New Page-----new Day

Cherries

Years ago, on our first trip to Washington state,we were in the season for Ranier cherries. Those cherries made it hard for any other cherry to compete for taste.They lifted the bar as far as I am concerned. My favorite fruit is cherries. My favorite cherry is the Ranier cherry. Every now and then, at the right season, I can buy them in the grocery store. I bring this up because I just ate some in season, beautiful, big, red cherries and they had no taste.

When we lived in the midwest, we marked the seasons by which fruit or vegetable we ate. We picked enough blueberries to freeze and have for a whole year. Our cottage was near an Amish farmer who plowed with a horse and hand picked all of his vegetables. His older children maned the farm stand . We bought tomatoes still warm from the sun and the same with corn. Many a night that was all we ate for dinner. Corn and tomatoes. Those were the good old days as far as fresh things were concerned.

I know that Florida has farms and fresh veggies , too, but to me the taste of those tomatoes and corn will never have an equal.The same for those Washington state Ranier cherries.

It's never too late to keep the memory, but enjoy the fact that we have a very long growing season here in Southwest Florida.

Month's end

As this is the end of the month, I have a few thoughts left over. Like ,I thought I had cleared my house of "stuff" and clutter. But , looking around, I still have things around that I can't decide if I can live without or not. Do I really need 3 sets of silver , do I need sets of dishes that I never use. Yes. I'm not ready to give any of it up yet.

Another end of the month thing is that I have heard of a new kind of phone. In reading the Nefesh B nefesh group emails, they have started talking about Kosher phones. What are they talking about. I'm waiting to learn what that is. I know Kosher salt, Kosher Hot dogs, a Kosher kitchen, but a Kosher phone ?

And one more thing.I wonder about how I will adapt to living in a country that is mostly desert. I don't know why I worry about this, but it is something that I think about. Especially when I walk Cricket and I look at all of the lushness around me. It's just something that I have thought about.

It's never too late to clean out my end of month thoughts and go on to a new , fresh month .

Cricket

Cricket was sick today and I couldn't figure out what was the problem. Her body language was all that was necessary. She lay on the futon and did'n't move for hours. I considered taking her to the emergency vet, but realized that she wasn't that sick. Seeing her so limp made me worry about losing her. That would be harder than with any of our other dogs, I think. As Bob has become more fragile, Cricket has become more important to him.They  are tuned in to each other. Cricket knows " where is Bob" and that always makes Bob laugh when Cricket runs right to him. smart dog. She knows who pays for her boutique food!

This little Cricket is special because of her disposition. She's the first dog that we have had that doesn't have any hang ups. She loves everyone. She has a lot of human qualities. She knows when you need a lick on the face, and she has a great stare. Better than the look my Mother had  when she was not happy with me. Unlike my Mother, Cricket usually will stare at you when she wants to go out. She lets us act really foolish and goes along with us. We play this dumb game with her. We cover her with our spread and say in baby talk " where's Cricket. " Then and I am embarrassed to say this, we continue with," there she is". She loves this game.And she let's us do it every morning. We appreciate this because it is probably embarrassing for her to have her people act like this.

Today she seems much better. maybe she just needed to be quiet for a whole day. I got up several times during the night to watch her breathing. I know that she doesn't know how important she is to us. It's never to late to appreciate someone you really care about, especially if it is someone whose language is non verbal.

"I"

I have a list of things that I like. I can eat any man under the table when it comes to spagetti. I don't make a lot of pasta dishes at home, because I can easily inhale them.. I really like fried foods. Too bad they are not good for my health. I'm not that disciplined. I make and order fried food when the spirit hits me. The devil makes me do it. I admit that I have a deep fat fryer.

I also have a list of things that I don't like. Although I like facial hair on a man, I don't care for hairy men. I have a strong adversion to hair on bar soap. I can clean up after any type of "accident", but hair on soap or on my glass, Ugh.

