Saturday morning we had the bat mitzvah of one of the very talented young ladies in our congregation. She rides horses competitively (a typical hobby for many out here in "horse country" although not what i would consider a typically Jewish sport!), sings beautifully, is very smart, and also very sweet. Her parents asked me to take an aliyah, which was quite an honor...to be called to the bimah and recite the blessing before the Torah was read and then to recite the blessing afterwards. The bat mitzvah girl chanted all six aliyot directly from the Torah, which is a mind boggling achievement (in my opinion) because the Hebrew letters in the Torah don't have vowels, so you really have to know/remember what the words are, as well as what the chanted melody is.
I also served my usual role as our lay leader/rabbi's moral support, as well as undressing and dressing the Torah (taking the covering off and then towards the end of the service, putting the covering back on). And i presented the congregation's gift to A, the bat mitzvah girl, since our congregation president was out of town.
Here are two cards that i made. The first was to go with the congregation's gift and the second was for mine:
After the ceremony, a sit down lunch was served. Each table had the cutest centerpiece...a "corral" with a floral arrangement in the center, with a little hobby horse head sticking out of it, and all of A's many prize ribbons draped over the corral. (There were enough ribbons to have them on every table!) I ate the salad and most of the main course and then had to dash off, first dropping off the chuppah (that i've been making for over a year! for our Rabbi) so that she could use it for a babynaming ceremony the next day...our newest member, a healthy baby girl born to 40-year old parents who had tried everything for years and years to have a second child and finally a miracle happened.
I drove home, changed from my dress-up clothes into jeans and headed off to a county park for Frontier Days. I had signed my quilt group up to have a display there before i knew that a bat mitzvah was scheduled for the same day. I felt obligated to do both!
Luckily, my friend April and another friend from quilting had set up the booth and ran things just fine for a couple of hours until i got there. We were demonstrating hand quilting and hand sewing...a fair number of people came by with memories of grandmothers who quilted as well as youngsters (boys as well as girls) who wanted to try their hand at sewing. And we handed out flyers about our quilt group to anyone who might have been interested in joining. It was a lovely sunny day, and this year, our second, we were given a big open sided tent right in the middle of things. April strung up a clothesline and put up a lot of my quilt tops and wall hangings and as they flapped colorfully in the breeze, they acted as a great draw to our booth.
That breeze was a real pest because things kept blowing off the picnic tables and trying to blow away! Plus it suddenly made it feel about 15 degrees colder than it actually was.
Sunday i put on my third hat...i finally got out in the yard and did a bunch of garden clean up, cutting back last year's peony stalks where i could see this year's coming up, pulling lots of honeysuckle and vinca from around iris, daylily, and peony plants, picking up sticks off the lawn because i'll need to be mowing soon, and so on.