You may not remember me; I'm the person who used to post a blog on this site. Well, I'm still around; I've just been kind of forgetful the past four weeks. I know, I know - when have I not been forgetful? I haven't fallen off the face of the earth (chas vashalom) so you can stop worrying (in case you were. Not that I hoped you were because no doubt you had better things to do with your time, but in case you were thinking that for some reason I wasn't able to write when in actuality I was just, well, lazy, you don't need to wonder any more - bacause I'm back!).
Okay, now that that's settled, let's get on with some news, shall we? Here's the most up-to-date scoop: David starts his new job tomorrow at Intel in Yerushalayim and I'm headed to a really nice hotel at the Dead Sea for a 4 day retreat with about 1000 other women. Let's start with David's news.
Everyone warned us that it would take months, if not years, for him to find a job. Several people took his resume, oops - I mean CV, to their respective companies, and Intel finally called him for an interview. Our downstairs neighbor, Yonatan (Coco's abba) works there. After the interview the interviewers went to Yonatan and said, "Why didn't you tell us we didn't have to interview him?" The next day he got a call to come in for the second interview. David came away from it thinking that it hadn't gone well, and made up his mind not to be disappointed. But lo and behold, the very next day he got a call from the outsourcing company (Intel was hiring consultants) saying that Intel had called them and said they wanted him. Yay!! He negotiated his salary through them, then had to go to Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv to the outsourcing company to sign his employee contract - and tomorrow is his first day!
Yesterday he bought a monthly bus pass which enables him to ride any bus within Beit Shemesh/Ramat Beit Shemesh, any bus in Yerushalayim, and the 417 between the two cities. He's been doing this cute Vanna White dance all around the house (and sometimes to my horror out in public), flashing his bus pass and singing, "I can ride any bus I want any time I want." All evening he's been muttering, "I have to go to work tomorrow. No, I get to go to work tomorrow. Life is going to be very different from now on." It's after 11 PM now and he and Emma have gone to bed. Knowing David he'll get up at 4 in the morning so he can get on the earliest bus possible and be the first one to work. You most likely have not given any thought to the fact that we have been together almost constantly for the past 8 months. I, on the other hand, have given it a good deal of thought and my conclusion is that it is a very, very good thing that my husband is going back to work, both for financial reasons and other reasons best not delved into here. (If you look closely you'll see that I am smiling. Broadly.)
We must also note that my husband has been extremely generous in allowing me, in fact encouraging me to participate in this women's retreat. I am so excited! The cost is actually quite nominal and includes transportation down to the Dead Sea, 3 nights in the (spa) hotel, 2 meals a day (if you've ever had an Israel hotel breakfast you would know that one needn't eat again for the rest of the day), a "treatment" every day, English shiurim and programming, a private women's beach, indoor and outdoor pools, a jacuzzi and who knows what else until I arrive there tomorrow! What a treat! It took me a very long time to pack tonight which amused David immensely. Of course I had to try on every outfit I planned to take, then I had to decide which scarf/beret/snood/hat would match each outfit, then there were the shoes, the matching earrings, etc. I certainly hope that everyone else will have as large a suitcase as I do. Plus I have to carry something we borrowed from Yad Sarah last week; it's kind of like a table top shtender that you can raise or lower but looks like the top of a lawn chair. It's to put on the bed to sleep on at night to raise the top of my body because I can't lie flat due to a medical problem. When we went on our Farewell Tour last summer before we left the states I had bought a foam wedge that we had to leave in the hotel the morning of our flight here, but this thing will hopefully work even better and it's very lightweight. Yad Sarah is an organization that lends out medical equipment. You leave a deposit and then return the equipment within a month. We plan to have them keep the deposit as a donation; it's a very worthwhile organization. Four years ago when we came to Israel for Pesach and we didn't know David had a broken ankle we got some crutches from them.
Poor Emma will be quite lonely this week. Shaina (Coco's Ima) will be coming up to get her during the days and take her out and let her play with Coco, but David will be leaving early in the mornings and by the time he takes the 6:00 bus home in the evenings, it will be 7:15 PM before he gets home. Have I mentioned our landlord wants to sell our apartment? David thinks we should look for a new apartment in Yerushalayim which makes a lot of sense, but I love it here in RBS. A friend who works in Human Resources at IDT said that there's a 1200 shekel housing allowance per month for at least a year for IT people who move to Yerushalayim to work there. I'm just worried that we wouldn't know what neighborhood we'd been comfortable in. Hareidi neighborhoods wouldn't like dogs, and we're actually leaning more towards dati leumi at this point, although our kashruth standards are definitely mehadrin. Okay, so we're a little wishy-washy because we really don't know yet where we fit in, but I think it will be harder to figure it out in Yerushalayim. Plus we've made some good friends here. Plus it's more "suburban" here. On the other hand, Yerushalayim has a lot more to offer. I keep looking at the OU bulletin we get every week, and there are so many programs and classes at the OU center I would love to take. I can't really start thinking about it until I get back from my retreat.
I get back Wednesday and on Wednesday night we're going to sheva brachot for Leah Grunberger and her new choson! It will be so nice to see all the St. Louisans here, and Rabbi Grunberger is coming with Chaim, one of Leah's brothers who was in the accident and is doing really well, although he's still on crutches. I hope I do okay with all the traveling: my ginger pills are packed and ready to go.
It's pouring rain outside, the trees are blowing totally sideways. Tomorrow morning I have to walk with my suitcase around the corner to catch the hasa-a (van) that's taking 12 of us from RBS to Yerushalayim (45 minutes) to catch the bus for the Dead Sea (about a 2 hour drive). We get back to Yerushalyim by 3 PM Wednesday, then I come back to RBS and at 7 I have to catch another bus back to Yerushalayim. David will just stay at work and then meet me at the hall. I was hoping somebody from here would be driving there, but the 2 other families that we know from St. Louis aren't able to go to the sheva brachot. We just have to make sure we get back on a bus before they stop running for the night.
It's now midnight and since I don't plan on getting any sleep for the next few days, I think it's time I turn in. The wind is really howling outside. So much more has happened in the last month, but you'll just have to tune in for the next post which only Hashem knows when. Hopefully not another month away!