I don't go to movies about the Holocaust. I am probably the only person who hasn't seen Schindler's List . I don't read books about the Holocaust either. I read the end of a lot of books and then go to the beginning. Some times I just need to know who did it.

I don't like room deodorants. They don't smell right to me. I'd rather use bleach. I like the smell of Clorax. It makes me think of my Mother . She liked Clorox, too. I love to iron. But you knew that. I love repetitive work. I can sort and stuff envelopes and be content.

I count more than 20 "i"'s on this page. That's a lot , especially since I was about to say that I am suspicious of people who call attention to themselves by starting every sentence with the pronoun "I".

It's never too late to be opinionated.I approve.

 

 

A rainbow and why?

Why? That was part of our Rabbi's sermon this week. Usually when we ask why ?, we get the answer of how. Why is the sky blue and we get the scientific answer of how come the sky is blue. ( I don't know the answer, but I am confident that someone in our Congregation does). So the next time I ask why is there a rainbow, I am really asking why am I so blessed to be seeing the rainbow. That satisfies my question of why.

We did see a rainbow as we drove to Shabbat services last night. A number of our congregants saw the same rainbow.They thought it ended at our building. That's a wonderful thought. I think it is amazing that a bunch of grown people can be so enthrolled in a natural phenomenon as a rainbow. I think we are all romantics.There is something magical about a rainbow. Here are my questions : why does the rainbow curve, if we were in an airplane could we see it and maybe fly beneath the arch, does it really end in a pot of gold??  It would be nice if it ended at my house.

And thinking about nature, I need to report that at services in the last few weeks , I have seen through those hugh windows that are behind the Bimah, a bob cat, a wild turkey and last night two little cardinals. It pays to sit on the first row. I get to see a lot of nature.

My questions aren't always answered in the way that I would like them to be, but seeing a rainbow on a Shabbat evening as I drive to our Temple, just reminds me that it's never too late to remember that this is my covenent with God.

I'm a believer

I had an Aunt Mary. She was married to my Uncle Al, who was my fathers brother. Uncle Al was gassed in the First World War , and although he probably got a government pention, Aunt Mary was the bread winner. Everyone loved her. Everyone. She made friends for life. She never forgot to send a card for every occasion. She even included the children of her nieces and nephews and the in laws. You couldn't mistake her handwriting on the envelope. What made me think of her is that the Yom Kippur Holiday is coming and the line we include about being inscribed in the Book of Life. Aunt Mary is surely inscribed. While she was alive and managing on a really limited income, friends thought so much of her that they gave her things. It's amazing. She was treated to trips, people called her to give her a ride to Hadassah or to Temple . At times when I would visit her, she would say that sometimes she didn't even want to go to an event, but didn't want to dissapppoint her friend. How does a person be so good that people want to be with her and give her gifts of value.

I think she lived as if she wanted to be sure that she was inscribed in the Book. Every year around this time and certainly on Yom Kippur, I think about this line. I  really believe that I will be inscribed and  I look at this line as a a way to remind me to do better. Will I live through the next year, will my loved ones ? I am a real believer. I will try to be more like Aunt Mary. She set a high bar. It's never too late to do my best and maybe I will be inscribed on the positive side of the page in the Book of Life.

Smiles all around

Someone posted 300 pictures of the arrival of the new Olim at the Ben Gurion Airport. I looked at most of them. I had mentioned that there was a dog on board the flight and I wondered how it went the whole trip without going for a "walk". It was a really small dog, it was being carried in a purse like case. A large man was carrying the purse. It just caught my eye. Then in the 300 photos , there they were again. There were two photos of them. The dog, the man and the family that included , what looks like, two young teen boys. Everyone is smiling. Everyone. That includes the dog. I had to look at the second photo of them, then I called Bob to see it. The dog was so happy to be in Israel, that it was smiling. You can't fake that shot.

I always said that Cricket was Jewish, as were most of our dogs. I'm not so sure about our late , great Wally. He had some issues that were not characteristic of what I think of as Jewish. Like he liked to run away from home. What Jewish boy dog wants to run away from home?

