A week of prayers, play and fun

| vschneps@queenscourier.com |


Lois Christie and I were lucky enough to be in the President’s Box for a US Open match featuring women’s winner Serena Williams.

It has been a tradition in my family for generations to celebrate the Jewish New Year high holidays together, gathering for dinners and prayers in the synagogue. For a decade Stu, my late husband, and I sat together sharing the beautiful prayers and music that are unique to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. But entering the sanctuary for the first time since his funeral, which was held there, I was overwhelmed with the loneliness of losing him. As I took my seat in the pew, tears just rolled down my cheeks. So many memories surrounded me.

But after a time I focused on the service and the magnificent sound of the masterfully blown shofar, a ram’s horn that sounds like a mellow trombone. It’s a very difficult instrument to blow and sustain the long notes that are required. This year a talented young man took my breath away as he sustained his note for what seemed like endless minutes.

Rabbi Lucas of Temple Beth Sholom gave a brilliant sermon that brought me back to the moment, allowing me to immerse myself in his words. The power of the prayers beseeching God to let us be written in the “book of life” for the coming year and asking forgiveness for past sins had even more meaning for me now since I lost Stu this past year.

Next week I will celebrate the solemn holiday of Yom Kippur, when the “book” is slowly closed and we pray fervently to be forgiven and spared for another year.

I’m asking my son Josh to be with me because holding his hand will help me get through the day of fasting and praying and then a great gathering for “breaking the fast” at my daughter Samantha’s house.

Happy New Year! To a great one for all!

Days of play

The end of summer brings the fun of the world-class US Open to our backyard in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. I’ve had the great treat of being invited to the President’s Box at the tennis matches. The invitation means I am seated just yards from the players and a guest at a fabulous buffet meal. I went with my friend Lois Christie and we saw great matches featuring Victoria Azarenka, who was to be paired against Open winner Serena Williams in the finals.

I was delighted to see former Mayor David Dinkins, whose administration secured the tennis stadium for our borough.

Fun at the Flea

Although my son Josh and daughter Elizabeth work endlessly to make the LIC Flea a great success, my role is supporting them and most importantly, supporting the vendors by buying from them. There is my fun!

Last weekend was “Fashions at the Flea” in celebration of Fashion Week in Manhattan. And did we have great fashions at the market, as seen in these photos!

My friend and LIC Courier writer Alan Capper met me there with his daughter, Freya, who then modeled a vendor’s dress. While sitting at a table under a tent I was surprised to see my College Point friends Ruby, a pediatrician, and John, an artist. They had heard me talking about the market and there they were!

In addition, as always, there was great food and drinks. As always I bought my week’s supply of pickles from our vendor and fresh fruit and corn from our farmer.

Each time I visit the market new people are there selling their creative wares. What fun! Try it, you too will love it!