Wednesday, October 27, 2010


(originally featured on Blogs)

If I had money, I would invest it in tissues. Have you ever noticed how you don't need them until all of a sudden you are buying them by the case?

That's me this week. There I was minding my own business, sitting in the waiting room of my Kupat Cholim (medical service) to do my annual battery of tests. You know the routine...scare yourself for a week and then relax for twelve months.

Someone must have coughed or sneezed or walked by me because within hours my nose turned into Niagara Falls! And just so my nose wouldn't feel like an orphan, my eyes joined in in sympathy.

Within twenty-four hours I knew it wasn't allergies. It was what my Daddy A'H called 'the grut'...named after how you are feeling, I think.

Because this kind of thing can turn into an asthma attack...a gift I was left with after a terrible case of Hong Kong Flu...remember that one?...I phoned my doctor to make an appointment.

Joan, his wonderful secretary, and my dear friend, told me that the doctors are booked solid for the next seven to ten days! Everyone is sick with this thing.

I know why. All this heat and no rain is the reason. Hot and Hotter seems to be the mantra over here.

I am a Canadian! Well, I am Israeli, but when I speak of the Old Country, I am talking of Windsor, Ontario. There we had weather! Thunder storms that would send you hiding to the bathroom where there aren't windows. Snow where you can pretend you are in a fantasy land and marvel at nature. Autumn where you can see God's paintbrush working all over the place.

Here in Jerusalem we have Hot and Hotter. It wasn't like that when I moved here forty years ago...yes forty years! Then you had nice weather. A little hot most of the time. Terrible hot a few days every once in awhile, and at night you could sleep comfortably because Jerusalem cooled off at night.

Not any more! Now we have air conditioners in Jerusalem. That used to be Tel Aviv's answer to the heat and humidity. Now we have them too.

I think this is year seven of the drought! Does that mean that next year begins the seven GOOD years? Don't get me wrong. I am not unhappy with my own past seven years. But, if we are making a list I would ask God for a little more rain.

A nice rain. Lots of rain. Good rain. NO FLOODS, GOD!

We are going to have to do something soon or else we are all going to have to dance naked in the parking lot. Trust me...not a pretty sight!

Okay, I have to go make a cup of tea with lemon, blow my nose again and check the weather report.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Friday, October 22, 2010


(originally featured on Blogs)

I love Jerusalem. I love living in the city; I love the fact that my three kids have PLACE OF BIRTH: JERUSALEM written in their passports; and I even love the crazy Jerusalemites. Well, to be honest I don't love them all the time. I love them most of the time. Well, for sure some of the time.

Then my youngest son moved to Tel Aviv to intern in a law firm. Hmmmm. Tel Aviv. For me, Tel Aviv is like leaving Windsor, Ontario and crossing the border into Detroit, Michigan. That's the place to go shopping, to see a ballet or go to the theater. It's also a place for going out to dinner at a special restaurant with friends.

In other words, it's a lovely place to visit, but I don't want to live there.

The humidity in Tel Aviv is criminal. As one of my son's friends said, "Maryloo, if you can learn to like sweating you will love Tel Aviv."

Now, I think if I am going to learn to love something it will be something learning to speak Italian.

I can learn to love air conditioning and room service in a nice hotel. But sweating? Who would want to learn to love shvitzing where your hair looks like some punk rocker and your clothes smell like you haven't bathed in a month. And no matter how much you drink you don't have to you know what because your body is busy sweating it out through every pore it can find.

But!!! Tel Aviv has the Sea...the Mediterranean Sea and five minutes watching the waves and all the troubles in the Universe disappear.

I used to take the bus to Tel Aviv every once in awhile to go sit and watch the waves and drink a cup of coffee and write. And in my heart I yearned to spend three days and two nights in a moderate hotel with a view of the water.

So, I began phoning hotels. Big mistake. One said it had rooms for $350 a night per person!!! Are they nuts??? A second one said they had rooms for $250 a night.

There went my three days and two nights.

But God is good. My son moved to Tel Aviv. And he not only said I could come visit whenever I wanted but gave me my own key!!! Now that is love!

My Mother, Bubbie Channah A'H always said that guests and fish stink after three days. So, I try not to outstay my welcome. And, being a Jewish mother, I cook.

Today I took the 6:30 bus from the central bus station and by 8:15 I was already at the kid's place.

Did I mention that he lives on the fourth floor? Without an elevator? Seventy-something stairs!!!

Today the plan was that we would go grocery shopping later this evening when he got home from work and tomorrow before I went back to Jerusalem, I would cook.

By nine this morning I figured out how to grocery shop myself. I took out my laptop and my change of clothes from my little suitcase on wheels and decided to brave the city on my own. All I had to do was get to Ben Yehudah Street, turn right and walk all the way to Russia!

I did it! I found it! I bought all the things I needed to cook for shabbat and pushed them into the little thing on wheels and reversed my mental map and made it back to the apartment.

Four flights up with that suitcase full of groceries and a nice piece of cake and a baguette later I honestly thought I  would never leave that flat again in my life.

I opened the suitcase and began taking everything out. This had to go in the fridge; that had to be in the freezer; those things needed to be put in the pantry. And then I noticed that I didn't have my tomatoes! Where were my tomatoes? How does a person make a salad without tomatoes?

I quickly weighed my options and thought, 'forget the tomatoes!' I'm going to the Sea to rest, relax, write and enjoy the quiet.'

And you thought God didn't have a sense of humor. I hope some nice lady took my tomatoes to make a good salad for her son.

Shabbat shalom.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.