But Cricket is Jewish. She loves matzoh balls and Kosher Hot Dogs. That's how I can tell.

I would like to know more about the dog on the flight to Israel .Will the family have a problem renting an apartment with a dog? I have been checking the rentals in Israel and they never say pet friendly. Since the Israeli's have a more tolerant attitude toward pets in resturants and in stores, maybe putting that bit of information in an ad, isn't necessary.The ads do make a point of saying that the apartment is Kosher. That might be enough to keep me from a lease.

It's never too late to get as many facts as I can, especially how to keep everyone smiling on a 13 hour flight home.

live streaming

I watched a plane load of Americans become Israeli citizens when their feet touched the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport. They looked stunned as they walked down those movable steps. I felt that too. Just about everyone pushed something. Either a stroller or a wheeled carry on. What did they feel was so important that it went on board with them. Did any of the adults think of their ancesters who left Europe in a hurry with whatever they could put in a ratty suitcase. ?  Did anyone think that they weren't running away from something, but running toward a new life. I think about that sometimes. Would there be more Jews in the world if more of us had packed that suitcase and left what we knew. I wonder. And I appreciate that my family did leave. I wonder how my Grandmother would have loved Israel. I feel that she would have liked it. Her 104 year old daughter, my aunt, lives there and she loves it.

Another thing I think about as I watch this live stream of people making their way to the terminal is that everyone is happy. The 103 kids aboard aren't crying or fussing to be picked up. Maybe the camera isn't focusing on them, but everyone one is being helpful and cute. I still would rather go on a flight that has less kids.

I did see one small dog get off of the plane. I have questions for the owner. How did the dog control its bladder for the long flight. How come the guy didn't put the dog down on the tarmac as soon as he could. What didn't the camera show me. Did the dog cry on the plane. Did it bark. Cricket needs to know these things.

During the live streaming there was one proposal. Everyone knew except the bride to be. What if she said no .The guy was pretty confident. I'm not sure that I would want to share this private moment with so many people. She said yes.Duh!

I got all of these emotions and thoughts as I watched this plane load of new Olim(that's the word for new Israeli). When it is my turn and time, I want to be ready. It's never too late to once more dream about my journey home.

A special landing

Today is a very special day for the many people who left New York , left friends, left thier jobs and homes and in a few hours will be going home. They will land in the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and become Israeli citizens as soon as they step on the tarmack. They are so happy and scared. I will be watching them on a live stream. I already know I will be crying. Their faces will be a combination of bewilderment ,fatigue, and excitement. Some will be met by friends and family. The others are not alone. So many former Olim go out to meet them and every family is assigned a greeter. I know all of this because I have memorized the procedures from the Nefesh B Nefesh web site. It's part of my wanting to be able to visualize every bit of what it will be like to do what they are doing. The worse part is the saying good bye. That is the worse.

I am relieved about one thing concerning this flight. It has the largest number of children onboard that has ever made Aliyah. To me this means  a lot of noise, crying and unhappy parents. I'll take another flight.

Now I hope that I can get my computer to behave and let me watch the streaming. I have my tissue ready and I'm good to go. It's never too late to sometimes live vicariously while I wait my turn.

Reality

My thoughts lately have been on a condo we used to have in Gulfport, Mississippi. We sold it just weeks before Katrina. There was nothing left but the concrete steps when we drove down there to take a look at the destruction. That was a terrible sight, but even worse was that all of the beautiful oak trees along the boulevards were gone. The condos would be replaced with other buildings, but those trees had such a history. That's what I have been thinking about. Did they try to replant trees, did they plant oaks or a quicker growing variety. I want to take another drive down there and see what it looks like.

I would like to see if our favorite fried oyster po'boy place came back. We would stand in line , order our po'boys "dressed" (lettuce, tomatoes, mayo) and then just walk outside and sit on the sand and watch the gulf . It tasted better than any po'boy that I have had.

