Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ain't It Nice To Imagine....?

As I mentioned once in a post of mine, I live in a beautiful neighborhood that is still being developed with million-dollar homes. Rest assured, mine is not worth anything close to that amount -- we just lucked out with a smaller, older home in a nice subdivision.

About a five minute drive from us is a gated community being developed with million-dollar and two-million-dollar homes. Sometimes when the weather is nicer, we take walks with the dog to view some of the ones still being built. I don't really aspire to live in anything of their grandeur and size, nor could I maintain the upkeep of such palatial homes, nor the expected lifestyle that one would think is associated with such a piece of real estate. But it's nice to look at them all the same.

Today I took my children to see one of these homes: it is the grand prize in a cancer hospital lottery (tickets are $100 each or three for $250) and is worth over two million dollars, furnishings included. To look at this home on the outside is nice; to look at it on the inside is nicer. My children and I went through the rooms and announced who would get which room...if we won(yes, we are ticket purchasers for such a great fund-raising cause).

My heart melted at a second-floor library that surrounded an opening in the floor through which you could look down to the main level. I imagined parts of the shelving holding dear and familiar children's books, other parts holding family photo albums, while others held sforim. And just opposite the library was a small office with rolltop desks; I figured this is a room where I could hone my writing skills even more, write a publishable manuscript and the resulting book would one day end up on those library shelves.

Perhaps it's easier to imagine pretend lives in such a home when there is such a slim chance of winning it. But our walkabout today gave my children great pleasure and opened their minds, their imagination, to great things. They understand that it's okay to partake in this game of make-believe for a short while.

I'm proud that for them the reality kicks in when they announce, "If we win this house, it's going to be a much longer walk to shul!"

Life's a Gamble

While sitting this a.m., waiting for my children to finish their swimming lessons, I listened to the conversations around me and partook as well.

One woman said: "Could I ask you a question...?" It sounded ominous but she wanted to find out what "Kosher" means and why Cheerios may or may not be Kosher. At least she, as a non-Jewish woman, had some basic understanding about Kashrut and understood that we don't mix meat with dairy, and knew that for Pesach we change all our dishes, etc. So I only had to give a crash course in Kashrut.

On the other side of me, were two young Modern Orthodox peer fathers, who were discussing gambling, and going to Vegas or smaller casinos in Ontario, and what games give them a "rush" -- and how much money they would drop at a time, how much they'd come home with as a gain, or as a loss.

I couldn't help but silently give thanks to Hashem that my husband partakes in none of this, nor does he desire to do so. Once upon a time, I thought that the "gadgets" he likes to buy are often thrown-out money, but I'd so much rather he have gadgets and money in the bank, than an empty wallet after a rush at the blackjack table and a losing streak.