Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #35 – September in the aretz – dew, strikes and hagim

Just because there’s no giant inflatable rat doesn’t mean workers don’t strike!
The mother of a friend of Asher’s called me up last week to let me know school would end early Sunday and Monday due to a strike. She had gotten the notice in her son’s knapsack. Asher came home and I asked him to show me all his notices. He had none. Where are they? Seems he told his rav that his mother can’t read Hebrew without nekudot so they did not give him a notice… And so, school ends early Sunday and Monday. By scheduled strike.

Walk me out in the morning dew
There has been an abrupt change of season in the last 2 weeks. It went from dry hot summer to dewy warm September. The morning air is heavy and wet, reminiscent of summer mornings at camp. The dew blankets the hills – you can see it, feel it, smell it. It is said the manna that fell in the desert was sandwiched between two layers of dew. We adapt our amidah in the summer to bless “Morid HaTal” – the “One Who Brings the Dew.” I am keenly aware of what I am saying when I recite this blessing here.

There have been at least 4 power outages in the past two weeks – all moisture related from what I understand – and, not unlike the change of seasons in New York, this one has brought with it some uninvited visitors. I awoke to ant activity in the frying-dairy-water kitchen and Bob is suffering from no less than 11 mosquito bites. No, wait, make that 12.

Some background about the temperature around here.
And by around here, I mean in our house. I am in my eighth month. Carrying 30+ extra pounds on a 5’2” frame. I can hardly breathe. I am huffing and puffing every time I walk up the stairs, every time I bend over to clean a black footprint off my floor with a baby wipe, every time I move the stoop to climb up and retrieve a dish, every time my cell phone rings and I have to walk hurriedly to a spot in my house where I have reception. Basically I am gasping for air all day long. And I am hot. Beads of sweat on my forehead, upper lip, and neck. Exactly what you would expect from someone who is working out. Yeah, that’s right. For me, daily life is a workout. In any case, my dear husband, tipping the scales at 99 kilos (you do the math!) and towering at almost 6 feet of height has turned into the equivalent of a frail old lady next to me. If I am always hot, he is always cold. He says he’s turning off the fans to save electricity but I know the truth. He complains I am freezing the children by running their fans at night. I tell him the children need air! They need to breathe! They shouldn’t be hot! Last Shabbat when our guests started asking to borrow sweaters at the Shabbat table it dawned on me that maybe, possibly I am a drop hotter than everyone else. In any case, our bedroom windows stay open at all times and unless Bob can get me to agree that it’s cold (a rare but possible occurrence), the ceiling fan runs each night. The last few nights I climbed into bed after midnight. The bed was damp. The pillow, the sheets, the blankets. And when I woke up in the morning, the breeze blowing in the open windows was, even by my standards, cold. Baruch HaShem.

Out with the old, in with the new. Check out the expiration date on the teudat kashrut (above).
This week is Rosh Hashanah. It is the only two day yom tov of the year. All of Israel is scurrying to prepare. An occasional shofar competes with my braying donkey. The makolet is selling gord and black eyed peas still in their shell, leeks, pomegranate, dates, honey and apples. All my neighbors with pomegranate trees have put up netting to catch the ripening fruit. For the first year since I’m married I am scurrying to prepare the simanim – the “praying foods” (this was something my mother-in-law always did for me). There are opportunities to recite selichot according to every minhag at every imaginable time and place including the Kotel. Next year in Jerusalem? This year just a few kilometers south.

Walk me out in the morning dew…

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