Retrospective – Resurrected

The Retrospective Begins
As Alieza is to be born – October 1980

Once I had a set of pictures – a page from each year of our first 20 years of our family. But Apple’s iDisk is closed down. I’ve temporarily placed my “early years” retrospective in my Dropbox and got this link for viewing it. I will revisit the photo site I once set up and perhaps add it as a site with it’s own format, here perhaps.

Salzberg Retrospective


Now to depersonalize the house


We’re told that we have to depersonalize the house to make it more inviting to those who will consider it for purchase. Remove family pictures, any items that make it hard for someone to see themselves in the house. That’s going to be a lot of work. This is just the piano. If we twirl around and look at any other corner of the house, the images you see are all of us, our family our cousins. Everyone.

Well. At some point soon, it will be time to box it up. Take it all and put it away for a while. I don’t want to show the house too soon. It might just sell. How long do we wait? How long do we wait to start packing.

I started a project manager. I wonder if it will bring clarity to what we need to do. I started to list some items, like renewing our passports, and guess what. I got that damn application all filled out! Today. That’s one item checked off.




I wasn’t even cleaning clutter, but it came to hand. Kept in a night table drawer. A present. On the occasion of our engagement, almost 40 years ago. PopPop and Mom got this light meter for me to welcome me to the family. Someone must have told the of the time I invited Rachelle to my dorm room to see some of my photos. I took quite a bit of photos those early days with my first Pentax, when a Pentax was a professional camera, or at east a step above the camera of a casual hobbyist. My first years in Israel I had my camera with me everywhere I went, and I went everywhere I could in those days.

A light meter. Did I take better pictures, I wonder? I think in the years following, in the States, Rachelle became the more avid chronicler, of family trips and vacations. the slides,oy, another project waiting to be sorted and packaged for those who will covert to digital.

So what do I do with a device that has no use in today’s world of self adjusting cameras (or iPhones really) where you adjust the lighting after you take the shot? But a device with much more meaning that the purpose for which it was designed, or intended. Is it enough to snap an image of it and then reflect? Can I toss it? Can I let go? If I keep it, what won’t I keep? On the other hand, I got rid of three pairs of shoes, and only replaced them with two pairs of Crocs. That’s progress, really!



Pre-Aliyah Meeting(s)

We are getting ready to go! We’re on the path. We drove into Queens for our first meeting with an Aliyah counselor, if you don’t count the meeting I had with Howie in Jerusalem. Last January, when I was in Jerusalem on the apartment search, I made an appointment with someone at the center in Givat Shaul. (I apologize, I can’t remember with whom.) But I missed it entirely because I could not find a place to park, and when I did, I walked and walked around and around fenced off areas taking me a good 40 minutes, if not an hour, to get to the building. I didn’t know I was there (the Ofer building) because the GPS street listing didn’t match the signs I could not see. So I called the office from the car and turns out, I was around the corner. I looked up and saw the building marked Beit Ofer. “Park wherever you see a space.” Well the street was filled. I saw the lot at the end of the street – but it was not clear to me that it was public parking. So I went back out to the main road. Then I slowly drove down Kanfei Nesharim, tried one spot, angled parking, but got nervous that the end of the car was sticking out. So I went further and thought – well here’s a Rami Levi with a big parking lot. If I feel really guilty, I can go and buy something after the visit. (I did – I bought some tomatoes for salad.)

To NBN from Rechov Kanfei Nesharim
Trekking around Givat Shaul to Beit Ofer and NBN Offices

So then I figured, I must be able to reach the building (Beit Ofer) through the back. So I walked down the ramp and walked around the back of the store. The edge was fenced off, and where there wasn’t a fence, there was a cement wall with a 20 foot drop. Not going there. I walked up some stairs at the corner of the building, but there still was no way into the street. I tried the door (probably to a storeroom, but it was locked.) So, again I walked, all the way back around the building, to Rami’s parking lot, up and out to the street, and then down Kanfei Nesharim to the road that reached the fifth floor (or something) of the Ofer building.

Then I got directions in the building. Go down to the 2nd floor (I think it was the 2nd – correct me if I’m wrong) and walk around the building. Then take the other elevator down to the first floor. (Am I getting this right?) Well the elevator opened to the 3rd floor. Why not get out and find the other elevator there and take it to NBN? Well around and around I went and no second elevator. So after retracing my steps and arriving again at the elevator, I took it down to the correct floor, around to the correct special elevator, and then around the corridor to the NBN office.

Needless to say – I did not make it in time to see the assigned counselor, I can’t remember who. But I got there and asked to see Howie. We had a great conversation, and I solidified my plans for a real-estate lawyer. Got more info on mortgages. So it was a great early evening, especially updating Howie on our plans. So we are on track. Now back to Queens.

