Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blessings of the Lares

"Lah-rees":  figures of gods specific to an individual household;  minor deities whose purpose is the guardianship of the household and the residents (both human and animal) who dwell within.

This is my collection of Lares, the protectors of my household.  I sometimes think I can hear them conversing;  it sounds like they're discussing how you go about applying for a transfer.  "She's an awful lot of trouble for a little old lady";  "wouldn't it be nice to have just an ordinary little bubbe to look after?"  "I mean, she does knit and drink tea and all that old-lady stuff, but she's just not ordinary..."
The "altar" at the back is an antique piece that belonged to the Husband's grandmother;  the frosted "candles" actually light up, but the plug needs replacing.  It was in his boyhood bedroom and was one of the first things I noticed the first time I visited the Long Island home he'd grown up in.
The dark figure to the left is a maternal figure of clay, replica of a mother (goddess?) from Cahokia, ancient native civilization in what is now Illinois.  Next to her is Anubis, then the Bear Mother Goddess (more below) and the small Bastet, ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess.  To Bast's right -- is the reason for this entry, again "more below".


This is my best and favorite - Ursa Mater, the Great Mother.  This is a tiny figure, and was a gift from the Husband.

The Mother and Her Cub are separate figures, and are as endearing a representation as I've seen.  Bears are very good mothers in nature, although it must be noted that they are believers in "tough love", and there are films of mother bears knocking their little ones head-over-heels with a smart clap of the paw when they're doing something that could easily result in the little ones putting themselves in harm's way.  As a symbol of protection and wisdom and so on, the Bear is certainly among the finest of representations of the Goddess.

But this little figure is even more delightful.  She has the moon and stars on Her chest - and when you set the little Cub off to the side, the essence of Her maternity becomes clear:

In the recessed place where the Cub fits, there are six paps, providers of the nourishment which are the essence of Motherhood, symoblizing the fact that the Mother is the provider of those elements necessary for growth, knowledge and even physical nourishment.  This funny primitive little figure represents for me the Feminine aspects of the Creator, if you will, and it gives me real pleasure.

The Lares provided comfort and security to the families under their protection.  Oh, the great Gods and Goddesses were present, of course, and their temples were places of mysticism and beauty.  The ruins still standing in Rome, in Greece and Egypt still look to be places of awe.   But the Lares are like home folks.  It might be necessary to prepare grand offerings for the Gods -- Lares would be content to sit around and share a pizza.

So where is all this going?  Well, my sentimentality is, among family and friends, legendary.  I cry over schmalzy commercials, I'm moved to tears by the quiet in a forest or the sound of the waves splashing at the shore of Lake Superior.  And if I'm given a gift by a friend, I cherish it. 

There are layers of sentimentality.  While I do cherish every single gift, there are some that go beyond that.  The little Ursa Mater, as well as being a perfect representation of my idea of the All-Mother, was a gift from my husband.   Because of that She is even dearer to me.

I really have felt that my cozy little funny little nest is under protection because of these, my household Lares.  But I recently received another figure to add to my "collection", my Lares, one whose story is as ancient as those I could call "my people", and whose protection is equal to - or greater than - any of the others.


