4/21/15

Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'Atzmaut As an Olah

Yom HaZikaron is one of the days that really reminds me I'm an olah, and not a native Israeli. I mourn with the rest of the country for our fallen, but unlike most Israelis, no members of my immediate family have served in the army, and no members of my family fell in service. My girls did National Service, and they have some "war stories" (bullet passing over head as riding bus, living under bombardment of bombs, getting caught outside at night during bomb siren and walking into nearest house - which happened to be Arab, etc.) but it's not the same.

This goes for Yom Ha'Atzmaut too, the other side of the coin. Without the personal connection to the army, I don't think my connection is quite as deep, It's getting there, deepening as the years go on - but the army connection is so integral to the full Israeli experience, to being a full, responsible member of the family.

Perhaps when my grandchildren go into the army I'll finally really feel fully Israeli, feel the full depth personally.

It's all in the attitude.

Today I was stuck in a serious traffic jam on the way to work - commute took nearly two hours longer than usual. A few minutes after getting off I saw a young neighbor of mine and asked him if he was on the same bus. He said yes and then, with a big smile, added "It was cool seeing how long it could take!"

4/20/15

Six!

Seems only yesterday my daughters got married (within three months of each other), and here I am grandmother to six.  A great pleasure, and very surrealistic.

I was sitting a few days ago with my eldest grandchild, playing with playdough, and demonstrated a pinch pot and tried to teach him how to make a coil pot.  Doesn't seem so long ago that I learned how to make those myself in my first pottery classes at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester. Time passes very quickly! 

We also played with blocks, building a large structure under his direction, a creative structure - but we'll need to work on his architectural concepts as I couldn't convince him of the necessity of doors to pass from room to room - he thought we could jump over walls to get from room to room. His father and I questioned the practicality of that, especially for his mother when carrying a baby, but he assured us it would be fine. And I had to admit, it could be fun... perhaps trampolines in some spots to help us jump the walls, ropes for other walls...

Job Hunting

Although still employed, my job will be ending soon (my boss passed away, at the age of 100), and I am hunting for a new one, and considering other possibilities such as working independently, combining translation, proofing/editing, and massage therapy, and/or studying osteopathy. However, financially, it seems I need a steady income. Working independently makes me nervous as I have no financial safety net and it would take time to build a clientele in the various fields. But it would combine well timewise with learning osteopathy.

So to be practical, or to take a leap of faith which seems extremely impractical and unwise from a financial point of view.  At the moment focusing on practical, hoping to find something that could eventually lead to the less practical path. And who knows what HaShem will put in my path...

The Yehudiya - Barefoot

When my daughters were younger we would go hiking and camping a few times a year.  We would usually camp by the Kinneret, enjoying the water in the morning and at night, even sailing on the sailboat I brought to Israel in my luggage (!) - though it turns out the Kinneret is not the ideal place for sailing, little or no wind first half of day, wild erratic winds second half of day.

When planning one of our trips, I asked an Israeli friend who's a tour guide about the Yehudiya and whether it would be a good place for us to hike (me and my daughters - approximately 7 and 9 at time). Well he didn't think so. He thought it would be too much for us and described why.  As he talked about the difficulties and described them - parts of the trail you needed to walk in water, a point where you need to descend a ladder or jump in to water from a height of several meters, part of the way that could only be traversed by swimming, etc. - my daughters who were listening were practically jumping from excitement. Needless to say, we did the hike, and returned several times. 

But the first time was most memorable, due to sandal problems. At the time clear plastic sandals, good for water, were popular, and that's what my youngest daughter wore for the hike. We started off the hike, climbing down to the first waterfall on the trail.  When we reached it we all went in and enjoyed the pool at it's base. And then my youngest discovered one of her sandals had come off. We looked underwater, but no luck.  I was a bit concerned as she was too bog for me to carry far and she wouldn't be able to walk far on dry land without shoes. But in the meantime the trail involved walking in water, so we continued. It turns out that her problem was a common one with this type of sandal, because we shortly came upon a similar sandal someone else had lost. It was quite big, but we pulled a string out of one of our backpacks and tied it on.  And so we continued.  Then we came to the ladder where we could descend by ladder or jump, after which you needed to swim part of the trail.  We all jumped.  Before jumping my older daughter suggested the younger give her the sandals to hold for her so they wouldn't fall off again.  Needless to say, she dropped them.  We swam on, me trying to figure out how we'll continue when we reach dry land... and when we reached dry ground we found more sandals which we tied onto her feet.  The rest was blessedly uneventful as far as sandals went, and we greatly enjoyed the hike.