It seems that with each meeting, we learn one thing. We learned a little more about the application and the difference between NBN services and the Sochnoot. We will now start to get documents in order, as well as keeping to our plan to reduce clutter and make a list of what goes with us, and what goes out the door. This is not simple stuff. It can change your life!


It’s strange to be using such a clean sink counter…

Well, Ema did. She promised one area would be cleared each day and sure enough! I got to specify which old clippers go, although some of them are surely Ori’s. I’m not the only one with a beard here. There were a lot of combs I never really use. We consulted on which lotions and salves I use and which should just be chucked. Those cans of deodorant spray were never mine. (Sorry Matt, Ori Aharon, they’re gone. I use a crystal.) Sorry Pop-Pop for tossing the mustache trim kit you gave me. Ema said, “Well we shared that moment, let’s move on.” (I really thought I’d pulled some heart strings there for a moment.) Really, I only kept the little scissors and mustache comb because Pop-Pop gave it to me. Some soaps and lotions got to stay, but I know it’s only temporary. They’ll have to go by next summer.

I have to imaging that, in the apartment, we just won’t buy in bulk, even soap. The supermarket on the corner will be our storage cabinet. Will that be possible? To move from a suburban house with a garage and closets to a city apartment, with what? A Machsan in the basement? It’ll be a big change, but over time, if I think about it enough, I think I’ll be ready. I’ll have to be. Once I put up a little note on the side of my desk. “If you can’t find it, it’s useless.” That was to get me to file things in an organized way. I never was able to do that. I was always sharp enough to know which pile and where abouts in the pile, lay that document I searched for. I always thought a higher power guided me. Had to be. My memory can’t be that good.

So my next sign, whether I use it or not will be: “If I can’t imagine it in the apartment, it’s not worth keeping.” The only other question that remains is how to dispose of it. We’re giving away lots of stuff. It’s today’s modus operandi, is that the word?


I never saw a snake in my backyard

I was walking to Shul this morning. Through my back yard. Another thing I won’t do in a year from now. I noticed in a bare spot in the grass, a slug. It’s not a snake I thought. I’ve never seen a snake here. Only slugs, and they are no way as graceful as a snake. Only 3 inches long. (Or perhaps 6 cm.) And certainly not evenly slim. There are lots of slugs in the grass that I see each day on the way to Shul. Never a snake. I though about the snake we saw on the Appalachian Trail a few years ago. They usually scuttle away pretty quickly. As I think about is now, I just had that thought when I was walking through the yard, but I think it came because of the sign I saw on the Kakiat Park trail: beware, Copperheads and Rattlesnakes have been seen on the trail. Stay close to the marked trail. I wonder what wild life there is in a city like Jerusalem, even if we are on the southern end of the town. There are parks and walkways, the promenade. Probably lots of insects – roaches.Image

Kakiat trail to the overlook.


Starting to wind down

Or wind up, it sometimes feels. How do you get ready to retire? It’s like a new job. What am I going to need? New clothes, new paperwork, bring some old stuff, get some new stuff? Really. It’s not like it should be hard? What’s so hard about retiring? To tell you the truth. I’m really not prepared for this. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard. I don’t know how to not do what I’m doing now. We’re going to seminars, got a planning meeting set up. We’ve gathered a lot of resources. We just can’t stop doing our jobs. There’s always something to keep us interested.

But you know, we know the steps, we think, and we’re plodding along. Clean the house, it’s got to be sold. Clear the clutter from the family room, from our lives. We’re not going to take everything. I’m so ready to retired, I could just leave everything, (well maybe one suitcase) and just live out of it. I’m that ready for a big change. And it’s not like we don’t know where we’re going. We’ve been visiting Baka since Alieza moved there 7 years ago. But you just can’t leave thirty years behind without a parting. I’ve got to wind things up and leave school with a semblance of continuity. So many tell me they love the order I’ve brought to the school. there’s enough change with the new administration. Shouldn’t my department have some continuity with the next leader?

So much to think about. Parting has never been easy for me. I hate change, don’t we all. But I’m not making a change. I’m moving to the next step. The step I’ve been dwelling on for so much time lately. Got to move on.


Aliyah count down!

Plans are, one year from now, to be in Jerusalem. A year to plan, a year to prepare. But oy. we’ve got 30 years of collectibles to archive or lose or unshackle. Really, what do we need for the future? It’s a question that come up again and again as we look at each item of our lives, the stuff we’ve collected all about us.

I’m writing here and it’s my archive. What does all this stuff mean to me. Will it come into the next phase, or must it remain, hide, part of our memory.