He is taller than the Bear Mother - She comes about to his shoulder.  Otherwise he  is of similar dimensions.  He, too, is a figure made of clay and could be described as "primitive".  A simple creature, simple face, and his most distinctive feature is the word - in Hebrew characters - on his chest.
He came in the mail, having been sent on from Ohio.  He is as precious to me as my Bear Mother, and like Her, is a symbol not only of strength and protection but of sentimental affection.  What is he, this funny little guy?  He is a Golem.
The definition of a golem is a figure, amorphous, made of clay.  The stories about golems are generally frightening, as golems can be likened to zombies, though they never had actual human life.  They were made usually to hold off enemies or the like, and Isaac Bashevis Singer describes the golem tales as "the very essence of Jewish folklore". 
But THIS Golem, the Golem of Prague, was made (it is said) in the 16th century by a particularly holy Rebbe Judah, the chief rabbi of the city of Prague.   Under the rule of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, the Jews were ordered killed or expelled from the city.  So Rebbe Judah made his golem, and it was very effective in protecting Jews who came under harm's way.  But golems have no soul, and in time it became indiscriminate, killing not only gentiles but some Jews as well, and the Emperor begged the rabbi to stop his golem.  He did so, and the empty clay shell was allegedly stored in the attic of an ancient synagogue in Prague, where rumor says it remains to this day.
The word on the Golem's chest is the Hebrew word for TRUTH (emet), and placing those three letters on the chest or forehead of the golem activates it to do your will.  The danger, of course, lies in the lack of control of this soul-less creature.  In order to stop him, one must erase the right-hand most character, the aleph (Hebrew is read right-to-left, so that is the first letter of "truth").  That changes the word to met which is the Hebrew word for "death" - and the golem becomes just an inanimate lump of clay.
There are many stories, movies, even comic books and "X-Files" episodes about golems.  But this one, the Golem of Prague, was actually instrumental in saving the Jews from the anti-Semitic torture in the 16th century.
Now - my  little figure of the Golem of Prague, is a strong symbol of protection, to be sure.  But here's the rest of the story:  he was actually made in Prague!  This little clay figure, gift to me from  dear young friends, was obtained when they were visiting in Prague recently!  They stopped at museums and saw the old Jewish part of city, and they thought of me and brought away this dramatic, beautiful little figure.  He returned to London with them and they sent him on to their folks in Ohio who sent him along to me.

The Golem - any golem, makes highly interesting reading, and along with the very comforting protection I find my gift Bohemian Golem stirring around in the inspiration part of my mind.  Perhaps I should add to the body of wonderful stories about golems?

Thursday, December 20, 2012


We were warned for days.  Gary (my favorite weatherman) showed us all the fancy Doppler thingies, the streaks and lines and curves.  The charts and maps.  He showed us where it was coming from, how long it would stay, what would happen.  He said it might be 6" - 8" of snow.

Then he showed us the same stuff (or so it looked to me) and said we might get 8" - 12" of snow.  There were updates through the day which I caught on the teevee or FaceBook or MSN page.  The final analysis?  Looked like we might get around 18" of snow.   All the newscasters met this news with expressions of amazement, awe, astonishment.

Uhm....people, it's December.  And it's Wisconsin.  Look at a map of the United States - they call this part the "Upper Midwest", and we're really close to Canada.  We get winter here.  In the winter we get snow. 

But there is a distinct advantage to all this advance warning.  Our Noble Governor declared it a Snow Emergency or Frozen Disaster or Snowmageddon or whatever.  Schools were closed (it was only two days and then comes Christmas holiday anyhow so I doubt if any Highly Significant Lessons were going to be presented).  The Government closed.  (!)  The University actually cancelled finals, although I think what they really did is make kids take them on their own computers from whatever is "home" this semester.

The main message was this:  Don't.  Go.  Out.  Don't drive.  Stay home.

Two reasons for this, both sound:  1.  That way no one is in the way of the plows, who are out chugging along scraping and clearing fit to be tied (bless their hearts).  2.  This is the first major snow, and on the occasion of the first major snow every driver in Wisconsin becomes a natural-born-and-raised HAWAIIAN who has never seen the white stuff falling from the sky and has no concept of "icy streets".  Furthermore, none of us has ever driven a horseless carriage before.  Dangerous combination.  Luckily after a couple of days the first plowing has cleared the major thoroughfares and the Brain Cheese has been reactivated and everyone becomes Wisconsin drivers again.

 Now, I don't know about other parts of the country, but we in Wisconsin know exactly how to prepare for this kind of Snow Emergency (and the advance warning was helpful).  We make sure to lay in enough food.  (Two-day snow emergency?  Get enough beer and brats and cheese and stuff for at least a month.  Watching it snow is a powerful appetitezer.)  Sort out the yarn and prepare 32 knitting projects;  put each in a bag with the appropriate needles and directions.  (Snow emergencies might wind up lasting longer than forecast.) 

Pile up the books.  You want at least three or four that you haven't read - and perhaps a dozen that you have, but might as well read again.  After all, the Gummint has said we're not to go out.  Sure, they're saying it's going to last two days but it wouldn't be the first time what they say and what actually happens don't match up.

Blankets!!  Pile several near the couch and some extras on the bed.  The Power is notorious for disappearing.  Line up several kinds of tea and put a full kettle on the stove and a full teapot in the microwave.  (The latter may not work if the power goes out.  Long live the gas stove.)

