Monday, July 9, 2018

Betsy



If I remember correctly Betsy came into my life on my fifth birthday. Being that I longed for an older brother or a younger sister this present was right on target. The life-size, for an average three-year-old, doll was dressed in a spiffy sailor dress. Since I was small for my age we were able to share clothes. We also shared my bed and the back seat of the car, for a while.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Uncle Fred

My uncle dancing with my son-in-law at our youngest daughter's wedding, less than two months before his eighty-fifth birthday. I thought he'd dance forever. 


Today, the eighteenth of Tammuz, we observe the fast that was pushed off from Tammuz and marks the beginning of the three weeks proceeding the ninth of Av, the day both the first and second Holy Temples were destroyed. Today is also the funeral of my beloved Uncle Fred, the last of my uncles.

Yesterday we read in the weekly Torah portion how The Almighty protected the Jewish people from classic anti-Semitism.  My Uncle Fred, born in Germany, knew first-hand the hatred of the Nazis, but he was also protected and found refuge in America. There he was able to build a good , successful, and healthy (until the last year) life. In his memory and in honour of the fast I’m posting an article I wrote six years earlier.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

We Slayed the Dragon


Thirty–five years ago my husband and I loaded up our four children and all sorts of family possessions into our Ford LTD and headed north, far away from the sweltering Phoenix summer weather, for an annual week-long vacation. There was no limit of fun activities in northern Arizona but what we’ve always remembered, with a shudder, was our ride on the ski lift.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

I Did It!



Like most American teens I got my driver’s license on my sixteenth birthday. And like most American teens I was eager to use the family car as much as possible. Unlike most of those teens, though, I got my wish. Barely two months after my authorization as a certified driver my mother was laid up for a couple of weeks. The responsibility for the family errands fell upon me.

My mother’s car was available for the task and when I settled in the driver’s seat I was full of pride at my new status. As they say, however, pride goes before a fall and on one of my first excursions I side-swiped a parked car as I was leaving the supermarket.
No one was physically hurt. The woman whose car I hit could not have been more gracious or kind. All the damage was covered by the insurance. Everything was fine except for my emotional state.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How I Blew My Teaching Career


Growing up in the sixties I, along with my peers, were inundated with rules in school. We had to raise our hands and wait to be called on before we could speak in class. When the recess bell rang there was no such thing as rushing out of the classroom onto the playground. Under no circumstances could we run in the hallways. Rather we had to walk in straight lines and square our corners.  The biggest rule of all, though, was how we addressed our teachers. It was always Mrs. or Miss or occasionally even Mr. with the last name added. We were never, ever allowed to call them “Teacher”. They had a name and it was disrespectful not to use it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Who Knew? reposted in honor of my mother's eighteenth yahrzeit


Springtime in Kansas is tornado season. It is also the time, at least when I was growing up, long before home videos were even thought of, that The Wizard of Oz, aired on TV. Every spring, I’d eagerly look for to the Sunday evening it would be shown. My mother, father, and I would gather in our family room ready to be enchanted, once again, by the classic American fairy tale. And every year, as Dorothy would sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, my mother would cry.


Her tears, she always told me, were for Judy Garland and for the mess she’d made of her life. Perhaps, though, she was crying for something much deeper, something she didn’t even realize, as expressed in the following article a friend sent me. Unfortunately, I don’t know who wrote the article but it is certainly worth passing on.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

“Soldier critically injured after block dropped from building”

courtesy of inn.co.il


I was saddened by the headline that appeared Thursday knowing that the soldier was someone’s son, probably a brother, perhaps a husband, sweetheart, or father, certainly a friend. Somewhere in Israel there were people in pain, hoping and praying for his recovery. Those were my thoughts and then I went on with my day.  

Later in the afternoon, though, I received an email on the Shilo list urging all of us to pray for this soldier, Ronen Ben Elna. The tragedy was coming a little closer. One of my neighbors had some connection to the young man.