Robin brought some of his clothes from his room, and I opened my closet so the three of us could see what might work for Davey. He saw the gypsy prince outfit hanging in my closet and went all fangirl squealy on us. He ran over and grabbed it out looking at it and turning it around inspecting every inch.
"This is GORGEOUS," he practically yelled. "I am so making Zeyde bring me back down here so I can go to the faire with you guys. I have got to see you in this. I'll bet you're just dreamy."
"I look ok, I guess," I mumbled as I studied the carpet.
"Don't listen to him," Robin corrected. "He is totally dreamy in it; wet dreamy."
"ROBIN!" I protested and blushed fiercely. "Besides the wet dream walking is you in that gold lamé loincloth with the fairy wings and the daisy coronet in your hair."
"Ok stop, stop, stop," David begged. "I can't change clothes in the room with you guys if you keep trying to give me a circus tent in my undies." It was mean of us, I know that, but it was so much fun. Robin and I started humming that famous hoochie-coochie song as we started peeling off our shirts, and unzipping our pants. "You guys are mean!" David squealed and ran into the bathroom. Robin and I giggled like a couple of naughty little kids, since that was basically what we were at that moment. Revenge may be best served cold, but it can be really hot, too, though. David came out of the bathroom totally naked and totally boned, walked over to the bed and bent over dramatically to pick up a pair of the jeans that Robin had brought in from his room. "I forgot to take the clothes in with me," he said softly and then walked back into the bathroom.
"Frodo, you know I really, truly love you, right?" Robin whispered beside me.
"Yeah, I love you too, but holy freaking wowzers," I answered.
"Will you boys hurry up?" Daia called from the kitchen. "Baka is going to curse you all if you don't get a move on."
"Lashav, Bori. ("Shame Daughter-in-law") I would never curse my Unuk, UNLESS THEY MAKE ME LATE TO MEET MY SHUKAR MOOSH!"
David barged out of the bathroom with the jeans at his knees still and his hands over his dick. "Tell me your grandmother did not just say she would cut my shmok off if we make her late to meet her sugar moose."
"Baka won't touch your dick, dude," I giggled. "But hurry up and get dressed."
"She said Unuk, not eunuch," Robin giggled. "Unuk is a word from Baka's old country," he informed Davey as we all three got changed quickly. "It means grandson."
"Ok, you swear nobody is going to cut anything?" David begged. "I'm Jewish, I've had already had the ten percent off."
"Oh, that's bad," I groaned.
Soon enough we were all in the car and headed for Grampa Olly's home. When we got there, David jumped out and started taking pictures again. I couldn't really blame him this time, either. Grampa Olly lived in a Victorian farmhouse, complete with a round tower room on the second floor that was surrounded on the first floor by a rounded wrap around porch with a huge, comfy looking porch swing. The front yard was dominated by the biggest oak tree I had ever seen in my life.
"There's my boy," Grampa Olly called out as he rushed over to hug me tightly. "I'm so proud to have you here, Lijah, I could just bust. I got something to tell you, son, but it's gonna have to wait for now. Me and your Grampa Izzy are up to our eyeballs in catfish and hush puppies right now. Y'all come on around the backside of the house where we cooking." He then walked over to Baka and smiled. He held out a hand and she extended hers. He bent over it and kissed it softly. "Welcome to my home, Miss Lily. You make my roses jealous of your beauty."
"Awwwww," David, Daia, and I all cooed at the romantic greeting. Baka just giggled like a schoolgirl.
"I bring you the special cake from my country, just for you," Baka said as she grabbed the krempita from the back of the minivan. "In Serbia, where I'm from, this is called krempita. It means cream pie. For the family, I bring the baklava, and for everyone, I bring my treasure." She reached back into the van and came out with a funny looking bottle.
"Where did you get this bottle?" Zeyde Izzy blurted out as he stepped up and took it from Baka almost reverently.
"This is the very last bottle I bring from the old country, the last to survive the bombing of my family's distillery during the war," Baka told him.
"Your family's distillery?" Zeyde Izzy repeated. "You make the joke on me."
"I do not," Baka snorted. "Look at the label, Todorovik, my name before I marry."
"My family drank this at the passing of my great grandfather, may he rest in peace," Zeyde Izzy mumbled. "It was my first taste of alcohol. From that day, to this, nothing has ever tasted so good. I tried other makers, from all over, it was never the same."
"Хвала вам ("Thank you")," Baka smiled. "My family guarded our recipe with our lives. Now I am the last Todorovik to know the secret. I do not share even with my sons. They don't have the interest in the making."
"I'm sure you have brought this for your family," Zeyde Izzy said as he carefully handed the bottle back to Baka.
"Today, you call my Robin and my Elijah your grandsons," Baka said with a smile. "This makes us all family. I would drink the last bottle of my family treasure with family. Now, we go check the fish, yes?"
"Yes'm, Miss Lily, it's just about time to put the next batch in the oil," Grampa Olly said with a big smile of his own. Just as everyone started around walking around the side of the house, we all heard another car pulling up. "You youngsters stay out here in the front yard and let the new arrivals know where to find the rest of us. Them fish won't wait in that hot oil."