Make sure all electronics capable of such things are battery-charged within an inch of their lives.  In my case that means my laptop, my netbook and my cell phone.  Our cell phones are a half-step down from the Jitterbug, but they do function as phones.

The most ideal, of course, is for the power lines to stay intact (they have, hereabouts).  So today I've read, knitted some while watching the teevee, napped with the cat, drunk five cups of tea, looked up some stuff on Google, fooled around on Face Book and played a few minutes  moments -- oh hell, hours of Jewel Quest.  The newsman tells me we do, in fact, have a solid 19" of fresh snow, and I'm here to tell you, it looks beautiful, falling softly as seen over the rim of a steaming mug of Earl Grey.

Sure sign of the season:  the Husband's mountain bike is safely tucked into the basement - and the skis and poles are at the ready near the back door.  That sound you're hearing?  The skis are absolutely thrumming with anticipation.

I love winter.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Never Again, Please

DISCLAIMER:  Random thoughts pertaining to latest national abomination.  Normal programming resumes soon.

I am listening to a program on the radio.   It's on NPR.  It's a memorial service.  There are apparently clergy representing every denomination in Newtown, Connecticut.  Each is giving his or her message and prayers.  I  have not heard a child chanting from the Qu'ran before. 

I'm not one of those to read every article, watch every program, look at every citation on line about this, our latest global tragedy the wanton slaughter of innocents (and  that includes the adults).   Has anyone else noticed that none of the adults lost were "old enough to die" either?

It is my opinion that the internet has created of our world a true global village.  It has removed from between us all, time and distance.  I can chat as easily with an acquaintance in Australia as I can with my friend just blocks away.  In my mind, that makes the woman stirring rice in her pot in India my neighbor just as I am the neighbor of the woman boiling maize in front of her hut in Africa.

Therefore, when children die in the Middle East or Asia or Patagonia, Iceland or Russia or Canada, I feel a deep sadness for my sisters, their mothers.   Nature's balance designates that a child is born, grows, has children of his own, advances in age and dies.  When that balance is overthrown and the child dies before the parent, it has a unique sadness.  I find it poignant - perhaps a tiny bit comforting - that the children left this earth accompanied by loving teachers.

I am not here to expound;  just to say that my heart, like the hearts of so many, finds this latest incident incomprehensible, beyond the scope of my understanding.   I need no proof of the existence of Evil. 

My prayers are not found in any book, are not repeated by any group of people, could not be identified by any traditional title.  But I implore with an earnest heart, that some small comfort come to everyone touched by sadness, whether the deep grief of the bereft or the passing woe of anyone who gasps upon hearing of the tragedy. 

It is enough.  No more.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Music, That Which Binds Souls....

HAPPY CHANUKAH!  This picture is from a few years - and five nights - ago.  The menorah was a gift from my daughter-in-law.  It's very traditional, and I like that.  (Ignore the Catholic altar behind it and the figure of the Goddess Bast and the Sacred Mother of Cahokia;  I'm an equal-opportunity worshipper here.)

I've always celebrated Chanukah, even while my home has been MY home and not my parents'.  My children and I celebrated only Chanukah, no Christmas in our home until the Splendid Husband had been with us for some time.  He said, one year, that he might like a Christmas tree.  I said I would ask my Jewish children what they thought.  Think about this;  ask anyone (ANYone!) if they'd like a fresh, fragrant fir tree in the living room all glittering with colored lights and perhaps sparkly ornaments.  Of COURSE they'd like a tree!  So ours became a blended holiday family, and with perfectly satisfactory results.  (You might have read this before;  I'm old enough that I may be repeating stories.  It's a privilege of Advanced Age;  smile and nod as though it was all new to you.  Thank you.)

So.  Music.  Specifically holiday music.  Now, even as a little child I learned Christmas carols in school, and I always sang them with great enthusiasm, they're beautiful!    Might I add that I also sang them somewhere between tunelessly and off-key.  My father was said to have a fine voice.  My mother got odd looks singing hymns and I inherited her voice.  Never slowed either of us down.

