What better way to celebrate two years since our Aliyah date, 24-December-2013, than tasting new flavors at Nespresso in the Mamilla mall. We returned our used capsules and picked up some new
ones. They always offer you a taste of new flavors. And of course, when in the Mamilla mall to recycle capsules, why not stop for lunch at a cafe. Rimon this particular afternoon. A little chilly, but their enclosed outdoor space was just fine. A very nice little Aliyah celebration.
And what always makes it so much fun here, is Chanan! Our little marker for our Aliyah! He was born one month after our leaving New York, and so his two year birthday will be exceptional. And he’s already saying “No”. Or sometimes “Go Saba, Saba’s car, go.” Maybe it’s the car Bamba that makes it fun.
Just the bare preparedness for the Chag is still a lot of work. Clearing all the small appliances from the counters to lay in the covers. We’ll be back for a day passing through on our way to another part of the family. Crisscross ing the east coast, New York, Boston, Ohio, Long Island.
I don’t think I’ll see a herd of deer in my backyard in Jerusalem. I will miss the frequent mornings that I walk out the back door into a bright-eyed clump of alert staring does. Or the times I pull into the driveway to shine my lights on a cluster of deer sitting on the bed of chips at the edge of our copse. I guess there will be other visual delights in Jerusalem and I will just have to seek them out.
We tried. No. We really make it. We got up at 3.30 am and got out to the car in good time to make the 6.30 flight. But even with all the empty roads, and the great time we made, it was getting stuck behind an accident on the TriBoro bridge that held us back the 45 minutes to get on the plane. We were there before the plane left, but not before it left the gate for the runway. Get us on the next flight? We could route through Pittsburgh and arrive around 6 pm. Delta had a direct flight, but we weren’t really to pay twice the rate – with a penalty fee on top of that.
We are so disappointed. FaceTime is great, but hug time is much better. Well Friday night dinner in a crock pot is easy enough to prepare. Might as well catch a day at work.
There are a few places that we like to visit from time to time, and Washington is where we both had the thought, this is where we’ll come for visits when we’re traveling back from Jerusalem. We love staying at the Georgetown Suites location and walking to the Harbor, or Kennedy Center, or just down M street. And Kesher is a wonderful Shul that is always worth the Shabbat visit. And the museums can’t be beat. This time we went to the American History Museum, saw a replanted house from Ipswich, Americana including an Apple //e and an iPod next to a Walkman, along with old silver creamers from the 18th century.
The candle light is not enough. LEDs and book lights help pierce the darkness. It takes a while, but you get good at aiming the light to the paragraph you’re on. Get’s dark early this time of year. The one part of this electrical loss that is hard to deal
with is the loss of heating. Our hot water works, and we’ve had showers and hot baths, but the water, as hot as it might be, won’t circulate in the pipes and radiators. The pump is electric and living with this cold is difficult. The temperature outside is dropping to the forty’s. Bearable during the day, but hard to take at night. We were using lots of blankets until the electricity returned late last night.
I went downstairs. Bicycling in the dark. I wish my pedaling were hooked up to the heat pump. I would have warmed the whole house, not just myself.
I filled and replaced the bird feeder yesterday. There’s been quite a crowd showing up. Three blue jays are leading the throng. The only one they can’t threaten is the large red-headed woodpecker that periodically stops by. It’s wild, sometimes a frenzy. I’m impressed how fast the news travels and at all the birds that show up to party.
We are thankful that few branches and no trees came down in our backyard or by the house. This past year we had the tree trimmers out several times, and after last year’s early snow fall that damaged many limbs. These trees seem sturdy, considering the ones we’ve seen uprooted around town.
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.
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!
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.)
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!