"Yes, sir, Grampa," I called out. The car that arrived was Aunt Doris and Aunt Rose. The first one out of the car was Aunt Rose. It's a little scary seeing a woman that size moving that fast and headed right at you. "Hi Aunt, mmmmmppph," I greeted as she crushed me into a hug with my face smashed between her... well her ummm.... Anyway, I was smothering again while Robin giggled and Davey just stood there with his mouth hanging open like he was a fish or something. Just as I thought I would pass out from lack of oxygen, Aunt Rose grabbed Robin for his turn at death by bosom.
"I don't recognize you," Aunt Doris said to Davey as she walked up holding a covered cake dish in one hand and a covered casserole dish in the other. "But you look strong enough to carry food. Would you prefer to take the cake or the mac and cheese?"
"Cake, please?" Davey asked with a big grin holding out his hands eagerly.
"Yo, Davey, no eating cake until you find out from your grandfather if it's ok for you to eat," I called out.
"I wasn't going to eat it, I was just going to taste it," Davey said in a really good impersonation of Winnie the Pooh.
"Not if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to gluten," Aunt Doris told him and handed him the mac and cheese dish instead of the cake.
"Neither, but I am Jewish," he replied with a shrug.
"Oh, dear, I'm not at all sure where a mandarin orange cake falls under the kashrut ("Kosher dietary laws of the Jewish faith")," Aunt Rose spoke up as she took the mac and cheese away from Davey and handed it to Robin instead. "Now, I hope you don't mind me asking, but who are you and how did you get here?"
"Aunt Rose, Aunt Doris, this is my new kosher cousin David Levin," I introduced with a smile. "I got adopted again today."
"Well, of course you did," Aunt Doris said with a wink. "Every decent person on this planet would be tickled pink and purple to have you in their family, Elijah."
"Davey, this is my Aunt Rose and my Aunt Doris. They adopted me yesterday after my mom's funeral."
"Ms. Doris is right, Lijah," Davey said as he hugged me. "Anybody that wouldn't want you in their family, isn't welcome in mine."
"Boys, who was in the.... Oh, hello, Doris, hello Rose," Dad called out as he came around the house to check on us. "It's so good to see you both again. We're set up around back. Follow me."
All of us except Dad stopped and gasped when we turned the last corner and saw the backyard of the house. The lawn sloped gently down to a small, but gorgeous lake. Grampa Olly and Zeyde Izzy were standing in what could only be described as an outdoor kitchen built on a natural stone dock at the water's edge. A wooden dock stuck out from it over the water and at the end of it was a fabulous, screened-in gazebo that matched the Victorian house we had just walked around.
"Doris, Rose, good to see y'all again. Oh, now you didn't have to bring anything but your lovely selves, ladies," Grampa Olly called out when he saw us walking down the stone steps to the dock where he and Zeyde Izzy were. "Izzy, this here's Doris and Rose Lister. They're members of the church that held Lijah's Momma's funeral yesterday. They took him in as family same as me and you. Ladies, meet Mr. Itzahk Levin."
"Mazel tov! It's a pleasure to meet you both. Welcome to my family," Zeyde Izzy smiled as he came over and hugged Aunt Rose and Aunt Doris, kissing each of them on both cheeks. "Anyone that gives my bubelah Elijah the loving family he deserves is a mensch."
When several of us looked a little blank, David giggled and then translated for us. "He said congratulations, then he called Elijah a sweetie, and said that Ms. Rose and Ms. Doris are good people."
I might have blushed a bit at being called a sweetie, but when Robin blurted out that he thought Zeyde Izzy was talking about my bubble butt, I blushed a lot more. "ROBIN!" I squealed and buried my face in my hands.
"What?" Davey asked. "He's right, you've got a nice tush. Not flirting, just observing," he added holding his hands up in surrender before Robin or any of the adults could say anything.
"That will be quite enough talk along those lines, boys," Daia scolded, but she was smirking. "We don't need to hear any more about anyone's body parts, no matter how much better they look in blue jeans instead of baggy dress pants."
"Excuse me, no ogling my boyfriend. "Thank you" very much. Private property," Robin announced as he hugged me from behind. I twisted my neck and leaned back a bit so I could kiss his cheek.
"Can we just focus on the food please?" I begged, still blushing a bit.
The rest of the introductions were made and before long Aunt Rose and Baka were sitting at a table in the gazebo discussing dessert recipes, Daia and Dad were sitting on the wooden dock, dangling their feet into the pond and cuddling. Davey was running around all over the place taking more pictures with his phone. I think a few of the shots actually had people in them. Robin and Tania were playing with a bottle of bubbles up closer to the house, so she wouldn't accidentally fall in the water. Grampa Olly and I were carrying the fish and hush puppies down the dock to the gazebo where we would eat. The surprising scene was Aunt Doris and Zeyde Izzy.
"So you're goy, but you went to shule?"
