December 23, 2006

Lit those candles...

Today is the last day of Chanukah. We have had a busy holiday indeed! We began and ended with dinner with friends. In between Seattle was hit with a HUGE storm causing power outages for almost a week; I had a bone scan; Shira came back from Israel; and we went to visit friends on Harstine Island.

Thankfully we only lost power for 24 hours. Instead of sitting in a cold, dark house, we went over to friends and hung out there all day. Around dinnertime we called our neighbors and they reported power back on our block. So we came home to a warm, lit house after all. But our friends on Mercer Island were without power for almost a week. They joined us for a latke fest and a home screening of "Bride & Prejudice" one night and we all went out for dinner together the next night. They have a gas hot water tank and gas cooktop, so they were able to shower and eat hot food -- all things that help make being in the cold tolerable.

Our elderly neigbors didin't fare as well. A tree came down and took with it the power line to their house, so they were cold and dark till last night. They would not come over to stay with us, but Rik took them hot coffee the next morning.

It makes you think how close we all live to the edge -- if we go 24 hours without power our food spoils, our homes are too cold for comfort, and we sit in the dark. Rik and I have reconfigured our emergency supplies again and will be sure to include items in our cars as well as in our home.

I get the bone scan results next week, but it was a regularly scheduled exam. Shira arrived safely bearing many gifts from Israel: a DVD of a favorite movie called "Halahakah" (The Troupe) which is kind of like an Israeli musical M*A*S*H, plus more Armenian pottery tiles, Ahava facial scrub, and za'atar (hyssop) tea. Our friends on Harstine Island welcomed us to their beautiful home in the woods. We went for a long walk in the rain, ate like kings, and even tasted 7 different kinds of single malt scotch!

Last night we concluded Chanukah with friends, more latkes, and lots of candles. You gotta love a holiday where the designated food is fried potatoes!

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