Family Tradition

This past Monday evening we celebrated Seder dinner with our family. We read from the Haggadah, and feasted over matzot, and soaked in every ounce of family-time we could. As we have gotten older, and our lives have filled with more obligations and responsibilities, we are beginning to cherish these seemingly fleeting moments of indulgence. We now know that you spend holidays with your family members because it may be the only time you have to see one another. In other words, your parents' house may be the only place where it's acceptable to take your shoes off in the living room, eat handfuls of M&Ms from a huge bowl, and tease your nearest and dearest. Just so you know, our family is as crazy as the next, but there is something to be said about the comfort and familiarity that only family can provide.

Evan's maternal side started an amazing family tradition many, many years ago. Attendees of the family's passover celebration would write something, anything, down on the back of their name card with the year. The cards were then set aside, only to be revisited on each new year's passover dinner. For example, Evan's grandfather's collection of name cards has his signature, along with the date, dating back to the late 1930's.

We continue the tradition today. After we eat an incredible spread, usually hosted by one of the Durkheimer gals, we go around the room and flip over our name cards to start writing down this year's observation. Inevitably we also reread previous ones, and rehash the old memories sparked by years of thoughtful documentation. It's one of the things I love most about this meal. I love being part of this tradition and it's one we look forward to honoring for years to come.

I thought I'd share some of Evan's just for fun:

"I am probably going to go on a date soon with a girl whoose (sic) initials are G.G."

(I'd like to point out that at some point he tried to cross out the words "date," "girl," and "G.G.")

"I'm sitting down hoping NC will win the final four. I got a rat. I'm 11 and 5'2."

"UCLA won final 4. I'm 6 ft. Kevin brought Erica."

(I'd like to point out that "Kevin", Evan's cousin, is now married to "Erica." Which is also documented in his '99 observation: "They got engaged.")

In '99 Evan also mentions college visits, in '04 he alludes to a trip to far away places with a girl he loves, and in '06 questions the fate of "Green and Green," our booth at the Portland Farmers Market, and eventually, he gets to the part about the creation of what is now Little Red Bike Cafe.

Needless to say, Evan's name cards are some of my favorite to read.


Unknown said...

That cracked me up. I love that you have that little window of history, so lucky.

kati said...

what a special tradition. i loved reading those, too. :)

Metolius Mark * Student of...Everything said...

Starting 2011 thru 2049 I'll enjoy reading YOURS...After that some one will have to read them to me.

Ali and Evan said...

Kristin and kati,
I'm glad you liked reading those too.

You got it. Hopefully I'll start sitting next to you so that i may have the honor of being the orator. XO