We start month six or is it seven tomorrow, depending on how you look back and count. In our house, the summer flew by. And now we are faced with a fall of more uncertainty, well except the impending elections. Oh gosh, where has the time gone in the past half of year? Zoom entered our lives and filled the empty spaces.
It started off good. In my inimitable way, I steadfastly did my morning tai chi on Monday and Friday. The intervening days was a quick routine with weights and sit ups. Slowly, my exercise habits fell by the wayside.
Then I found zoom to take the place of my lost water aerobics and dance fusion, aka aerobics. The live zoom tai chi taught by a Jamaican Chinese (I think) teacher does not quite replace my amazing and patient Italian guide. With Alberto, I finally learned the sequence and intricacies of the Beijing form, though I can’t yet perform it all from memory. And nothing fills the void of my beloved, gentle restorative yoga teacher. Even with my movable laptop, I can’t seem to get down to the floor and follow along!
Other zooms that have populated my agenda (I cannot trust my memory) introduced various topics. From April to May to June, the small squares filled with red reminders of programs that could not be missed. As summer progressed, red turned to black. The sense of urgency dulled as the sameness of our enforced stay in Hotel California continued.
Some zooms added to my knowledge base like the free lectures about our community’s past by the resident history guru at the local history museum. If only he’d fully used zoom’s capabilities and included visuals from the museum’s rich archives. Alas, this set of presentations was but a tease replaced by others accessed by subscription. I realize our cultural institutions have lost fortunes in revenues (admissions, public programs, gift shops, rental revenue). On the other hand, many of us have lost our income as the businesses in which we were employed shut down. Our lives teeter on a delicate balance.
In June, The Sephardic Digital Academy of the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America, hosted a three-week program about the Jews of Greece. In August, this was followed by another three weeks of the Greek Jews in New York’s Lower East Side. This is the community that my mother came from and that I’ve researched and written about . I could not miss either.
In July, the daily menu of zooms thinned. National Avocado Day at the end of the month even passed without a celebration! One weekly presentation that I continue to follow is organized by the group Sephardic Genealogy. Their very interesting programs feature a researcher speaking about some aspect of the Western Sephardim. Archived programs can be accessed on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpz6pgNSg_KWP-4KbErjU2g.
Then there are the food zooms; you’ve read that I followed a few courses on the diversity of Jewish and other food (see July6 & 20 posts). These presentations added to my culinary knowledge and pushed me to try new dishes. Late in the summer, Seattle’s Bikor Holim synagogue started a weekly series; amazingly skilled home cooks introduced Sephardic dishes. I thought these were on YouTube, but the link is not working. You can find recipes on the synagogue website if interested: https://www.sbhseattle.org/turkish-recipes
Tablet Magazine recently started a weekly offering featuring the cookbook maven Joan Nathan. She appears with her son on opposite sides of the continent cooking a different dish each time. Not only are cooking tips offered, but also food history, and insights into this prolific writer: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/food/articles/joan-knows-best-video-series-joan-nathan-shabbat-recipes.
There’s more to share, but another time … As the seasons move on in spite of the COVID-19, the fall Jewish holidays are soon upon us and at least one new zoom series to help us home cooks is getting ready to begin.
I’m in shock. I feel like I frittered the summer away, doing nothing in the past three months. Maybe even like I was treading water, while waiting to reach the future. And yet, I was a regular watcher of zooms. I took advantage of the re-opened library. I cooked up a few storms. As I review my agenda from the past summer months, I’m surprised how much I’ve taken advantage of. Yet, I feel like I did nothing. And I’m left with the question, where does the time go?