Shanah tovah (שנה טובה). Parzen family New Year letter.

Let us turn our heads heavenward and, while thanking Him for sparing so much human life, beseech G-d to restore health and well-being to those who are suffering!
— Chabad.org

Shanah tovah (שנה טובה). Happy new year, everyone.

The last year has been a good one for our family — poo, poo, poo!

Georgia is enjoying fifth grade, her last at our elementary school. She has really begun to excel in the music program there. She plays violin and takes private lessons at the school, a music magnet, and she continues to take piano lessons with a private teacher outside of school. Yesterday, after I met her for lunch at school, she gave an impromptu piano concert for the entire fifth grade in the cafeteria! It was really magical. She’s also started taking tennis lessons, which she really enjoys (especially because tennis was Tracie’s sport in high school).

Lila Jane continues to take cello at school and piano privately. She’s also in the advanced choir at school. Next month, her school choir will sing the national anthem at the Houston Texans’ football game! (The choir teacher is a Grammy-winning children’s choir maestra and so the group gets some cool gigs like this. They are insanely good.) She also continues to write elaborate comic strips (pages and pages long, with illustrations, dialog and narrative). And she’s also become a writer for the school’s nascent paper. Last night, she was so eager to write a report that she insisted on bringing her laptop to the dinner table.

Both girls are starting to speak a little Italian and they are begging me to take them to Venice next summer (we’ll see!).

Tracie’s new career as a realtor also continues to flourish. Even though the market isn’t as “hot” as when she first began, her hard work and devotion have really paid off. We are a dual-income family now and that’s helped us accelerate our path to our financial goals.

Now that she is more steady and confident in her professional life, I’ve begun to travel for my work a bit more. I still do all the caretaking when I’m in town and I do nearly all of the cooking, which has reignited my culinary skills (that has been really fun).

The new focus in my work is my translations of ancient Italian texts on wine. A University of Toronto imprint has already agreed to publish my first one (a 14th-century work) and we already have a second and third book lined up in the series. It’s immensely rewarding for me to combine my skills and experience as an academic with my knowledge of viticulture.

As the old folks used to say (and I’m getting to be one of them), poo, poo, poo!

We have too many blessings to count.

The world beyond our home often seems perilous and precarious these days. But our home life and our community is an oasis where the girls are growing up healthy and safe — the greatest blessing in our lives.

On this Rosh Hashanah (new year), we pray for our sisters and brothers in Ukraine and Puerto Rico, we pray for the Venezuelan migrants, we pray that our leaders may rise to the occasion with grace and wisdom as our country and the world face seemingly unsurmountable challenges. We pray that our children and all children may be safe.

Shanah tovah. Happy new year.

Let us all simply shower one another with blessings!

One thought on “Shanah tovah (שנה טובה). Parzen family New Year letter.

  1. After you finish translating and publishing the Italian wine texts, you and Tracy should write a book on child rearing. Two amazing daughters. Hats off; I raised two, and they tuned out well in spite of me!!!

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