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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

The Christmas Challah is rising

I’m in my sister’s basement, tapping away at her fully functional laptop keyboard. Somehow she has managed to keep every single key on her laptop with a nearly two-year old son and three cats and I am missing four keys with only one cat. Hmmm. Sometimes I think I’m ready to get married and raise kids, sometimes I realize that I eat popcorn for dinner and don’t have a K key on my laptop.

I took the train down last night, which was lovely. I *heart* Amtrak. First I met up with Amy for appetizers at the new Elephant and Castle at Lake & Wabash. It is just as cute as the one further south in the loop, but nobody knows about it yet so you can still get a table, which rocks. Our server was PERHAPS a bit coked up or something. Maybe she was just full of the Christmas spirit, but her description of the turkey dinner and her attention to every detail made me squirm in my seat.

I snoozed on the train most of the way to Bloomington, grateful for my iPod and a fresh episode of Kol Cambridge. The guy next to me was watching Sabrina, the original one, and I thought I might watch over his shoulder. Then I woke up and I was in Pontiac, just 25 minutes from my station. Train travel is the way to go during the holidays.

The absence of security is a little strange, considering that a suitcase bomb would fit just as easily on a train as on an airport. But maybe, just maybe, Amtrak knows better than to play charades like airport security does. I don’t think having us all take off our shoes is doing us a bit of good and neither is the Ziploc conspiracy of quart sized bags. So I like the free for all that is the train. Shockingly, when allowed to use your cell phone during transit, people don’t. There was a flurry at Pontiac of people calling to say, “I’m 25 minutes away, please leave the house.

After breakfast this morning, I played with the smartest almost two-year-old on the planet while my sister baked a cheesecake and then she put Henry to bed. After he settled down, it was time for me to start the traditional Christmas Challah. That is now rising and I’m in the basement, typing away and sneezing away. Apparently I’m allergic to Tinker Toys.

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