The cleaning is behind me, the hametz sold, the baking still to be done. A normal state of affairs for the day before Pesach.
My preparation time for this was short, seeing as I didn't return from NY until Wednesday evening. But going to seders is a lot easier than hosting them, so there really was no stress. I went to Tel Aviv Market, one of San Francisco's two kosher butchers/markets, on Friday morning. It turned into a cool Jewish bonding experience one rarely experiences in San Francisco outside of synagogue.
I saw someone I knew from Or Shalom. We talked about the joys of having kosher for Passover Coke made with sucrose instead of corn syrup. I then had a conversation with an elderly Eastern European woman--I couldn't tell what nationality from her accent. This conversation was ongoing as we traversed around the store picking up different food items. We talked about regular matzah meal vs. the cake meal (the cake meal is more finely ground); what is needed for sponge cake; the high cost of the Passover food; which wine should be bought--it's nice to have options for Passover wine that go beyond Manischewitz.
After making my wine decisions I turned to get on the check out line and saw three friends from Beth Sholom. Not only was it nice to chat with them, but I was able to fill my final Torah reading slots for parasha Shemini on April 14. And if that wasn't enough of a present for me, the guys at Tel Aviv gave me a free bottle of wine. Mind you, I spent a goodly amount of money, but still, they didn't have to do this and I appreciate the gift.
I wish you all a Chag Sameach Pesach--a Happy Pesach Holiday. May your 4 (or more) questions be answered and may your matzah balls be light.