Christmas carols are melodic, romantic and beautiful.  I'm not particularly wild about the modern Christmas songs.  I apologize, Bing.  I can appreciate the appeal of "White Christmas", I just don't appreciate the song as much as, say, "Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella".  The Oldies station I listen to occasionally plays "All Christmas Music All the Time" from Thanksgiving on.  Bring me back my Chad and Jeremy for petessakes.

I've discovered that there are NO stations which play "All Chanukah Music All the Time" from Rosh Hashanah on.  But it's the 21st century, and I have a computer.  (Insert big grin here.)  Which means, of course, that I have  Pandora .  Now. they have a wide variety of stations which play a wide variety of Christmas music - AND one that plays Chanukah music!

The problem is, there aren't a great many Chanukah songs.  But they've managed to find enough of an assortment to play for hours.  Truth to tell, it's more a case of different artists playing or singing the same melodies, but that's fine with me.  And here's something of Huge Magnitude:  in three days of listening to my Chanukah station, I've only heard it once.  Sorry to do this to you, my friends.  I believe the term is "ear worm".  "Dreidl, dreidl, dreidl, I made it out of clay, and when it's dry and ready, then dreidl I will play."   (A few rounds of "B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o" should wipe it out.)

But here's what happened.  There have been a few melodies placed in between that are in fact old Russian klezmer songs.  "Klezmer", for those unfamiliar, is Jewish music, Yiddish music, firmly attached to the shtetls of Europe.  There's been a revival;  a klezmer band often has clarinet, accordian, fiddles,saxophones -  all sort of peasant-y loud instruments.    I've liked klezmer music for always, and we have a particularly fine klezmer band right here in town:  Yid Vicious !

Well, as I said above, it's the 21st century and I have a computer.  That means I also have access to You Tube (c'mon, I don't have to put the link for THAT.)  So I started by going there and putting in "klezmer".  What a wealth!!  Hours and hours of wonderful klezmer music - and then I found it.  On the list to the right, a mention of klezmer as "Chasidic Wedding Music".  So I looked THAT up.

And suddenly I was listening to waltzes, to hymns, to dance music that were heard in the lands of my ancestors - Lithuania, Latvia, Roumania - at various times various parts of Russian.  It awakens in me the Jewish part, the part that has blood connections to the pogroms, to the Holocaust, to Israel -- emotional connections, not necessarily political ones.   As an ethnic Jew, I'm not surprised that the music fills me as it does.

The Chasids - Chasidim - are mystics and ecstatics.  I don't know much about them, although I probably know more than non-Jews.  There is a fair-sized Chasidic community here, and they look so austere with their almost Amish-appearing clothing.  But it's they who brought dancing and wine and merriment, and it's nowhere better illustrated than the music.

When the music of the holidays stirs you, brings to mind making rosettes in the kitchen with your Norwegian grandma or when the carols remind you of making the meringue mushrooms for the buche de noel, flex those roots, revel in the winter celebration of your ancestry - and check it out on You Tube!

If you've an interest, a curiosity, to taste something new - check on You Tube for   200 Years Old Chassidic Melodies from Russia .   It's a little taste, a nosh. 

And a Merry Christmas to you!

(PS:  Just stayed up until 6:00 AM watching "Fiddler on the Roof" - I always cry at the end.  My great-grandfather, whom I never met, was called Bear Dov.  He came from an Anatevka somewhere.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Day AFTER 12-12-12!

Over a year, can you believe it?  (That's wondering if any "you" are left....)  I'm considering this a New Start.  I actually did begin composing yesterday, (12-12-12) thinking that one should do SOMETHING unusual on such a rare day. 

Getting married was out - next May we're celebrating our 26th or 31st anniversary, depending on if you count the Normal Human wedding day or the hippie "we're hangin' together for life" day.  Having a baby is out.  Way out.  I'm probably only a few years away from great-grandchildren.

I asked if I might take lunch to my Lovely Daughter (to begin eating at 12:12 pm, of course) but she had other plans.  So I did what every little old Jewish bubbe does in the face of remarkable occurrences:  I took a nap.

Now - you may wonder what the magic mushroom has to do with any of this.  NOTHING!  But I found it during our sojourn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in October, and this seemed an ideal place for  it.  So I think what's called for here is a brief catchup.  I'm not going to promise to write every day, keep up perfectly, &c.  because when I make bold statements like that it's the Kiss of Doom.

