It’s November 2! If this fact seems uneventful to you, you’re probably not alone. However, in the Rana household, this a day when worlds collide.
1. First of all. Today marks Day #2 of Christmas Music Season!!! Within seconds of hitting play on Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas album, I let out a huge sigh. It was as if I’d been holding my breath all year, and hearing ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ was the permission I needed to relax. Get ready for two solid months of musical awesomeness.
2. Growing up in a Catholic home, my very traditional Italian Grandmother loved to celebrate All Soul’s Day, November 2. As an adult, I understand that for Grandma this was a day to remember and honour her deceased husband and children. In love, she kept the mood light for us Grandkids, teaching us about our deceased family. In keeping with Sicilian tradition, we were instructed to put our shoe outside of our bedroom door when we went to sleep on November 1.
Upon waking up, we would rush to open the door and see what the ‘souls’ of loved ones had left for us. Stuffed inside of our shoes were candies, a note, food or snacks we liked, and something small like a hair clip or a matchbox car. Despite us putting our largest shoes out, they were always filled with fun gifts and treats Grandma knew we loved. (Although there was one year that I regretted saying I loved sardines. You’d be surprised how many sardine tins can fit in a shoe!)
Both my older sister and older brother reminded me of this tradition and insisted I blog about it. At about 11:30 pm last night, I thought about taking it one step further and filling our shoes. Somehow, the thought of explaining this to Varun, hiding our shoes, and filling them with candy we already have in the house AND acting surprised in the morning seemed a bit far fetched. However, when we bring our child home, we’ll be sure to continue this tradition.
3. Today is also Karva Chauth, करवा चौथ, a Hindu festival in which married women pray and fast for their husbands. Because it’s based on the lunar calendar, I doubt it will fall on All Soul’s Day again for a long time. This is a really important holiday in Varun’s family, and it’s been neat for me to be able to participate, even from far away. Although we’re Christian, we set aside this day to pray and fast as a married couple. (I guess it’s good I didn’t put candy in our shoes–too tempting!)
4. Today also marks the First Annual All Siblings (All Souls Day) Google Hangout. In other words, all of my siblings, along with my parents and my niece and I all met on Google Hangout. Because we’re scattered across the Americas, we rarely see each other. But, we made time to chat today. My brother John (webmaster extraordinaire) had a bad accident earlier this week requiring surgery and hospitalization. He is stable now, and recovering at a family friend’s home in Quito, Ecuador, where my parents have gone to take care of him. It’s been an emotional week, and I think we all just wanted to know that John was Okay. What ensued was 90 minutes of hilarity.
“The only thing more fun than sharing a bedroom with Mom and Dad is having Mom type emails for me.” -John
One of the features is that whoever is talking the loudest is shown in the big window. Apparently, I was on the big screen a lot. (This still requires confirmation from third party sources). As a result, I was put on mute. Unfortunately I didn’t notice and just kept on talking. Some people found this very funny.
“Hey Mark, we should just do Google hangouts with [Amelia] every week and just listen to her on mute“-Luke
“John, did you get anything in your shoes this morning? Because I didn’t…”-Sarah
5. And just in case today wasn’t already jam-packed with awesomeness. This happened.
While leaving for work this morning, Varun shrieked and jumped backwards out of the elevator. I happened to be in the hall throwing out trash, and was dying to know what on earth happened. Traumatized, Varun reported that there was a mouse in the elevator. Varun held the door open keeping his body far away from the insides of the elevator. Upon investigation I found the tiniest, cutest baby mouse.
Me: Varun, just get in the elevator. It’ll be fine. C’mon, you’re gonna be late for work.
Varun: What if it charges at me?
(Compassionate reply) BAHAHAHA!