Saturday, December 12, 2009


Yesterday evening, as dusk began to duskify, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I stood in our sunroom and prepared to light the Chanukah lights.

I say “lights” and not “candles” because we use Ner Lights, little glass ampoules of olive oil, each containing a wick. You just snap the top of the ampoule off and you’re good to go. They’re not cheap, but they are far less messy than paraffin candles, and they cast a beautiful warm glow.

As we said the blessings, I saw that SWMBO’s eyes were moist... and I knew why.

With the Mistress of Sarcasm having just relocated to her own apartment, it was just the two of us: empty nesters once again. It would take some adjustment time for us to not feel a little lonelier, just the two of us rattling around in Chez Elisson. Sure, Elder Daughter was on her way to Atlanta... but for the moment, it was Just Us.

It had been a while since it was Just Us on the first night of Chanukah. Last year, even though both the girls were away, we had had a small army of friends over to celebrate with us. Following our long-standing tradition, there were platters of Chinese food... and heaps of potato latkes. Thus do we honor the memory of the Momma d’Elisson.

But yesterday evening it was just the two of us.

Holidays have a way of reminding us of the passage of time. Every year they seem to come around sooner, as the perceived pace of our lives accelerates relentlessly. We remember those same occasions and how we marked them in years past... and we cannot help but think of just how many years have passed. Was it all that long ago that we would say these same blessings with our girls eagerly waiting for us to trot out the evening’s haul of gifts?

This evening, things were a little different. For the first time in years, both of our daughters were here, standing with us to chant the prayers and illuminate the lights.

And SWMBO’s eyes were moist once again... and I knew why.

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