After having diarrhea for so long last night, I probably should've taken it easy today... but I didn't! I woke up early to run some errands (the bank, Sara's hotel, and the grocery store) and then I tried baking sugar cookies. I don't think I'd ever used my Hanukkah cookie cutters before. The cookies turned out ok, but I didn't have time to decorate them before Sara and I met Athena at the pizza parlor. She and I both love this pizza chain and don't have one near where we live, so we used being back in Louisiana as an excuse to go there and pig out. Sara doesn't like it as much as we do, but she didn't mind coming, especially since we used some money that Athena's mother-in-law gave her for gas to pay. I was terrified the whole time that I would get diarrhea again, but I lose all self-control around this pizza!
I'd meant to go back to Mom's and bake more cookies, but instead, we spent the afternoon at Aunt Connie's house, swinging, eating lemons, reading old issues of The Week, and... getting screamed at some more. Maybe "crazy people screaming" is just the new thing for Aunt Connie's house. On Wednesday, it was Olivia, and today, it was Aunt Connie. I can't even remember how politics/the election came up, but before I knew it, she was screaming about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi and e-mails. I know that politics are a passionate topic, but good grief, it is possible to talk about them without screaming in people's faces at the top of your lungs and foaming at the mouth. (I am not exaggerating.)
It was so scary and uncomfortable that Sara and I both clammed up and didn't say a word, and left shortly after. The ironic thing is that when I got into a debate about Trump with some of my cousins on Facebook, Aunt Connie saw it and sent me a private message because she "didn't want to say anything publicly." But then she actually sees me in person, for the only time all year, she has no problem ranting and coming unhinged. Maybe this is what happens when you live in a nasty, close-minded place like L-town and don't have a job. It reminded me to be grateful every day that I moved out of this town. Anyway, that marred a lot of Thanksgiving this year for me. Seeing Athena and Abram was definitely the highlight of it.
But there are still sane people in L-town. On Friday evening, I rode Mom's bike to my hometown temple for Shabbat services. I didn't have time to make any Hanukkah cookies to bring, but a lot of people are traveling and there was a small crowd, anyway. I didn't see Paul or Sandy or the G's or the D's. Jacob and George (the lay-leader) were there, and a few other familiar faces. I really miss the simplicity of this temple. I miss knowing almost everyone in the congregation. I miss the worn, old gray Gates of Prayer siddurs and being able to ride my bike to services. (I live too far from the temple in L-city to bike, and I feel like everything there has to be a show.) Riding through my old neighborhood to this temple will always be my favorite bike-route in the world. I loved seeing all the Christmas lights on the way.
After temple, I finally got around to making some Hanukkah cookies. I guess I'll take them to work on Monday.
on your journey, i will bless you...
...and you will be a blessing
- Thanksgiving 2016: Too much pizza and politics, and a bittersweet bike ride.