Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Traditions

With blue skies (finally) and gorgeous weather, not to mention blossom-covered trees everywhere, spring has arrived at last. This point was brought home to me last Sunday, when my family participated a number of spring traditions all in one day.

Our day started out at a local Purim carnival. I love living in an area of the country where my Jewish kids have plenty of other Jewish kids around. When I lived in the Northwest, it was very isolating to not be part of a larger Jewish community. I either felt really lonely, or like an animal in the zoo as I was subjected to the fascination of several people who had never met a Jew before. So our trek to the carnival took all of 5 minutes and we played, bounced, jumped, rode a poor, sad pony and ran into lots of friends we knew.

From there we had lunch and headed to our former neighbors' home for an Easter bash. It never occurred to me just what a pretty holiday Easter can be. While the religious meaning of the holiday is completely lost on me, I love the pretty pastel colors, the flowers, the signs of spring everywhere and little kids dressed in pretty clothes running around in the sunshine. Besides, who doesn't like bunnies, especially the variety who bring chocolate. Our friends went all out: each child got his or her own half-dozen eggs to dye before heading out to hunt for 350 eggs! I think we adults had as much fun hiding them as the kids did searching for them. Brady LOVED sidewalk chalk and Julia and Ethan rode their sugar high well into the evening.

Just as the party started to wrap up, we headed home to get read for Julia's 3rd softball game of the season. Their coach says they are steadily improving. Their score has gone from 4-0, to 12-2, to 13-0. I don't see how allowing the opposing team to score more runs in each successive game is an improvement, but I'm not a math major. That's right friends, Julia plays for the Bad News Bears. The games are not only boring, but just bad. We have games each Saturday and Sunday, and Ray and I trade off going so as to not subject ourselves and the other spectators to Brady's incessant screams throughout the game. While it's quite an occasion when our pitcher manages to throw a strike (rather than pitching the ball behind the batter) there are small signs of progress. Besides, sitting outside watching a ball game definitely feels like spring. And the score isn't all that important, right? I know this because after every game Julia has asked us hopefully, "Did we win?"

Another spring occasion is upon us today with the celebration of Noruz (nowrooz), the Persian New Year. I wrote last year about how much I love celebrating a new year in the spring instead of in the middle of dark and gloomy winter. Being spoiled, lazy and overwhelmed with the rest of the chaos in my life, I've left the work to others this year. My sister made the traditional sabzi polo because she enjoys spending an entire day to make one pot of rice. More power to her. We will be celebrating at my parents' tomorrow night, and the eggs my kids dyed at the Easter party will be adorning Goobie's haft seen.

It occurs to me that I've gotten away with doing very little work for any of these holidays this year. No matter, I don't feel guilty. Someday I'll be the grandma or the hostess or not nuts and go all out. For now I'm happy to enjoy the fruits of others' labor, happily buy my carnival tickets and transport my family from one location to the next. However you celebrate, I hope your spring is lovely and full of sweets.

Many thanks to macieklew for his stunning photo. Check out his other work; you will not be disappointed.


Tara O'Rourke said...

OH that's a beautiful we have some spring like weather but it's not going to stay-back down to the dreary mid 40's for the rest of the week. But today is about 70. Our backyard is a muddy mess from the rain we got the past several days.

I loved reading about your celebrations!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story!
Thank you for using my photo :)

OneScrappyChick said...

I am jealous of your spring .... we had rain and snow and wind today (sniffles)

NikJustNik said...

Torreh I am completely jealous of your spring.. we are in autumn now and I dont even notice a change yet.. The sky is still blue...

It sounds like you had so much fun all in one day... Wish I was there..

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love living in beautiful sunny so cal this time of year? Isn't spring here beautimus? As I was working outside today and getting sun-tanned/burned in the process, I was thinking how very lucky I am to live here.

Can't wait to meet face to face chica!