There have been years when no family members came...now, in the past 2 weeks, three different cousins have been/are/will be in Israel. When it rains.....One cousin was on an organized tour and didn't have time to spend with me, so I didn't travel to Jerusalem, as I had thought to do, but hopefully, I'll see her in the States if I go for my niece's wedding in June. The second came with his daughter, who's here for the year, for Shabbat, which was great fun. And now, I got an email from a 3rd, who will be here with her family next week. It's nice for me, of course, but my kids have basically grown up without extended family, and it's nice for them to know that they have cousins, not just hear about them.
Dufus has been laying on the couch for the last couple of days, looking sorry for himself. Avishai calls him "Herzl" but honestly, he looks, and acts, like a Dufus. Anyway, I was going to take him to the vet today. I don't begrudge the money....I figure that spending money on a stray animal counts, at least a bit, as tzdekka, but I do begrudge the time! As it is, after I finish work and all errands, I don't get home until 6:00p.m., and only then, after getting supper together, can I start Pesach prep. Now I have to work around the dog? And not even my dog? Oh well...maybe he'll pay me back by licking up some of the stray crumbs.
Actually, I'm fairly well along in preparations, but as always, am nervous about the last days before the holiday, when the crunch (and cooking) comes in. This year, it's more pressured than usual because the Seder comes on Saturday night, so both Shabat and the Seder have to be ready by Friday afternoon. But it will happen. We're having a neighborhood family join us, with kids our kids' ages, so everyone should be happy. I was going to get some gift certificates to a clothing store and give them out to the kids who ask the most and best questions at the Seder -- we'll see if I can organize it in time. A bit of bribery never hurt anyone.