain, so I went too.
I'm glad I did, because I got to play with TWO more babies! That's five for the day! :)
After dinner we headed home, though we had the option of going back to Bill's house for more schmoozing. It's a good thing we did too, because the snow had started back up and it was a long way home. Beautiful, yet treacherous.
I hope the snow is still there tomorrow. Perhaps I can build a snowman. I love snow. What I love most is that when it's falling, there's absolute silence all around. It's a tiny bit of perfection, in my eyes. I love that feeling...like I'm caught in a silent bubble...it has always intrigued me. Even Jason stopped on the walk back to Aaron's and said, "Listen!" We held our breaths for a moment and he smiled and said, "Absolute silence. Beautiful."
Of course, he's a father of a rambunctious one-year-old. Silence is probably truly golden for him. For me, it's one of life's most treasured pleasures.
I am never moving to Florida.