I will start with the Thank Yous and then next post I will tell you about my Shomer Shabbos experience.
Thank you Erin and Ran. You gave us your home for the weekend, generously. This never could have happened without that. Further, you figured out the lights, timers, kosher Shabbat lamp placement...you taped the lights, cleaned the house, provided flowers...you let us host a family, bring our dogs, rearrange your kitchen to fit the blech and manual pump water pot. You shlepped up the folder chairs, dug out the raincoats, watched my children when the challach burnt so that I could try to find challot at various stores just before Shabbat and as a result were late going out of town and probably drove until the wee hours because of us. You both are the wonderful people and great friends.
Thank you to Sara and Chaim. You hosted our extended gang for a delicious lunch. I had a great time chopping vegetables with your son. We rocked! (Really, he rocked and I was in awe!) You have such a wonderful family. All of us pitching in for the last minute touches for the meal, the appetizers, the meal itself -- wow! The nigguns and table drumming were amazing. The energy generated really lifted us to a new place. Your guests were interesting, kind and delightful to speak with. I cannot get seltzer water flavors out of head and now dream of new favors for Chaim to experiment making. The kids had probably the best Shabbat that they have had in a long time. Even the "kidnapping" is a memory! The learning at the table and the discussion surrounding it is something not usually at our Shabbat table and I immensely enjoyed it.
Thank you, Bais Abe, for welcoming us. Although I cannot remember any one's name now, thanks to each of you that came and spoke to me and showed an interest in us being there. And thank you for bringing the Torah to the women's side.
Thank you, Cyndee, for talking me through my neurosis, for the tips about how to pass the time, advice about coffee making, offering Shabbat-necessary supplies, being kind and encouraging, and for being such a valuable resource not only to me, but to the community as well.
Thank you, Carol, for being as excited as I was about purchasing a blech! I can always count on you to validate my adventures in spirituality and to encourage me.
Thank you, Kathy, for working on Friday so that I could take it off to prepare for our guests and Shabbat. You are always so reliable, and I appreciate everything you do for the company and our family.
Thank you, Jay, for getting me out of Schnucks Ladue in a quick and efficient manner, and for your kindness, conversation and friendship. You are awesome!
Thank you, Rachael, for wishing me a meaningful and special Shabbat, and for being there to ooh and ahhh over the new items.
Thank you, Marvin and Oshrat, especially (!) for coming into town, honoring our family with your presence on Shabbat, for being beautiful and kind people who are affectionate but not mushy (!) (it is true, Marvin), for your dedication and oberservance level that was the catalyst for us to have such a great Shabbat with you, for playing with my children who are still talking about you and how much fun they had, for being energetic, laid back, smart and kind. Thank you for the Ameila Bedeila story. Thank you for saying kiddish and making havdalah. Thank you for a meaningful and beautiful Shabbat.