Dear friends and patient readers,
I am taking the first opportunity to sit down and tell you all that the cleaning is over, and so is the holiday, and that I have survived it all and lived to tell the tale. Barely, though (just joking).
Seriously, however, I must say that this was the most difficult pre-Pesach period I have ever experienced, and that I actually felt emotionally shaken throughout the whole business. Worse, I found myself doing just what I said I shouldn't, mustn't and absolutely wouldn't do, such as scrubbing out bathroom cabinets while I should have been doing other, Pesach-related things.
The very worst part for me, I suppose, was the lack of time for normal everyday things - cooking meals, tending to the children, providing a structured day. For days, I went half-hungry, tired, emotionally and physically exhausted, and wondering how come I'm caught in this circle again. I won't own that it was for any lack of thorough planning or laziness; the fact is, since leavened bread (chametz) is eaten up until at least a week before the holiday, and consequently the everyday (chametz) kitchen utensils used, and the bulk of work is concentrated in the kitchen, there is only so much one can do *beforehand*.
Last night, my husband and I stayed up until midnight packing away all the Pesach dishes and utensils, and I still have part of my everyday utensils to return to the kitchen cabinets. Thus I am happy to say it will be almost a year before we have to go through this again, and hopefully, my poor overwrought, overexhausted frantic brain (I actually scolded my children for "carrying chametz around" right in the middle of the holiday, forgetting that we have long banished all trace of it) soon will be able again to produce something akin to rational thought.
We did, however, have some fun and relaxed during the holiday as well; among other things, we had a couple of dear old friends over for a day (and if you are reading this, here's another opportunity to tell you how much we enjoyed having you around for a few hours, and how much we are looking forward to seeing you again!).
So, once more - yes, I'm alive, reasonably well, and will soon, hopefully, be updating again.