We left for Eilat 2 hours later than I had planned.
The plan was:
Pack in advance, see Annie (performed by Israel Theatre), and leave from the theatre. Drive ‘till we drop, then pull over (i.e. park in a gas station) and sleep ‘till the sun wakes us. Then drive to Hai Bar and see the animals early in the morning, while they are still active. If there is time, stop at the Yotvata Restaurant to eat. Then continue to Eilat and check into the youth hostel, where Moshe would sleep (assuming he would be tired from driving all night) and I would take the kids to the public beach, just across the street.
It seemed like a decent enough plan. The first night would be a bit rough, as would be the next day, but we would go to sleep early, to make up for the lack of sleep the night before.
“Man plans, God laughs.”
We forgot that two days earlier, on Sunday night, we had a wedding in Nes Tziona (near Rishon L’Tzion). We left the wedding “early,” but it was already close to midnight when we began our drive. Moshe had to get up early Monday morning for a professional conference in Tel Aviv. He did not have time to sleep enough. Monday night, Moshe skipped the play, to finish packing and rest a bit. Besides missing his company, this meant we would have to come home to pick him up before we left for Eilat.
As the kids and I were finishing packing, I remembered I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up my chemotherapy. I had placed the order earlier, but the drugs hadn’t arrived yet. For two day, I had frantically argued to get my medication on time. Even as I was driving to the pharmacy, I was not sure I would be able to get all my medication (it had arrived, but there was still some technical “glitch” to resolve).
If we were going to make it on time to the play, we had to leave for the pharmacy before Moshe came home. We would not even have time to pack the car before the show.
It did not matter. Packing took longer than Moshe thought.
Between the wedding, the conference, the driving, and packing, Moshe was exhausted. He suggested we sleep at home and leave in the morning. I knew the drive would be tough, but I did not want to leave in the morning. We are the slowest family in the world and we NEVER get out of the house on time. If we waited until morning, we would lose the whole day. I offered to drive for the “first shift,” so Moshe could sleep.
Well, not only did Moshe not fall asleep right away, but our son “could not sleep” either. By the time they finally fell asleep, we had already been on the road for several hours. I do not know how I managed to stay awake and alert, but I actually found the drive strangely relaxing.
The most significant advantage to driving so late at night (we did not leave Jerusalem until after midnight) is that there are almost no other cars on the road, eliminating most of the stress associated with driving.
By the time I was ready to pull over, we were almost at Yotvata. In the end, I drove all the way to the Yotvata Restaurant (three and a half hours from Jerusalem), and parked in their parking lot.
Twenty minutes after I fell asleep, someone knocked on my window. Another driver was stuck and needed a jump start. I hate to say no, especially when someone need help, but I was too tired to get up. I just could not help him. I just could not help him. I apologized, explaining that I had been driving all night, and he would have to wait. I was able to turn over and fall back asleep. Unfortunately, Moshe and some of the kids had a harder time, especially my son. He did not manage to fall back asleep and kept waking me, out of frustration and exhaustion. I could not get angry at him, he was so tired and just wanted to sleep. But I could not help him either.
Eventually, my eldest woke up too. The two of them went exploring, finding a small park with climbing objects and a mini-omega.
When the rest of us woke up (none of us having slept all that well), we had a nice breakfast at the Yotvata restaurant.
Then, we continued on our way. Hai Bar was just another 8 km down the road…..
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Opening Bell of Eggnog Season
7 hours ago