The reason we thought that we liked Gulfport is that it was a short drive to New Orleans. We spent many an afternoon visiting my sister and walking through the French Quarter.

I don't know why these thoughts surface . What triggers a memory of a place that I , until recently, hadn't thought about at all.

In reality, Gulfport was not the place for us. There was no longer a Jewish community, it was still very racist, we never fit in. We had nothing to ground us there. Maybe I am remembering these things because we so appreciate where we are now, Paradise.

It's never too late to remember that it is our family of choice that makes us so happy to be here.

Dream On

I do have a concern. That Publishing Company that gives away large amounts of money has an offer on TV that says I can win $5,000. a week, for life and for the life of a designated person. Perpetuity. A quick spell check because this is not a word I use except for the care of the family graves. I would love to win this amount . I think that I would have to pass it down to our youngest grandson. I wonder how he would use it. Maybe to get a life time pass to his favorite New York baseball team. I can't remember which team he supports, so I need to let him fill in that information. It would probably pay for college and grad school. I'd like to stick around for awhile and use the money myself, but I need to prepare to keep it in the family.

It wouldn't be hard for me to spend the first weeks $5,000.00  . By the time I bequeth to my Congregation, get the kids together for a night out, it would be gone. The second week, I would be more circumspect. By the end of the first year,I would probably just make large bank deposits.

It's never too late to plan on the unthinkable happening.Dream on.

next year in Jerusalem, maybe

Cricket and I have a couple who are are our snow bird friends. They are making arrangements to return to Paradise next season. The great thing about this is that they want to rent our unit.  I am so ready to go to Israel that last year I introduced them to the possibility of renting our place for several months, so we could have the experience of living in Israel and still keep our place here. Well, they are ready to complete that circle. I had to tell them, maybe next year in Jerusalem for us , not yet this year. They understand.

There are some great YouTube videos that I watch every day. Some are travel logs of Israel. Others are about renting short term vacation properties in Israel. My favorites are the shopping in the outdoor markets. I skip the ones that are the least bit negative about Israel. I don't want to know. I'll find out for myself.

A question that I ask myself about these videos is this...shouldn't I be doing something else instead of watching these little 2 to 5 minutes video clips. Get a life, me. I watch them to keep my dream alive. So much goes on to distract me  from actually completing my dream. So many variables to take into account. I often wish that I believed that cliche that says that "you are responsible for your own happiness" . Not true, I am responsible for many peoples happiness and I accept that. It just puts a different time line on dreams. Too bad I am so adult about this. Maybe I should stop watching these videos . They make me think too much.

It's never too late to tell my snow bird friends that maybe they can rent my unit the following season,because I am still dreaming.

storm windows

 I would like to wash my windows. Actaully, I have no windows. I have slidders. They are splattered from all of the rain we are having. I like to "wash" windows. That's an advantage of living in a one story house. I can almost reach to the top of the glass. A two step, step stool is all I need to complete the job. I've had a person do the windows a few times, But I can do it as well as he can. And there is that personal satisfaction that I get when I do a physical thing like washing the windows.

When we had our Victorian house on 2 levels, we had a guy do all of the windows when he put up our storm windows. Those windows were antiques. Heavy, really big and each window had a different size storm to match the different size window. Each window had a number that corresponded to the number written on the  storm window.He charged us a dollar a window , in the beginning. Then each year it became more. It was fair.  Each storm window must have weighed 35 lbs. We did that routine for years until we couldn't get anyone to do it any more. Then we just stopped putting them up every year. They are probably still stored in the basement of that drafty old house.

I think the reason that I like to do these slidders myself is that it puts me in control. Our old Victorian was the boss. We pretty much did what was best for that house. We respected its age. It was almost 100 when we sold it. I think I read somewhere that the windows are the soul of the house. That place in Evanston must have had a lot of soul. Our place here in Florida isn't old enough for a real soul yet. It just has slidders, not  really windows.

