Sunday always starts with a cup of coffee with my husband. Of course, he's accomplished a great deal more than I have by that point. For my part, I am up and dressed. For his part, he has usually paid bills, davened, done a bunch of dishes, and said good morning to the kids. Today was the day we began to kasher my mother-in-law's kitchen. All week I had been anticipating a huge bal egan. Mountains of kashering. Sinks, counters, dishwasher, stove, oven... it would take a gazillion hours, and how would I squeeze out all that extra time? I was embarrassingly dreading it and wondering if we should just wait until after the holidays.
Today (and last night), all it took was two hours of kashering her counters and large appliances, a 30-minute consult with the rabbi, and ninety minutes of kashering utensils. Another 90 minutes of kashering utensils and a trip to the mikveh to dunk a box full of things and we should be DONE! Perhaps in my mind I was envisioning a kitchen like mine which is rather more involved. But a kitchen for one? Simple!
Once I got going, what a pleasure to do the mitzvah. My heart was happy, and ima was so joyful that her kitchen would be kashered as we begin a new year. Doing something leshem shamayim (for the sake of heaven) is just, well, delicious. Why do we keep kosher? Because Hashem told us to. That's it. Taking part in the process today of another Jew keeping this huge mitzvah just made me very, very happy and peaceful. I reveled in the steamy pot of boiling water and piling up all the gleaming utensils. It was sweet and holy.
And after that we piled into a great big U-Haul truck with another friend and went off to Eden, Georgia to collect a chicken coop (30 minutes away). We wended our way through the backwoods and finally found the right trailer, proudly flying the American and confederate flags. A man came out on the porch and put his boots on. Our friend took one look at the scene and said, "Well, he hasn't shot at us yet..." :) All went well, they were very friendly, and happy to tell us about their chickens, turkeys, turtles, cow, and wild pigs (300 pounds each in the woods nearby!). Somehow the three of us (+ a little help) lugged the great big 500?-pound coop into the truck. The "coop" looks more like rabbit hutches on stilts. Kind of nice to have it up high with easy egg access, and the stilts should make it more snake-proof... I hope! Each chicken will have his own apartment. We'd like to build ramps going down, and enclose the chicken area with the fencing we have. They should have pretty good digs by the time it's ready, BE"H. Nothing like an adventure!!
About the time we got home, Amirah came back from a 4-day adventure in Atlanta. She had a great time, of course, and had expressed a desire to just stay until Rosh Hashanah. Unfortunately, homeschooling is flexible but not THAT flexible! :) She had a great few days, and I'm so, so glad to have my snuggly, yummy girl back.
A good Sunday with many things accomplished. And tomorrow, just in time for the holidays, a Star-K certified oven will be arriving at 7:00 a.m. (EEK!). Our old one had clogged gas jets, a thermostat that was WAY off, and NO sabbath mode, which made yom tov cooking tricky! And while we were at it we got a meat dishwasher. Bring on the chagim!!