Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hanging out with Mom & Dad, Long Island, New York

The house I grew up in from the age of 4...
(born in Chicago, moved to Oregon, then back to the east coast,
a few places in neighboring towns, then this home.)

The pitch goes up and down and up and down repeatedly. I woke up with a huge startle and adrenaline running through my veins... first thought: siren. Go to the safe room. Where are the kids. Make sure everyone is getting into the safe room. Heart beating fast...
oh, wait, it's a fire siren. I am in Glen Head, NY. fell back into a very deep sleep, but with extremely vivid dreams this time.

!!!BOOM!!!!! CRACK!!!!!!!!!!!
Again, I am awakened with a start, more adrenaline, OMG, a bomb that landed close by, with no siren. Crap! OMG!
Oh, again, the fog is lifted in a second, and I am in my brother's old room in the house I grew up in... and it's raining with loud thunder. Oh yeah, rain! I haven't seen, smelled, or heard a rain storm in many months. What a crazy way to wake up. And the vivid dreams that pulsed through my blurry mind thereafter, wow, talk about strange. Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore! (in the Wizard of Oz it was meant a little differently than I mean it here, of course.)

Jet lag will do that.

The plane ride went fine, technically. Personally, not so great, though. Sleep was not an ally for me. I was in too much pain and couldn't get comfortable. I was wearing a very tight garment because of the lymphoedema, and it isn't something one can ignore when wearing it. A sleeping pill made me sleepy, but it didn't take the pain away, and I couldn't sleep for more than 5 or 10 minutes. 11 hours goes very slowly when you hurt. Oh well. I walked around the plane a lot. I was told to do that because of my lymphoedema. Maybe that's why Hashem didn't let me go to sleep.

The Shabbat before school starts; traditionally,the Shabbat of the *special challot*. I make challot in the shapes of the grades they are going into. I made a "gimmel", a "vav", a "tet", and a "yud". Third grade, 6th, 9th, and 10th grades. The kids love those! Makes it a special time, gets them excited about school starting. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture! Oh well, next year. :)

I missed the first day of school today, but it seems to have gone well. I spoke with all my kids after school. Ya'akov is the only one this year starting a new school- high school. The new school is in Jerusalem. Sunday through Thursdays he stays with our cousins who live there. I am *so happy* about him being at this specific school. Since there is no dormitory, my cousins have been gracious (and brave?) to open their house to Ya'akov. I feel in my gut that this is a good match... praying on it! Honestly, I am overjoyed at how this has all worked out. The past few years Ya'akov has been miserable in school. We knew his school wasn't the right place for him, but we didn't have any other good choices. Now that he can study in Jerusalem in this very special [private] school, I think things will begin looking up for him. Please Gd. And I hope we get financial aid. Please Gd.

So, here in NY.... my parents are doing fine, thank Gd. Not worse... but not better, either. My mother is in relatively good health, but bedridden. My father is also, thank Gd, in good health, although he walks with a huge limp. He says he's not in pain, though, so that is good.

Mom & Dad on the back porch

I took a walk around the outside of the house today. I was seeing my childhood in my mind's eye. ...That tree I used to climb- but they had to cut off the limb I climbed onto.

Can you see that "scar" halfway up the left-most trunk? That is where the branch was that I climbed out onto.
...That other tree had the tire swing.

Tire swing tree in back yard

 The rock patch is no longer, covered over with moss. The crab-apple tree is gone. But mostly, it's all there. My childhood- it's all there... here. The only thing is that I can't sleep in the room I grew up sleeping in because the caretaker who lives here with my parents lives in my old room. So, I sleep in my brother's old room. No problem at all. I love the caretaker who is here with them- she is a wonderful person, and takes fantastic care of my mother (and father).

Yes, this is a genuine, original dial-up wall phone with a coiled cord. It **STILL** works, and they still use it. YUP.
When I was a teenager, I used to take that receiver with me down the basement stairs (door at left),
sit around the corner in the basement (stretching the cord way passed capacity!) and gab away in privacy.
Every now & then my mother or father would open the door and yell into the dark abyss "Sarah! Off the phone!
You are stretching the cord too far! Who are you talking to? We need the phone! Get off the phone!
You'll see them tomorrow in school!"


I'll be leaving on Thursday to go to Maryland for a week. First I'll be with cousins who I love, then to Baltimore to the writer's conference which inspired this trip! I am so excited to go there. I will eat up the writing inspiration and advice, wisdom, tricks of the trade, clarity, and whatever else I know I will eat up from the three day conference. I honestly can't believe I am going to it! In my life, it is so hard to make any long-term plans, and be able to carry through on them. I kept thinking that I'll get sick, or something will happen to make me cancel this trip. But, here I am!

A huge thanks goes to Robert for supporting me to come!! And taking care of the kids, and all the arrangements necessary to do that. He's such a special husband... gratitude abounds. :)

Signing off to watch TV with my parents before we call it a day. Such is life.