Detecting a pattern / Detectando un patrón

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

ALTHOUGH I HAD COFFEE AND conversation with good friend Tynan today, and that was uplifting, I refuse to think about other current events. So, let me take you back in time. First to 1979 with my parents in their kitchen and then over the last 10 years in their living room (with flashbacks to the 1950s — click here for that complete post). I had never given it much thought, but clearly My Mother The Dowager Duchess always loved color and patterns. And she wasn’t afraid to use them!


AUNQUE HE TENIDO UN CAFÉ y conversé con buen amigo Tynan hoy, y eso fue alentador, me niego a pensar en otros eventos actuales. Entonces, déjame llevarte atrás en el tiempo. Primero en 1979 con mis padres en su cocina y luego durante los últimos 10 años en su sala de estar (con flashbacks de la década de 1950; haz clic aquí para ver esa entrada completa). Nunca lo había pensado mucho, pero claramente a Mi Madre La Duquesa Viuda siempre le encantaron los colores y los patrones. ¡Y no tenía miedo de usarlos!

• 1979. The kitchen. Sister Dale was in for a visit from England and my parents hosted a party, for about 50 people, for their granddaughter’s 6th birthday (and eldest cousin Evie’s birthday, too — although not her 6th).
• 1979. La cocina. La hermana Dale estaba de visita desde Inglaterra y mis padres organizaron una fiesta, para unas 50 personas, por el sexto cumpleaños de su nieta (y el cumpleaños de la prima mayor Evie también, aunque no su sexto).
• Since 1970, there had been elegant gold lace drapes (with a botanical pattern) that hung in a curve. After more than 20 years, my mother tried to wash them in the bathtub. They came apart in her hands.
• Desde 1970, había elegantes cortinas de encaje dorado (con un patrón botánico) del piso al techo que colgaban en una curva. Después de más de 20 años, mi madre trató de lavarlas en la bañera. Se separaron en sus manos.
With The Duchess in 2014.
Con La Duquesa en 2014.
My mother’s “knitting chair” in 1950.
La “silla de tejer” de mi madre en 1950.
• Reupholstered in 1970 and stayed that way for the next 46 years.
• Retapizado en 1970 y permaneció así durante los siguientes 46 años.
• The chair was one of two that came from my grandfather’s synagogue when it closed in the 1960s. My father refinished the wood and my mother replaced the original (100-year-old) burgundy mohair with red silk. We considered shipping the two chairs to Spain (and reupholstering them), but I think it’s fairly obvious, they weren’t comfortable and they took up a lot of space.
• La silla fue una de las dos que vino de la sinagoga de mi abuelo cuando cerró en la década de 1960. Mi padre le dio un nuevo acabado a la madera y mi madre reemplazó el mohair burdeos original (de 100 años de antigüedad) con seda roja. Consideramos enviar las dos sillas a España (y retapizarlas), pero creo que es bastante obvio, no eran cómodas y ocupaban mucho espacio.
• You can see an ashtray on the table in 1954/55.
• Puede ver un cenicero sobre la mesa en 1954/55.
• Around 2014. Same table (refinished in 1960). Same ashtray. We had it shipped to Spain after my mother died in 2016. It survived three kids and 66 years with minor cracks only to be broken (beyond repair) in packing.
Alrededor de 2014. Misma mesa (reformada en 1960). Mismo cenicero. Lo enviamos a España después de que mi madre muriera en 2016. Sobrevivió a tres niños y 66 años con pequeñas grietas solo para romperse (irreparablemente) en el embalaje.



Toledo has two fascinating examples of ancient synagogues. Of course, both were converted to churches centuries ago but, unlike so many of these buildings in Spain, the two in Toledo are no longer used as houses of worship and are instead museums dedicated to their Jewish history.

And, once again, I DO go on. Skip the history if you have no interest and just look at the pictures. But don’t miss the closing paragraph after all the photos.

Click to fargresern the images… that’s enlarge in Yiddish… Or at least I think it is… I had to look it up. At least I know it’s not farkrimen, which is distortOh, just go ahead and click already. What do you need, an engraved invitation?

El Transito
The first, Sinagoga del Tránsito, was founded in 1356 by Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia, Treasurer to King Peter of Castile — until the king had him executed in 1460.

After all Jews were finally expelled from Spain in 1492, El Tránsito was converted to a church, Nuestra Señora Del Transito.

It was a military headquarters during the Napoleonic Wars, became a national monument in 1877, and was transformed into the Sephardic Museum beginning in 1910.

Santa María La Blanca
Built sometime around the year 1200 and originally called Ibn Shushan Synagogue or The Congregational Synagogue of Toledo, this is considered (with some dispute) the oldest synagogue building (still standing) in Europe. It became a church in the very early 1400s and is still owned and now preserved by the Catholic Church as a museum.

El Transito/Sephardic Museum


Santa Maria La Blanca

The traditional Yiddish (German-origin) word for synagogue or temple is ‘shul.’ 
My Jewish grandmother, a polite woman, did not use the word shul when speaking with gentiles who might not understand (oddly, she included me in this group). Instead, she would use the word synagogue. 
Unfortunately, she pronounced it “sindergarden,” so she really wasn’t much help.