Tuesday, March 28, 2017
rite of passage
Well, it didn't take us 5 hours and 15 minutes to get to our hotel. It took over 7 hours.
Most of the approx. 250 mile drive on the state highways and county roads was pleasant enough, driving up through gentle hills of the prairie and lakes region from the gulf coast plains passing through or around the small towns between here and there. There wasn't much traffic driving through the agricultural and ranching fields up into the meadows of horse country. The roadsides and fields for much of the way were blankets of the red and blue and yellow of indian paintbrush, bluebonnets, and coreopsis, the pinks and purples of evening primrose and purple vetch. We were right on time to get there early enough to check in to our hotel and attend the early Shabbat dinner at our niece's house before everyone left for the evening service. And then we got on I35.
We had to get on an interstate so as to traverse through Dallas as quickly as possible to the suburb on the NE side where Marc's family lives and not long after we picked it up and got into Dallas, all traffic came to a complete stop. It took us an hour to get to the obstruction which the maps function on my phone said was an accident that had the left three (of four) lanes closed but what was actually the problem was that the police had closed the freeway and there was no accident in sight and we got dumped off onto the surface roads. We eventually found a way around and back on I35 which is under construction to boot and to our hotel and checked in.
So we missed dinner and although there was food left over and people there at the house, we opted for a couple of drinks at the bar and dinner at a nearby restaurant and bed.
Saturday morning we headed to the synagogue for our great-nephew Carter's Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming of age ceremony. From this point on, Carter will be considered an adult in the eyes of the Jewish community and is now responsible for his actions as opposed to his parents. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is not an easy thing to accomplish. These kids have to study for four years learning to read Hebrew, study the Torah and in particular their Torah portion on the day and make a speech about how it relates to their lives and the lives of the Jewish community as well as do some volunteer work for the community, Carter helped coach special needs kids in sports, before the day they stand on the bima and lead the Saturday morning services.
Carter did a fine job, as they all do, and it was so heartwarming to see his parents tear up during their own speeches to their son at the conclusion. Then the Rabbi spoke to Carter aloud and again, taking him to the back of the bima, speaking to him privately. Oh to have been a fly on the wall for that. Carter is one of those people who push their boundaries constantly, and quite creatively I might add, always questioning to find a way around.
Mazel Tov Carter!