In first person: Passover in the desert gets a new meaning in Arizona

Although I now live in Scottsdale, Ariz., where I retired in 1989, I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we still have family and have kept up with everyone through the Bulletin.

About five years ago, I was talking to my cousin Cynthia Harband, who lives in Hillsborough, and we were trying to think of a way to celebrate Passover with all the cousins. I said, "How about coming to Arizona and celebrating Passover in the desert?" She thought it was a wonderful idea, and so I sent out invitations to all of the cousins in the Bay Area and my children, who now live in Boston and Los Angeles. I invited all for a weekend Passover, and to my surprise, everyone accepted.

My cousin even had T-shirts with a cactus and the words "Passover in the Desert" screened on them for everyone.

The weather cooperated and I set the table up outside in the patio for 29 members of the family plus "strangers" who had become friends since we moved here. We had a traditional seder and a great time. Everyone helped with the cooking, and the Passover story took on a new meaning for all the youngsters, as we were actually in the desert. We made a weekend out of it with baseball, swimming and catching up on what everyone was doing. The family is still talking about it and we are planning a reunion soon.