My daughter Katherine almost missed her first Hanukkah dinner many years ago. She called me from a train following a typically overbooked day.
“Mom, I think I took the wrong train!”
“Why do you think you’re on the wrong train?”
“I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling and I can’t tell if we’re going North or South.”
(In her defense, she had tried to cram too much into her Saturday and ended up at her cousin’s grade school basketball game in a suburb north of Chicago with no ride home.)
“Is Lake Michigan on your right or left?”
“Oh no! I’m definitely on the wrong train and I’m supposed to bring the matzo toffee and macaroons!”
I love a good caper and a shishka speeding north, away from her very first Hanukkah a couple of years B.U. (before Uber) intrigued me.
“I got this,” I said (because we were living in pre-texting times too). “You just get off in Kenosha.”
Then, from my kitchen table in Appleton, I called a cab company in Kenosha and negotiated a reasonable rate for the driver to meet Katherine in Wisconsin and take her back to Chicago.
It took a bit for the players to find each other, while I monitored (pre GPS times, too) via my landline, but it all worked out and, with minutes to spare, a kindly cabbie drove Katherine to the door of her apartment, waited while she ran inside to grab the desserts, and deposited her, sweating, at her Hannukah party.
I think about that hilariously tense afternoon every now and then when I ponder the frantic nature of December. We get so caught up in the preparations for our own holidays that we sometimes forget other people are running around making plans for theirs as well.
Katherine isn’t Jewish but she had a wonderful time at her Hanukkah meal, (and not just because it allowed her to say the immortal line “No thanks. I ain’t no challah back girl” when asked if she’d like more bread.) She loved the company, the opportunity to participate and learn, and the food.
December is a big, plump month with plenty of room for everyone and all of their holidays and traditions.
That’s the spirit of Katherine and Leah’s new video which, in my opinion, is one of the best Pure & Weary has ever done.
Congratulations to them, director Diego Rosende, camera operator and editor Robert Vornkahl.
And Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings to you and yours.
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