Fall came suddenly to these parts and there I found myself, deep in a pile of menus, recipe books, shopping lists and general 'things to do' before Rosh Hashana stuff. I determined to get myself in the mood and did - we shopped, cooked together (Moroccan veg stew with saffron, salads, spreads, desserts (these amazing, spicy, think Jacques Torres's spicy hot chocolate, Brownies), I really can't remember anymore, and ultimately enjoyed the 2 days of holidaying. We davened at Mayanot after weeks of agonizing over where to go. We actually agonized for so long over where to go - Beit Boyer (boring but delightfully Ashkenazic and great shofar blower), Shira Hadasha (long but spiritual but lousy shofar blower), or, Mayanot (small, not enthusiastic enough at times but egal, some decent shofar blowing and nice davening...most of the time). But I'm being unkind because Mayanot was nice - crowd was pleasantly filled out by 65 Nativnikim (one-year post HS USY program), and other locals. Davening was pleasant - Ira the first night, Daniel for Musaf day one, I read Torah day 2, Natan haftorah day 2, and other locals filling in the other parts doing a nice and spirited job of making the Tefila enjoyable.
Ira and I split Akiva duties, each of us coming late one day - in time for shofar blowing during Mussaf and some of Akiva's favorite local tunes. A funny moment Day 2 was had during Mussaf when the Ba'al Tefila, Aryeh, sang thru two choral pieces (Lewandowski, of course) and the community sang along in all parts. Laurie Yorr would have laughed, we all smiled, chuckled and did our part, albeit with imperfect timing but lots of gusto.
Ate meals with a nice mix of family - Jess and Daniel (he was home this year for the first time in forever - usually he has a high holiday pulpit job but with Jess due soon, he didn't go) and the girls, homeschooling family with lots of lovely boys, Mona and Robert, Blass family and 2 Nativnikim.
I missed Ray and I missed Rena and all the rest of youz.
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