A Blog Salad
Today’s post is a jumble of thoughts, a blog salad if you will.
Yesterday was the Yahrzeit of my mother’s friend Rachelle. I think they met in college. My mother kept very few of her pre-marriage friends. Rachelle was one of them.
Rachelle’s daughter Miriam was in my class in school. She was unfailingly nice to me in a place where kindness was a rare experience for me. I went to several of Miriam’s birthday parties. At one of those parties, Rachelle served not the regular frosting topped birthday cake but a Dobos Torte. I have eaten Dobos Torte exactly once, at Miriam's birthday party in 1969, and I still remember that hard caramel topped many layered cake. The cake was a wonder to look at it it’s thin layers of cake and frosting. It was a sophisticated thing to serve to elementary school kids. I remember that Rachelle warned us that it was rich and we shouldn’t eat too much of it. I ate two slices.
In 1978, Rachelle published this cookbook.
The cookbook was one of the treasures I inherited from my mother. Here is the recipe for the Dobos Torte.
For the past few weeks I have been very aware of both the pull of the past as well as the pressures of getting work done.
Sunday, I got an email from the son of my third grade teacher. He had found this post that I had written about his mother soon after she had died. I was touched that he had contacted me and once again my head was filled with the past.
My friend Howard had asked me to make him a tallit. It too is filled with memories of the past.
The brown fabric comes from Howard’s father’s bathrobe. Howard just celebrated his 88th birthday.
I also finally completed a t’fillin bag that I had started several years ago but never got around to finishing.
It’s made out of hand painted Ultra suede. The text on this side of the bag comes from the intentional prayer one recites before putting on the t’fillin.
The text on the other side is the text you say as you fix the head portion of the t’fillin to your head.
I lined the bag with a heavy upholstery fabric.
My husband wanted to be sure that a large set of t’fillin could actually fit inside the bag. So I tested the bag using my son’s t’fillin.
My friend Reva called me soon after my mother died and reminded me in her kind, kind way that recovering from the death of a parent takes time. That sometimes grief expresses itself in a kind of sluggishness, a slowness that makes getting things done difficult.
I have thought often about Reva’s wise words as I wade my way through this year.