Our Chanukiah table of lights captures a flicker of our Commuter Family. It has lots of luminous, colorful lights among a degree of chaos. It is placed in front of our picture window for all the world to view.
In the middle of the table, I see the preschool chanukiahs without candles that are made with blocks of wood, bolts and hot glue. At the far end is Oldest Son's train that has been lit since he was 2 years old and the most recent baseball chanukiah representing his boyhood. Closer are the Noah Ark chanukiahs belonging to Youngest Son. One is missing parts and the newer one has dangling gadgets that Youngest Son appreciates.
We especially love the somewhat tacky chanukiah we brought back from Mexico. In April 2009, we took a road trip to La Manzanilla when all of Mexico was shut down for the swine flu (click here for more about that.) We found this amazing terra cotta clay chanukiah in a small art gallery. It was made by an indigenous woman. Oldest Son put red and green candles in it tonight - this made me smile.
On the top right is a crooked red candle in the center shamash position of the chanukiah. The shamash is the candle that serves the others (we use it to light the other candles.) I keep looking at this particular shamash candle. I feel like that shamash candle right now - not completely broken, still shining and performing its intended function. But not quite right either.