Busy, busy, busy:
1) The writing seminar this past week was terrific. Oops - I can already see that I started off on the wrong foot. Instead of a boring sentence, "The writing seminar was terrific" (which doesn't tell you anything), I should have written, "There was a feeling of excitement as I walked into the room where the writing seminar was being held. Women were crowding around the registration desk, and another crowd by the coffee bar was also buzzing. Four dynamic speakers enchanted a group of about fifty women for the better part of a day, keeping our pens busy as we tried to capture every glimmer of knowledge the professionals imparted. The warmth in the room belied the chill of the insistent rain drumming against the windowpanes throughout the day." Much better, no?
2) Yesterday (erev Shabbat) I felt as if I was getting the flu again; as the day wore on I began to feel ache-y (is there a correct spelling for that word?) all over, and extremely fatigued; then I became so chilled that no amount of warm clothes could help. Miryam and Shaya left right after dinner instead of staying to play cards, which has been our usual Friday night minhag (custom) for the past few weeks. David and I both went to bed early and slept late this morning. Baruch Hashem, when I woke up the pain, chills and fatigue were gone. I walked down to Penina's a little after 1 for the Shabbat Kallah for Tzivi Rivka who's getting married on Tuesday - after a 2 1/2 week engagement. We only expected about eight to ten women, but twenty-two showed up, not including children. Beth, who seems to be Tzivi Rivka's closest friend, spoke first and then whoever wanted to gave a bracha (blessing) to the Kallah (bride). I loved looking around the room and realizing that I knew all but two of the women, and I made sure to introduce myself before they left. There really is a nice community of English-speakers here.
2) Tomorrow Miryam and I are going into town (yea! Bush is gone!). I have to get an ultrasound for possible kidney stones (do you think they're actually serious that I have to drink a glass of water every 15 minutes for an hour and half before the procedure and I can't go to the bathroom until after the test? Do they understand that I go every hour as it is, and that holding all the water in for that long after drinking that much will lead to an extremely humiliating disaster? I'm pretty sure they don't have a realistic opinion of my bodily abilities). After this little procedure, I'm going to help Miryam find a crafts store in Geula (I know of a couple), and then we're going to a florist shop in Ramat Eshkol. Miryam was a wedding planner in the states and is making some of the decorations for the simcha (happy event).
3) Monday - day off - a breather day.
4) Tuesday 1 PM; the kallah in her wedding dress and several of her friends will go to the Kotel to daven and say Tehillim for her, leading up to the kabbalos panim at 3:45 and chupa at 4:30 PM. Yikes! I don't know how we'll get back in time. David won't make it for the chupa, but there's dancing for the entire community from 8-10:30 that night at the moadan (community center).
5) Wednesday night in Beit Shemesh - one year anniversary dinner for everyone who made aliyah in 2006. It's supposed to be fancy and a really nice evening. We haven't signed up yet; David hasn't decided if he wants to go. Our friends from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Zvi and Tobi, will be there and I'd love to see them. Tobi's sister was diagnosed with lung cancer just after Yom Kippur, and Tobi's been in New York more than she's been in Israel since then.
6) Thursday night we're going to sheva brachot at Penina and Pinchas'.
Next Monday, 14 Shevat, is my father's 12th yartzeit. It just amazes me that so many years have gone by; it seems like yesterday. There are so many things my parents missed by being niftar (deceased) so young. They never met my husband, David, or my nephew, Daniel; they never saw me grow in Yiddishkeit or got to see their six grandchildren grow. I've been sitting here for some time trying to put more thoughts about my parents into some coherent way to share it, but it doesn't seem to be possible this late at night motzi Shabbat (Saturday night).
NEWS FLASH: There is a product in Israel that is better - yes, folks, I say BETTER - than coke slurpees. I know; hard to believe, huh? But I have found a place at the takanah merkazit that sells an amazing passion fruit slushy. It's little pricey at 10 shekels but well worth every argarot. When I head back home from town I take one on the bus with me; it makes the ride home pass by so much more pleasantly!