Monday, November 9, 2015

Sights and Sounds of traveling

It started on the Logan expresss bus when the woman behind me was literally sucking face with a lollipop. I turned around expecting to see some heavy petting.

The loud sounds of the Boston bus drivers reporting on traffic.

Hebrew in the security line- my brain started working to understand what I was hearing and to formulate my own thoughts in Hebrew.

The moment I realized I forgot my lounge club card. But Mike sent me a photo and they let me in.

Sounds of newspapers rattling, liquor pouring, hushed whispers of travelers, and the desperation of the two men next to me seeking a new marketing plan for some property they're trying to sell.

French now because I was in the Air France lounge.

The long line to board the plane with no clear beginning or end. The older woman next to me with a Hebrew accent but some European accent behind it. She's been living in Bethesda and explained that "beit hisda" in Hebrew is an ancient place in the old city of Jerusalem.

My Russian seatmate reading a Russian paperback.

The Hebrew rock playing in my earphones as I sleep most of the night.

Babies crying
Wheels coming down
I see land

Israel, my motherland, I am in you!!

Shalom Saalam Peace

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I missed you tonight....

I woke up to a text photo of the beautiful gift basket that you bought to bring to your host tonight for Rosh Hashana (Thanks Tammy for hosting Talia and a friend!) You are so grown up.

You texted me later in the day to tell me you had a bellyache, maybe from the water at the hotel you stayed in over the weekend. You seemed very far away and I know you are unhappy when you don't feel well.

Your seat at our dining room table has been empty for 2 weeks. Dinner is usually the time I notice you are gone. You and Elizabeth aren't competing over who can talk. I think she misses you- she doesn't like all the attention from us.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is think about the time difference and if it's 7:00 am here, it's 2:00 pm in Israel. You've practically had your whole day! Then I check facebook and instagram to see if your school has posted any new photos so maybe I can catch a glimpse of you. Sometimes we text. It might be as simple as a "hi Mommy" or we have a fun exchange back and forth about what you've been doing. Whoever says goodbye, writes "143", our family code for "I love you". When I didn't see your 143 text the other day, you wrote,  "no 1432?", which is how the other responds, meaning I love you too. It made my heart sing. I texted back "Of course 1432".

We went to Nana's for Rosh Hashana dinner tonight. When we got there at 5:00 pm Boston time, you were already heading home from your meal at Tammy's friends in Jerusalem. It was midnight. You said you really liked her friends, that you felt a little better but you were too tired to facetime. I'm glad you were feeling better. I guess rice and bread for dinner was a good idea. When we lit the candles and I gave everyone a blessing, I actually got a little choked up because you weren't there. There was no empty seat for you, but you were definitely missing.

You missed the argument over whether people could have chicken served in their chicken soup, you missed groaning when we did the long prayer over the challah (only Liron and I did it),  you missed delicious challah from OMG that Daddy got from the farmers market, you missed being with your cousins (and they missed you), you missed Nana's chocolate mousse, you missed Nana telling her story about ordering from the trash can at Dunkin Donuts (again!), you missed Aunty Jami knocking lots of things over, you missed the yard sale that Nana had going on the 3rd floor (Liron took 2 things and Sam found a t-shirt from Disney in 2006 that still fits her), you missed Nana dragging Daddy and cousin David to the basement to take home paper goods for the 4th of July, and you missed a quiet ride home in the pouring rain.

Even though I miss you, I know that you are having an amazing experience. Only 16 years old and you are living and going to school in a foreign country. Speaking a different language and using Israel as a living classroom. The Director of your program at Alexander Muss High School sends an update every couple of days that tells us about what you are doing, what you are learning, and how your "tiyulim" (field trips) are related to what you are learning. I love that it's sequential, from the beginning of Judaism until today.

In 17 days, I get to visit you, see your dorm and your school, spend a Shabbat in Tel Aviv with you, take you out to dinner, celebrate Simchat Torah in Jerusalem with you, travel and visit friends and family and just be together. I'm counting down the days!

Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm having trouble breathing.....

When tracking the package, which was supposed to come by noon today, Talia scrolled down and saw this message:

We've incorrectly sorted the package at our facility. This may cause one business day delay. 

It's Friday. One business day is Monday. Her flight is Sunday. 

I called to confirm that the package was lost. It is. I asked for a supervisor and explained that we needed the package and are willing to drive anywhere to pick it up ourselves. She said we can't, it's in a container in NH but she will check if we can be "upgraded" to get Saturday delivery. I kept calm and she got back on the line and basically congratulated me for the upgraded status. You lost my package!!

I signed up for alerts and got this just now (at 5:00 pm):

We will keep our fingers crossed that it will arrive by noon and then maybe I will breathe again.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crisis Averted

Talia leaves for Israel on Sunday for 11 weeks. She's going to a program at the Alexander Muss high school in Hod Hasharon which is outside of Tel Aviv. She's traveling with 45 of her classmates from Gann Academy. Lucky girl actually spent 5 weeks in Israel this summer with Camp Young Judaea. She will be in the states for only a month before she leaves again.


Two weeks ago at a parent meeting at, I listened to the teacher tell horror stories of missing passports, parents chasing the bus down the highway, or flying to New York to deliver the passport just before the kid went through security and that's why they collect the passports 5 days before traveling. I sat there smugly thinking that would never be us, I'm too organized.

Yesterday morning I told Talia to grab her passport from our lockbox before she left for orientation. " Mom, it's not there!"

Panic ensued.

She left and as I searched all the logical places, a full blown panic set in- this was a crying, hair pulling, clothes tearing kind of panic. If you read this blog 4 years ago you know that 5 days before our trip I discovered that my passport was expiring -  and it was an expensive, time-consuming, and worrisome process to get a new one on time. I couldn't imagine going through that again but Talia missing her flight wasn't an option.

I pulled myself together and after a little bit of research was able to make an appointment for 8 am today in Portsmouth, NH. As we sat with our fellow travelers waiting for the office to open, we shared our stories and compared driving times. (We slept at our house in Ogunquit, Maine so had the shortest drive.) We were the first in line and at 8:00 am, they opened the doors. We had all our documentation and finished in 5 minutes.

I won't rest easy until UPS shows up at noon tomorrow.