April 2010


The first Saturday in April (4/3) was TLC Sharim and the Boots and slippers class dance.  Jackie went to TLC Sharim and the Marc and the boys went square dancing. 


Spring break ended and life went back to normal.  Thursday (4/8) was the LA school district’s awards ceremony for Reflections.  Jonathan, who had won first place in the music category at his high school for his original musical composition, but had not placed at the district level, decided not to attend.  Jackie swung by after work to pick up his entry, since it was his only copy of the sheet music.  To Jackie’s surprise, she spotted an entry from a neighbor, who happens to be Benjamin's age (but attends a different middle school.) She also had won her school competition in the music category and not district.  So Jackie called Marc and said "called the Denny's and ask if they want me to pick up Rachel's entry and call me back."  A minute later, the call came back – "Yes!  We forgot about the awards ceremony!"


That weekend was the state square dancing convention in Fresno.  Carolyn (Benjamin’s square dancing partner) came with us and we left right after school let out on Friday (4/9.)  We brought dinner with us to eat while driving to save time.  We checked into the hotel, changed, and went over to the convention.  Despite some initial difficulty of finding the mainstream hall, we arrived only having missed the first tip.  We were dancing in the mainstream hall and Jackie was disappointed to find that it had a rubberized floor, which meant that the twirls she loves put her knees at too high a risk of injury and she had to cut them out.  It was a lot of fun dancing to different callers and experiencing different styles.  The callers loved that we had Benjamin and Carolyn with us and gave them a lot of attention. 


On Saturday (4/10,) we had breakfast at the hotel and went over to the fairgrounds.  We danced until 11:30, at which point the kids seem to be fading so we left to hunt down lunch.  Real restaurants (not fast food) seem to be absent from the area around the fairgrounds and choosing a fast food place that made all five of us happy proved difficult.  But finally we settled on sandwiches.  We returned to find that the problem with breaking for lunch early as there is no dancing going on when you get back!  Saturday afternoon, we danced some more and watched the fashion show.  They were drawing door prizes during the fashion show and Benjamin won 2 badges from the badge people. 


Dancing broke in the late afternoon and we went back to the hotel.  We relaxed for a while and then headed out to find dinner.  We got directions to a mall about 10 miles away that had a number of popular chains will only arrived.  We discovered that they all had 45 minute waits.  So we dumped that plan and went back to the hotel and went to the IHOP across the street.  That had the added benefit that Carolyn's dinner was free, due to the special of the day.  We finished and skedaddled back to the hotel, changed, and ran back to the fairgrounds.  Part way through the evening, it occurred to Jackie that she was not going to do any plus dancing unless she left Marc and went over to the plus hall.  She arrived just as a dance was starting, but you could not find Jonathan.  She spotted Jesse (from the Croakers) and asked him if he would be her partner.  They ended up in a square with six other excellent dancers, which turned out to be very fortunate, because the dance was fast and furious, and pushed us all to the limit.  But we never broke down and we were thrilled at how well we did.  When the dance ended, the other dancers asked if we could reform the same square for the next dance, but Jackie wanted to get back to the mainstream hall.


We were very pleased with the amount of youth activities at the convention.  We knew that there would not be a youth hall at convention, and consequently didn't expect there to be any youth activities.  As it turned out, there were about 40 youth dancers and either a youth or a family hall could easily have been supported.  One of the activities just for the kids was a "scavenger hunt" involving 10 items.  Some required the kids to get stickers from various callers.  Others involved finding locations on the fairgrounds, and one item was to attend the ice cream social on Saturday afternoon.  We learned about the scavenger hunt early on, but it took us awhile to track down the form.  Most of the kids were dancing in the plus hall.  Benjamin and Carolyn were the only kids who consistently danced in the mainstream hall (not having finished class, the plus hall would have been too much for them.)  In addition to the scavenger hunt and the ice cream social, all the kids marched in together for the grand march.  Saturday night, they passed out T-shirts to all the kids and drew prizes from those kids who completed the scavenger hunt.  Caroline won a $50 gift card to Target. 