So - in a word, as they say:  for two winters I suffered terrible bouts of SAD.  Clever name for malady in which you're....say it with me...SAD!  (Seasonal Affective Disorder.)  I don't know for sure if that's what it was;  suffice it to say that the first bout led me to spending four months watching Animal Planet.  I could train any canine ever bred and I think everyone in Houston has starving horses in their back yard and cockfights next door.  (I have a crush on the Houston Shelter staff, all of them.)

This winter I seem to be doing much better - but of course it's early.  (That is not a crew of lumberjacks pounding on your roof - it's me, knocking on wood, plastic-that-looks-like-wood, pseudo panelling and phony doors.) 

I succeeded in writing a 50,000 word novel in November 2011 AND November 2012.  So far no calls from Hollywood about movie rights, but I'm an optimist.  NOT holding my breath, but an optimist.

We discovered Steam Punk (google if unfamiliar) and have been having a great deal of fun.  Our only connection is the TeslaCon steampunk convention, which I've attended from the start.  This year was the third, and I'm glad to say Superhub accompanied me last year and this year and enjoyed himself greatly.  This year I joined the Suffrage Movement.  All fun - but one has a cold chill after this year's politics that the chance exists for us to need to wear our sashes again in earnest.

Still working at the Museum, which is just enough to keep our hand in but no so much that it interferes with my Program of Indolence.  I figure Procrastination and Indolence are bound to become Olympic sports before long and I intend to lead the American team.

I've been writing a little more, knitting a little less and trying to sort things out.  Perhaps, as I tremble on the lip of my 71st year of life, it's time to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

I bet I can put it off some.

Kitties are fine!  Evangeline has become a lap kitty - at least when I'm trying to work on the netbook, sitting on the couch.  Lillianeis still a paschkudnik.  The Husband is superior in all ways, and missed his calling as the Warden of a Crazy People's Place because he puts up with me.  Without complaint.

Last bit of news - we handed off the beloved '93 Toyota station wagon (with roughly 270,000 miles on it) and got a new Prius V.  That's "V" like in "vestal", NOT the Roman numeral five.  (I watch the ads.)   It's like a tardis - much bigger inside than it looks outside, and has proven sufficient for hauling all reenacting gear wherever we're going.  I like it because when you take the foot off the gas pedal it tells you you're getting "99.9 miles per gallon" and that just sounds so danged fuel efficient.

OK, no promises, but I am going to see if I can pump a little life back into this poor blog.

NOTE:  I mentioned the cats (fine);  I mentioned the sticks (not much knitting, but a couple things on the needles).  As far as the "books" go - I can recommend "If Walls Could Talk" by Lucy Worsley (fascinating history of the rooms in our homes);  I am otherwise reading a variety of things on American Spiritualism, Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poetry, various writing books and a smattering of other oddments.

BOY am I rusty and I have to remember how to put in pictures.

Thursday, June 2, 2011's JUNE?

They say when you get older, time goes by faster.  OY!!   It's true.  Now, let's see....twelve months in a year;  four months' indolence - isn't that a quarter of  a year?  Or is it a third....hmmm...three fours are twelve, yes?  So it's a third?  I'll go with that.  ((Darn teachers were right, I should've tried harder in elementary  math -- one year my parents gave me a new chess set for getting a D in math!  It wasn't an F!)

So what happened in May, anything?  Well!  Lay-deez and gentle-mens, May was so chock-full that I should've blogged every day.  SO I need to make up for it now, and I will.  I still have to futz some with my pictures, and this may take some days, so (as I am SO fond of saying) BEAR WITH ME!!

Here's what you'll see here over the next few days:

1.  As BAD as December, January, February and March were, and April just a slight improvement, May was all-around spectacular.  I still have vestiges of the #)#**&@ tremor, but am Adjusting the Medication and (hopefully) beating it.

2.  May included our 25th Wedding Anniversary (!).  Or...29th year together if you count our four years of Shackin' Up before traditional Her Old Man and His Old Lady -- we hippies did that, you know.  And there WILL be a whole blog about it, because while we generally go camping in a canvas wedge tent with no floor, and while we have dine on our anniversary at Taco Bell (hey hey hey here....we both LIKE Taco Bell and I still have TWO eyeball straws from there so shut up) -- this year Mr. Dearling took me to CELEBRATE our Silver Anniversary in style.  We spent a week at....ready?  Remember the wedge tent with no floor?  We spent a week at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!!

