July 18, 2024
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July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Every family has unique talents. There are families that have a knack for crafty things and you can see the whole mishpacha wearing matching, handmade, tie-dyed t-shirts with coordinating stone-washed jeans (or jean skirts). There are families that do cousin weekends; everyone gets together from near and far for one weekend in the summer. They exchange recipes and thoughts and dreams. It is a beautiful thing. Then, of course, there are the families that have nothing to do with each other, and that is their thing, but at least they have a thing so it’s all good.

Then there are those families that plan their lives around going to shul. For some reason, and I think that reason is that I am not going with them, my family goes to minyan three times a day (sometimes even more, if they can get away with it). Now, my progeny will tell you it is because that is what they are supposed to do. I think they do it just to aggravate me. (I am kidding somewhat, God forgive me.)

Whatever plans we make have to involve minyan times. Even if we are driving to Providence, Rhode Island. Or to Minnesota. Or the Bronx. Or to Target. If a trip coincides with rosh chodesh, Torah reading or a chol hamoed situation, the timing
has to be even more magical. It is fortunate that we live in a world with many, many different minyanim times. But, my family’s talent is…well…let’s just proceed with the story. Which is written with the begrudging permission of husband #1.

A few weeks ago, we realized that it was going to be our last Sunday with the fi ve of us together, for a while. I realized it might be the last Sunday that all of my boys will still be wearing t-shirts instead of white, button-down shirts and black pants, but that is another column entirely. So we decided that we should do something special together, something that we would all enjoy. I was hoping that they would pick the Bronx Zoo, since that is my happy place. I dropped several  subtle hints. Well, perhaps they weren’t so subtle, but they were ineffective, as are most of my subtle hints. Yes, we decided to go to a Yankee game. When I say we, I mean them. And when I say them, mean I had no choice in the matter because when your boys ask you to come with them, even if the ulterior motive is that they need someone to pack food and drinks, you say yes.

So off to the Yankee game we go. With shacharit behind us, we were hopeful for a 4:30 mincha, a 6:20 mincha and worst-case scenario, an 8:20 mincha, which comes with a bonus maariv—one-stop shopping. We find our seats, settle in, Mets fans sitting together (sons #1 and #2) and husband #1 and son #3 sitting side by side in the hopes of a Yankee victory.

I thoroughly enjoyed the company of my sons, and we, together, enjoyed all of the home runs that the Minnesota Twins were hitting. The Yankee fans of the family, however, were not as delighted, but that’s life. The game was going at a quick pace, and we were sitting in the back row of the last section, so it was nice and cool in the shade and I was over-posting on Facebook so I wouldn’t die of sheer boredom. Time was on our side and there was a glimmer of 4:30 mincha hope.

Game ended, Yankees lost and we start the hike back to our van. The van was parked somewhere between Yankee Stadium and Teaneck (possibly closer to Teaneck, but walking is good for you). It was really hot out and we were looking forward to getting into the car and putting the air on. And getting to mincha. We get into the van and the boys comment on how cool it is inside the car. Hmm, it was pretty cool considering how hot it was outside. How did that happen? Uh oh, it seems that husband #1 left the car on for the four hours we were at the game. How is that possible, you ask. How can you leave the car on if you have the key, you ask? How, if you have a keyless car, can you leave the car on when
you take the key with you, you ask? How did you still have gas in the tank if the car was running for four hours, you ask? Yes, these are all very good questions. And the answers are—yes, if you have a keyless car and you forget to press the button to turn the car off and you think you locked the doors but you didn’t notice that they didn’t lock because you were so excited about your inexpensive parking spot it is possible. Oh, and your car runs out of gas. It ends up on 0. Folks, say goodbye to 4:30 mincha. But it certainly makes a good story!

Hope you are all enjoying your summer…

Banji Ganchrow might be out of the country when you read this or she might just be out of her mind like she usually is.

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