Sunday (4/11,) there was only one hall, which started out at the mainstream level and gradually got harder and harder.  This was when we realized that there is mainstream, dancing and then there is *mainstream* dancing.  The Sunday mainstream dancing was fast and furious and made us really think about our dancing.  We never broke down and we were very proud of the kids for being able to keep up.  Marc particularly liked the change in pace and commented that the mainstream hall had felt like the class, but Sunday's dance felt like real dancing.  Unfortunately, when the dancing moved up to the plus level, we ended up in a square with 5-6 class members, which gave us no chance of keeping up.  We did some last minute shopping and headed home.  We found a place to have lunch, and then it was off to LA.  Even though we had gotten plenty of sleep, everyone (except Benjamin, who never falls asleep in the car) fell asleep on the drive home (Marc and Jackie swapped driving halfway down - they did not sleep at the same time!)


We arrived home and called Jake to come get Carolyn.  He picked her up and we grabbed a quick dinner, and we headed back to Canyon Country to see Tom Sawyer at CTG.  The boys liked this show, but Marc and Jackie were underwhelmed by it.


The next week was pretty typical: square dance class on Monday, religious school on Tuesday, track for Benjamin and quilting for Jackie on Wednesday, track for Benjamin and a Sisterhood Board meeting on Thursday.  Except that Jackie was scrambling to finish the taxes before they were due.  Fortunately, she made it in time, and didn’t even ever have go to bed late.


Friday (4/16,) was the Dalet class Yom Hashoah service and display of Dalet class projects.  Benjamin’s project was a presentation of the food typically eaten by an average German,  an average German soldier and an average concentration camp inmate.


Sat (4/17) <Track meet> <Laura’s wedding reception> <Be My Baby>


Sun (4/18) <Sisterhood line dancing> <Valley Youth chorus>


Thurs (4/22) < Open house at Lawrence>


Sat (4/24) <Track meet> <Cantor’s concert> < Boots and Slippers Club dance>


Sun (4/25) <more Track meet> <Valley Youth chorus>


Tuesday (4/27) Marc picked up Benjamin from school as always.  After arriving home, he felt a little dizzy.  He had something to eat and went to pick up Jonathan.  By the time he arrived at Granada, he was feeling extremely dizzy and nauseous, so much so that after he parked, he called Jackie and asked her come home from work.  He decided to have Jonathan drive home and got out of the car to go around to the passenger side.  Before he made it, nausea overwhelmed him and he lost his lunch on the sidewalk.  He managed to crawl into the passenger seat and Jonathan drove home.  When they arrived, Jonathan stopped in the driveway and Marc threw up again out the window, thankfully only hitting the outside of the car.  Marc got out of the car, but was unable to walk more than a few steps before the nausea overwhelmed him again and forced him to his knees.  At this point, Jackie arrived home (much to Jonathan's relief!)  Jackie supported and guided Marc into the downstairs bathroom, which seemed like the best place as his body seemed to be trying to purge itself of everything that wasn't tied down.  When the purging was done, Marc didn't have the strength to make it upstairs even with Jackie's help, so she brought him a pillow and a blanket.  Marc didn't have a fever; in fact his forehead was cold and clammy to the touch.  Jackie took Benjamin to religious school and Jonathan drove himself to religious school.  After an hour or two had passed, Marc was able to summon the will power to make it upstairs supported by Jackie.  Jonathan drove Benjamin home, because Jackie didn't want to leave Marc alone.  But by the time the boys got home, (a little after eight,) Marc recovered enough to hold a conversation, although not enough to get up.  Jonathan had signed up to bring lemon bars to a party at school.  Clearly Marc was not going to make them, but Jonathan knows how to make lemon bars.  However, we didn't have any lemon bar mix.  But Jonathan knows how to drive and even knows where the Ralph's is.  So he went to the store and bought several boxes of lemon bar mix.  Then he came home and made the lemon bars himself.  Jackie was very pleased with his self-sufficiency.  By 10, Marc was feeling good enough to get up, come downstairs and make the boys’ lunches for the next day.  We chalked the whole thing up to food poisoning.