Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's motzi Shabbat and David just finished moving my computer from the sealed room (aka guest room, aka my office) to the dining room table. We also took apart the two single beds that were in there and I'm washing all the bed linens. Yesterday I had actually opened the window for the first time in months since the weather was pretty warm and I wanted to get some light into the room. Just before Shabbat as I was closing them up, I found - to my horror - that the two walls on the outside part of the house were totally covered in black mold! It was all over the front end of the beds, the back of the filing cabinet, on the cords plugged into the outlet, and halfway up the walls. Now my being sick so often makes sense. I tested positive for mold allergies as a kid. Penina told me tonight that prolonged exposure to something you're allergic to lowers your immune system, and it seems that's what's happened. I've been sitting in that room at my computer for hours every day!

Okay, enough of the doom and gloom. As of this morning the antibiotics seemed to have started working. I still have the earache and a disgusting cough, but I can now breathe through my nose. We didn't have any guests for Shabbat, and David and I went to bed at 9:30 last night. I got up at 7:30 this morning, but David didn't stumble out of bed until 8:30. I'm sure my coughing has been keeping him up the last few nights, so we both needed the sleep.

Today was a gorgeous day. We opened up all the windows and after lunch the three of us (Emma was so excited!) took a leisurely walk. We didn't even wear jackets. It was with considerable reluctance that we closed the windows at Shalos Seudas. Darn! I just looked at the weather and it looks like it will be partly cloudy and 59 tomorrow, and then two days of rain. Oh well. I'm going into town Tuesday night (for Tuesday Night Live) and again Wednesday morning for my Alexander Technique appointment. Did I explain that already? I must have.

So let's go back in time, shall we? How about three weeks ago, February 1st? Emma got to stay with Choco and Vanil (Penina's dog and cat) while David and I went to Beit Shemesh for Shabbat. We left early in the morning that Friday and visited with Ellen and Kalmon, and the Turner family from St. Louis. Just before Shabbat we dropped our bags off at a friends' parents (what a house - it looked like it had been transplanted from the states), changed our clothes, and headed down the street.

David went to shul and I went to the home where we were having dinner - along with our friends from Connecticut, Peggy and Avi, who had come to Israel for Avi's son's wedding. They were staying with friends of Peggy's from college, and we had such a wonderful time the entire Shabbat. Being at shul the next morning for the auf ruf was the icing on the cake - I haven't been to shul since Simchat Torah and I miss it so much! (There just aren't any shuls that work for us where we live.)

That Tuesday I met Peggy in town and took her to Geula, Mea Shearim and Mahane Yehuda shuk. She's never been to Eretz Yisrael before, and because of the upcoming nuptials, no one had had a chance to show her anything yet. Thursday night was the wedding at the Great Synagogue in Yerushalayim. Whoo-ee! What an affair! It was definitely not an Israeli-type wedding. The kallah's family lives in Ramot and daddy started some kind of bio-tech company so they have money. The wedding had a smorgasbord kabalas panim with some weird colored liquors at the bar and a sit-down dinner for 400. The best part was - everyone spoke English! I loved it! Okay, sorry - the best part was really the very sweet choson and his beautiful kallah. The choson came to Israel a year ago on his own to fight in the IDF, and all his soldier friends were there. You can't imagine what it's like to watch these young people who are defending our country dancing with wild abandon out of love for their friend. We all felt extremely safe that night, actually, because it looked like an overwhelming majority of the men there were carrying firearms. David felt very left out.

We were invited to sheva brachot the following Sunday. Avi's brother-in-law and niece cooked up a delicious dairy meal and they had it at their shul (a very lovely shul in Baka, I must add. Baka is one of the neighborhoods in Yerushalayim). Unfortunately, the kallah didn't seem to be feeling well and we heard she woke up the next morning with a fever and they had to cancel the last sheva brachot (unless the choson went without her; I don't really know the outcome).

Peggy and Avi were leaving the next evening, but I met them (and Peggy's beautiful niece, Rivka, from St. Louis) for lunch and a little bit of shopping. It was wonderful to spend so much time with Peggy; they were actually our last stop on our "Farewell Tour" in July 2006 just before we hopped on our El Al flight to make aliyah. Could it already be 2008?

At the end of December 1999, I was vacationing in Boro Park with the then single Peggy, sharing the last night before Y2K hit. It was a Friday night, and we barely made it to midnight to watch some fireworks out the window and to make sure that the electricity and plumbing still worked before we went to sleep.

You know, before David and I got married in 1998, I had hardly gone ANYwhere. In the first few months after the wedding, we went to San Francisco and to Eretz Yisrael for the first time. Since that time I've been to Fargo, North Dakota; Moorhead and Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Washington, DC; Postville, Iowa; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland, New York City; and Fairfield, Connecticut. And now I live in Eretz Yisrael!

And what I wish so much, at times almost overwhelmingly, is that my parents were still alive to have shared it with. They both were niftar in 1996, breast cancer and congestive heart failure, and both in their 60's. I would say that my outlook for long life doesn't look so rosy, but my father's mother lived until 97 - plus we all know that Hashem's plans don't preclude anything. It's amazing sometimes how many of my father's mannerisms I see in my husband. Kind of gives me the chilly willies...

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