Near table from top left: Kim Maronski, Joan Meiselman, Dean Osgood, Terry Meiselman, Ben Meiselman, Kendra Campbell, Sandy Walter.
Round table at top left: Neal Meiselman, Brian Kolstad, Micah Walter, Susannah Kolstad.
Far table from left: Alyson Meiselman, Gail Osgood, Bill Lawrence, John Walter, Lauren Kolstad, Yonah Meiselman, Pat Lawrence, & Sharon Kolstad.
Donâ€™t you love the tables of friends and family members we collect for Passover? I do! And all year long I am looking for new recipes (like my favorite flourless chocolate cake), new serving dishes (like my brightly colored Fiesta ware), new readings or stories to expand the Hagadah (like the passage about the Passover celebration during the Civil War that we read this year).
I dust off the cranberry glasses I have collected just for Passover. I consider which flowers and trees will be blooming (this year I brought flowering crab apple into the house) and how they will decorate the room. I think about the place settings, who will sit near whom, and completing the elements on the Seder Plate, adding items every year to improve the celebration. (This year we added an actual shank bone instead of the chicken neck of prior years. I roasted it just short of embers but all three tables had a shank bone on the Seder plate.) Alyson supplied the Charoseth in a tub so we could eat it with the hard boiled eggs. There is usually never enough Charoseth but this year there was!
It gives me great pleasure to have all of my siblings gather with which ever younger generation is available to go through the story again. Changing the dishes and moving all of the living room furniture to the basement does make me feel like I am moving from Egypt, with out the camels or sand, of course.
Each year we struggle over the choice of which Hagadah to use. Everyone has their least favorite. This year, Neal got Hagadot from ORT, illustrated with colorful childrenâ€™s art. Beautiful, but not easy to read.
This year we had our newest bride and groom (Susannah and Brian Kolstad) with us. Susannah has promised she will be asking the 4 questions next year. Gail sang them this year. And this year Micah and Kendra were just back from 18 months on the island of Dominica and joined in for the Seder before moving to Baltimore. Neal, Terry and both Ben and Yonah took part in our Seder on the first night and were going to have their first Seder in their new home on the second night. So our first night of Passover Seder had many firsts within it.
From our house to yours, we hope you had a wonderful holiday.