Monday, December 22, 2008

The Shammas candle

Shanna ligting the shammas candle. Spud in the background

Recently a Korean co-worker stared at Shanna's nametag admiring its alliteration no doubt and told her that she knew what her last name meant. Shanna was taken back a bit as the lady could barely speak English much less know Arabic or Hebrew. But both knew the Shammas candle was the 9th candle used to light the other candles in the menorah for Hanukkah. Her co-worker has a Jewish husband and was learning everything she could about his culture. It was the first night last night so we lit candles. They had gotten in 2:30 am after 17.5 hours of hellish driving. As I write, Josh and Julia (and Sunny) are on their way to Maryland. They wisely chose to head south first even though it's a bit longer but from what I can see, snow-free. The northern route includes the stormy for today Ohio Turnpike.

I felt less queasy yesterday though I started to gag after cleaning up after one of Spud's more frequent mishaps. I am just tired. I put on my new wig for our dinner. I am still losing hair but not to the point of having bald spots. So we had everyone together including precious Oliver who was his charming self. I was afraid he would scream in terror at the wig but after 10 weeks of not seeing me, it didn't make any difference to him. So he's quite a bit bigger and more co-ordinated. He was trying to dance to the music while crawling which was very cute. The older kids are finally getting along. There was a 6 year period in which they could not tolerate each other for a myriad of reasons. But both are reaching out so I am glad.

It is unbelievably cold here. The night before J&J had gone to a party thrown by a med school friend. In the corner of the room were some African people who were so small, Josh first assumed they were children. No they were Ghanaian med students here for a cultural exchange program. Josh's buddy had spent some time in Ghana. Josh went over to them to see how they were enjoying their experience. Of course everything here is an eye opening experience for them-all our fancy facilities, etc but the cold was something they were not enjoying.

But it was a nice dinner-Steve had done the majority of the work and was quite exhausted. All I made was gravy and suggestions.

But I won't be seeing Shanna and her family much-they won't stay here until Thursday night and will leave Sunday morning. I am very sad. I am not sure what is behind this decision but thinking about it puts me in a very bad place. 5 nights with his family and 3 here.

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