Purim was great!
We had a full house for Megillah reading! All the chairs and couches were filled! All together, we were 18 women and girls.* I’d say that's a respectable turnout!
RJ read chapters 1-4 and 6, ABC read chapters 5 and 8-10, and I read chapter 7 (with "voices").
Everyone read well and I, for one, really enjoyed the reading.
Most women had to leave as soon as we finished, but a few hung around for a bit.
As soon as our last guest left, I went to bed! It was early, but I was exhausted.
I had planned to take my kids to the neighborhood Purim celebration. But it was so cold and rainy outside that we were all happy to stay home, crawl into our warm, comfy beds, and go to sleep.
This morning, the girls and I went to my eldest's school, to hear Megillah. It was a lot of fun! Moshe and my son went to a late reading, at our old shul.
My eldest did not feel well, and went to sleep as soon as we got home.
My youngest helped me prepare Mishloach Manot (gift packages).
I had prepared lots of popcorn in advance, and my youngest filled sandwich bags, which we closed with fancy ribbon.
Then I took all the containers that I had saved for the past few weeks, and we put together about a dozen Mishlochei Manot. We gave to our neighbors, and a VERY FEW close friends, and each kid chose two friends, to whom they delivered mishloah manot.
This year, we participated in our shul's Mishloach Manot, which means that we did not deliver individual mishlochei manot to most of our friends in our neighborhood. Everyone from the shul gets a list of who "gave" to them, along with a nice, but modest, Mishloach Manot. The rest of the money goes to Matanot LaEvyonim (gifts for the needy) -- money for local families, and school books and supplies for local kids.
As soon as Moshe and my son came home, they left with my youngest daughter to deliver the Mishlochei Manot. I tidied up a bit, then lay down to rest.
When they returned, we woke up my eldest and went to our friends', C&JV, for Seudat Purim (Festive Purim meal). We had a lovely time -- good friends, good food, good conversation. What more could you want? (OK, maybe good liqueur -- but none of us are big drinkers)
We usually have our Purim Seudah with these friends, and we often hang out until well after Purim is over.
This year, we had an out-of-town simcha (celebration), right after Purim ended.
Of course, we did not end exactly "on time," and we had to take our kids home first, and then there was crazy traffic (there always is a lot of traffic on Purim).... We arrived at the simcha, an hour and 50 minutes late. It was fine.
We did not expect to know many people at the simcha, and were pleasantly surprised to meet many good friends who we have not seen in a while! Not surprisingly, we were one of the last people to leave. (Moshe probably would have been happy to leave a bit earlier, but he was very patient.)
We really enjoyed the simcha (the Bat Mitzvah of M&MF's daughter H), but we were happy to get home.
It was a long, full, wonderful day.
Oh, I almost forgot the best part: We all dressed up together. Moshe and I both wore Cat in the Hat hats, and our kids wore "Thing 1," "Thing 2," and "Thing 3" shirts and wild light blue "hair."
On Moshe's initiative, we bought the costumes when we were in Universal.... Just another way that we continue to enjoy, and treasure, our family vacation!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
* This year's participant: From Baka and Katamon: IS & YS; CV, AV, & RV; and our readers, RJ & ABC. From the neighborhood, JB & E; TN & EN (I think); and 3 women who I don't know so well, one of whom brought her daughter (who learns in the school my youngest hopes to attend); and, of course, my girls and I.