"Yes, sir," Aunt Doris replied with a smile. "I grew up in a town that was at least one-third Jewish. All my friends from elementary school Monday through Friday went to shule on Saturday. It was either go with them, or play alone. The rabbi didn't seem to mind, and neither did my pastor. They were good friends as well."
"Knowledge and learning is always a good thing," Zeyde Izzy agreed with a smile.
"I have to confess though, that I don't remember that much about the kashrut. You see, Rose and I brought food today, but I know Rose especially will feel badly if you and David aren't able to share the macaroni and cheese and the mandarin orange cake with us."
"Mandarin orange cake?" Zeyde Izzy perked up and everyone could easily see the familial likeness between grandfather and grandson. "Tell me, the macaroni and cheese, is it from the box?"
"Certainly not," Aunt Doris huffed. "It's a family recipe, one of the only things I take pride in from the woman that gave me life. Cooking was the only girlish thing I ever enjoyed."
"If you make it yourself with the fresh, real ingredients, is kosher," he said with a satisfied nod. "The cake I don't know the ingredients so well, but if it's all fresh and real, there should be no problem. If there is a little problem, well... what the rabbi doesn't know won't cost me a thing."
"Careful, you're starting to sound like an Episcopal there," Aunt Doris laughed.
"Where do you think Christians learned it? Was Jesus not a Jew as well as your Messiah?"
"Fair point," Aunt Doris conceded, still smiling.
We had a fantastic meal together as one big happy family. Just as we were starting on dessert, Uncle Ray showed up with Todd the apothecary from the faire. "Healer Smurf!" I yelled out and ran up the steps to hug them both.
"Elsa! Does your new kid have any extra clothes with him?" Todd yelled out.
"No, he does not, and if you throw him in that water, I will throw you in right after him," Daia called back firmly.
"She never lets me have any fun," Todd pouted.
"I don't know, I thought we had plenty of fun last night," Uncle Ray retorted.
"Yeah, I meant fun when she is around, snookums."
"Snookums?" I questioned with a wrinkled nose. "Even Brainy Smurf wasn't that lame. Wait.... Snookums.... You guys are a couple?"
"No, we're not," Todd corrected quickly. "Because someone still doesn't want to move past the friends with benefits stage."
"You mean my brother still hasn't put a ring on you, Todd?" Daia asked now that we were all in the gazebo together.
"I did so, just the other...." Uncle Raymond's voice was cut off by Todd and Daia both slapping a hand over his mouth.
"There are children present," Todd growled.
"Yes, my children, baby brother," Daia warned.
"Yes, ma'am, Big Sister. I'm shutting up and sitting down now."
Todd turned to me. "Little man, I want you to know that I really wanted to be at your mom's service yesterday, but with Elsa and Marshall there, Ray and I were needed at the faire."
"Yeah, buddy," Uncle Ray agreed. "I'm not just your uncle, remember? I'm your caseworker, too. I just thought you would be more comfortable with Marshall and Elsa both there instead of one of them trading off with me."
"It's ok, guys," I answered and hugged them both together since they were sitting side by side on a bench. "I understood that you guys and Baka were busy with the faire. "Thank you" for wanting to be there, though. That means a lot, really it does."
"Ok, enough depressing talk," Todd announced with a bit of a forced smile. "Any more head banging?"
"I think I might have bumped my head in the back of the hearse the night before the funeral," I confessed. "I'm fine now, though."
"Hold up!" Uncle Ray blurted. "You were where the night before last?"
"What in the world were you doing inside a hearse?" Davey asked wide-eyed.
"This I'd like to hear, as well," Zeyde Izzy said giving me a stern look.
Dad, Daia, Robin, and I all managed to explain the hearse ride, including the Ray Stevens music. I had been laughing so hard that I had thumped my head against the side of the hearse, but I had hardly felt it at all. Todd still checked it over and looked at the top of my head and the back of my head, as if the staff in the hospital hadn't done that several times a day for the three days I was in there.
"Remind me to buy a round of drinks for Frank and Jack the next time we see them at the club," Uncle Ray laughed as he shook his head. He had to explain to me and Robin that Frank and Jack were the funeral director and his husband, and the club was a gay bar named Club Excentricities. We then got told by all of the adults that it would be quite a while before either of us would get anywhere near that place.
"Speaking of alcohol, though," Baka announced as she got up and grabbed the bottle of her family made brandy. "Today I open the last bottle of my treasure, the last bottle saved by my father before the distillery was blown up in the war. It's a special occasion to open such a bottle, and there is no more special occasion than welcoming new people into our family. Now, we all get a glass, except little Tania, but she can have a sip from my glass. Robin, you and Elijah won't get full glasses either."
"Nor will David," Zeyde Izzy said with a warning finger shaken at Davey's face.
"Fine by me, Zeyde," Davey agreed.
Once everyone had at least a small amount of the drink, Baka raised hers and smiled. "To my new grandsons, Elijah and David, a brother in all but blood, Itzahk, and the daughters I never had, Doris and Rose. To family."
"To family," we all echoed and then took a sip.