Of course I took pictures.  It was perfect;  there was not one moment that we did not enjoyIt's required to "dress for dinner" so with one exception, we DID though it were 1890.  We had such fun - and being elegantly dressed reminded us that we were NOT at home and no matter how great the temptation, plate-licking was not allowed.  (See "hippies", above.)

3.  May also included my blogiversary, but being on May 11 we were still portraying 120-year-old visitors, (dare I say?) I forgot.  So I'll mention that too.  And I have a Resolution to try to pick it up now that I seem to be largely recovered (that thumping you hear is me pounding vigorously on anything resembling wood).

I'm back to work, mostly -- and a good thing, too, because we're getting ENORMOUS tour groups at the Museum -- all the kids from all over the state who cancelled because they couldn't pair it with their usual tours of the Capitol.  (We've had a protest or two, you might've seen references.)  It's still very wonky here in Wisconsin;  for petessakes.  Recall Walker ("Stalker"  "Hawker" &C &C).  Ain't going all political here - suffice it to say I love living in Madison, Wisconsin.

There's no more ice around, the weather is mild, my beloved lilac bush had flowers this year, the peonies are covered with buds (and their attending Caretaking Ants) and our backyard looks like....well, the Amazon comes to mind.

We've had the delight of attending a lovely wedding of friends, we're looking forward to a granddaughter's high school graduation, and it's very pleasant, being summer.  We have some living history events planned, and my assignment (should I choose to go) is my upcoming high school reunion in September. 

Ready for this?  It's our FIFTIETH HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!  I may go just to see who's still alive!! this space.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Semantic Point --

I awoke this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, and apparently buried at sea.  My first thought?   Hope they took pictures before they "buried him at sea", or sent some DNA to CSI or wossname.

But I have a wee problem-o.  How do I feel about the whole thing?  OK, let me be clear about this:  I think he was like Hitler -- hateful, odious, no redeeming value.  He finally got what was coming to him, because I remember as clear as though it was yesterday (and it's been ten years!) how I felt when I heard the reports on the car radio on September 11, 2001, and how I felt as I watched all day on television and cried for the brothers and sisters who had died, and cried for everyone who loved all those people.  At that moment, We Americans became related -- no "six degrees of separation";  they were OUR family members.

So please read carefully, because I am relieved that such a hateful man is dead.  BUT!!  The phrases I'm hearing on television this morning:  "People all around the world are celebrating the death...."  "The news was met with delight at Ground Zero...."    "Retribution",   "Revenge" - "Joyous atmosphere...."

I'm relieved that he's gone, I hear the news with relief that a chapter has closed (and some trepidation, of course, because clearly it's not a total solution).  But there's something that jars in the reporting and it occurs to me that certain words should never be joined.  For example, "celebrate", "delight", "joyful" paired with "war" or "death".  He's gone.  GOOD!  But you know, I'm not going to raise a glass, dance in the streets or express joy.  Relief?  Yes.  Unbridled delight?  nawwww.

From the mouths of the babes:  Mr. Dearling tells me that one of his 4th grade students on tour at the museum asked him why we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  And when I think about it, (the CW)  I first think of the hundreds of photos taken by Matthew Brady of young men lying dead on the battlefields.  I'm sorry, I can't entirely separate that image from the realization that every one of those men (or boys) was, at one time, a swaddled infant being smiled upon by his Mama or his Meemaw (or even, perhaps, his mammy).

So let's COMMEMORATE today.  Commemorate the fact that the most Evil, Hateful, Baneful Demon of our time is no longer walking this earth.   I will commemorate his death, and I feel proud of the Navy SEALS who apparently succeeded in this.  But gee, guys - I really can't celebrate  death.

NOTE:  they just mentioned that he was "buried at sea" within the required 24 hours (same as Jews - there must be burial "before the sun sets" - which is interpreted as "within 24 hours"). 

Boy - these are heavy times for Emotionally-charged Aging Jewish Bubbes.....the high of watching our little William marry that lovelly girl in England, the plunging relieved/bummer that Bin Laden's gone.  Good thing Mr. Dearling keeps a good supply of tissues at hand.