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Friday, April 23, 2010

Life is Crazy! But Good!! (Yom Ha'Atzma'ut 2010)

Sorry for not posting all week.  We had a crazy week, but I am feeling good.  We had lots of computer problems, including no internet, but very little time to write anyway. We were very busy, with nothing terribly exciting.... just life!

We did have a very nice, albeit quiet, Yom Ha'Atzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day).  We had planned on attending the evening celebrations at Sh'dema, (a former Israeli military base, about halfway between our Jerusalem neighborhood and Eastern Gush Etzion (Tekoa, Nokdim, etc.)).  We did not realize, at first, that the program only began at 10:00 pm.  Even though it is only a five minute drive from our home, the program was too late for us.  Instead, our family celebrated locally, each in our own way: 
  • Our youngest daughter spent the evening with her youth group
  • Our eldest attended the festive prayer service with me (her company made me VERY HAPPY), but then she spent the rest of her evening "spontaneously," hanging out with friends and doing whatever she felt like doing
  • Moshe and our son were not into the community celebrations, so they went out for falafel (in the neighborhood)
  • I went to the community celebration and found friends to hang out with.  I danced (a bit) and watched and enjoyed.
At one point, a man sat down with a lit cigarette, right in front of me.  I am really sensitive to cigarette smoke (it gives me migranes) and I was sitting in a cluster of kids, so I gently asked him to put out the cigarette, indicating that the smoke was blowing in our faces.  To my surprise, he responded with hostility; since we were outside, he saw no reason to extinguish the cigarette.  I responded, just as hotly, emphasizing that I asked him very nicely.  As I geared up for a tirade of my own, I mentioned that his reaction was disappointing, as we were all celebrating together, as one community.... Suddenly, my friend turned to me, and pointed out "you said the magic words...."  Sure enough, I noticed his tone changed as he responded, "you know, we really are all celebrating together... I will move."  His outrage neutralized, he got up and moved a few meters away.  I was stunned.  My outrage... neutralized.  A simple reminder, that all of us are "Am Echad"  (one people) and this is OUR celebration, which we want to celebrate together..., made all the difference. 

Towards the end of the evening, my youngest found me and wanted to walk home together (specifically, she did not want to walk home alone, even though the streets were filled with people and we live just a few houses away).  I really wanted to stay for the fireworks.  I bribed her... with cotton candy.  I love fireworks.  And I love cotton candy.  So, our "deal" worked for both of us!

When we got home, our family sat down together* to watch the second part of a Battlestar Galactica (original series) episode.  It was the perfect ending for our celebrations.

The next day, we all woke up to watch the Hidon HaTanach (TheBible Quiz).  Friends came by to watch part of it with us.  I made popcorn.  It was fun.

Afterwards, our eldest watch the episode from the night before.  Not surprisingly, the other kids watched again, along with her.

Later that afternoon, we went to Moshe's parents for a seudah (festive meal).  Moshe's sister and her family were there as well.  So was his sister's best friend and her youngest daughter (they are also 'part of the family').  We had falafel, hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and salad; then, for dessert, watermelon, fruit salad, and chocolate chip cookies!  Good company and good food!!

The next day, Wednesday, the kids were back at school and Moshe was back at work.  Before we knew it, the week was over!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,

* our eldest was not there, but she agreed that we should watch without her.


Anonymous said...

I loved your answer to the smoking man. It was the fact that you said positive words. He responded with negative and you even in your anger answered back with a positive. In the book of Proverbs, it says, "a gentle answer turns away wrath." You gave the gentle answer. That is what I love about you. Always can find something nice to say even in a tirade.

Bernie said...

So glad your time away was to enjoy your family and not because you were sick.......:-) Hugs

RivkA with a capital A said...

Karen -- You are too kind!! thanks!! You see what you are -- that's how I think of you, always thinking the best of people, always speaking with gentleness and kindness.

Leah -- sure was! what did you do?? you haven't posted for a few weeks....

Bernie -- I think our internet service is "sick"