It's never too late to wonder what kind of a soul slidders have as they look out at green grass and a bucolic scene of a golf course. Have they experienced enough to really appreciate what they have. After I clean them, I bet they say "yes".

AC

I think I am qualified to talk about heat. After all, I grew up in New Orleans , before air conditioning was so available. We had a hugh window fan that was in our formal dining room. During the day, the fan ran in one direction to pull out the warm air. In the evening, the fan was reversed and it pulled in the cooler air. The rugs were taken up in the summer and straw rugs were used or else the floor was bare. The furniture had slip covers . The curtains were drawn during the day to keep out the sun and heat. We drank a lot of sweet iced tea and iced coffee. We were comfortable.

Our car was not air conditioned. Every night, after dinner,we all got into the car , opened up the windows and went for a drive, ending up at a ice cream place near Lake Ponchartrain . I think a single scoop of ice cream was a quarter.

It didn't take me long to get used to air conditioning. Our daughter in the Chicago area does not have an air conditioner in her whole home. We consider not visiting in the summer. In our old home in Evanston , we had one air conditioner and that was in Bob's office. On really hot, hot nights, we all slept in the office. The floor was strewn with bodies in the morning when we all had to vacate so Dad could work.

Air conditioning is my friend. Without it, I don't think there could be Florida as we know it. Next to indoor plumbing, give me air conditioning. It's never too late to appreciate that we live where the electricity works and the AC can run and run.

What I always wanted

I am in suspense. Yesterday, on a run to buy more Kleenex, I passed a store front that has been empty for at least a year and a half. The window had a large sign that said that I should watch for an opening of a store that would have something that I have always wanted ! I am wondering what that could be. It wouldn't be a prince Charming because my constant companion was sitting in the passenger seat right now as we went to buy those 2 boxes of Kleenex. We go every where together, even to buy 2 boxes of tissues. I can't begin to imagine what it is that I have always wanted and that this store knew what it was before I did.  I do want to win the lottery. I've always wanted to win, even when I haven't bought a ticket. Then too, I always wanted to win the Publishing House Give Away, even without entering. Maybe it's another dog that I want. Cricket needs a playmate. But I don't think that I need a whole store for that.

I am at a loss to think what it is that I have always wanted, but at the age of 78, I am about to get it. It must be magnificent.

When I find out, I will certain tell everyone.

It's never too late to finally find out what I have always wanted. I hope that it is good.

chicken soup with noodles

Have I ever mentioned that for my last meal,(and may that be a long time away) I want home made chicken soup, fine egg noodles and boiled chicken.That's it. I bring it up today because I am up to my adam's apple in chicken soup. I have to get rid of this cold and what better and more traditional way, than chicken soup. I tried just the broth and I still had the cold. I added the noodles and I'm waiting for the cure. Maybe it's not the chicken soup, perhaps it is the noodles..Some people want chocolate or junk foods, but I am addicted to chicken soup, chicken soup and noodles. Did you used to read Maurice Sendek to your kids. Especially the line "going once, going twice, going chicken soup and rice".?  For me , it can't be rice, it has to be noodles.

When I was under 10 years old, I would visit my Grandmother every Sunday, after Sunday school at Beth Israel in New Orleans . I always had her chicken soup mit luchen. What I didn't know was that it always tasted sour. I thought that was what chicken soup tasted like. I liked it that way. Grandma had an ice box , it had a certain smell, probably sour. I don't think it had a lot of ice in it by Sunday lunch time. I survived. That's probably what gave me my iron gut.

It's never too late for a memory of my Grandmother and her sour chicken soup.

Write a new comment: (Click here)

SimpleSite.com
Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

...
31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

...
20.07 | 13:55

Everything sounds so wonderful Leona. Venice will seem boring . I would want to move to Portownsend where the kids are living. All sounds great . Is there?

...
19.07 | 12:33

That lavender sounds very nice!

...
You liked this page