Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dreamin' tears

Last night was a weird and scary night.

I awoke to the sound of my house alarm turning itself on by itself. Any movement after that would have set off the alarm and woken the girls and the neighbors.

I panicked. Not sure what to do.

I was never very good at alarm systems. Didn’t grow up with one. Only had one after marriage in our first house in Lowell.

I’m intimidated by the technical stuff, especially stuff that makes a lot of noise and/or tells me that there is danger.

I jumped out of bed and started pressing buttons on the keypad in our bedroom. I guess I finally deactivated it.

I started to shake and called the alarm company to ask what had happened and if I did the right thing. Of course, they didn’t know. I needed to call back in the morning to speak to a technician.

I felt vulnerable and insecure. Ari isn’t here and I needed to be brave, but I couldn’t be.

I called him in the US and cried. I was tired. I was scared.

He was visiting an old NCSYer. He needed to go. What was he going to do or say anyhow?

I fell asleep with a wet pillow. And I must have slept heavily. Because my dreams were real!

Back to public school. We all looked the same (i.e NO AGING PROCESS), but I hadn’t seen everyone in a very long time. I was remembering with them things that we did in high school as well as things we did in past dreams - weird!!

Glenn and Julius, Matthew and Jay, Tammy, Kim, Susie, Mark, Francis, Sharon, Lori – they were all there. And it was so real. And familiar.

Was dreaming about them supposed to make me feel more secure?

If one more person asks me if Ari is in the country...

I'm going to scream!!!

This is not easy people!

Who else do I know in Teaneck?

I'm gonna be there Monday night, January 21. I need to return my car to the Newark airport by 7:30 AM.

Who else do I know there that I can ask to sleep over? The problem is that it has to be someone I feel comfortable enough with, so I can arrive late at night to their home and then leave early in the morning.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

More Ballet thoughts

I don't recognize the woman in the mirror. I thought she was a teenage girl!

She's taller than I remember. She's heavier and bustier than I remember. She is stiffer in her movements, too.

All those years of mother telling me to stand up straight and the ballet teacher tells me it's not natural. I'm too tight!

Why does everyone tell me I'm too tight?!

I have a pinch in my right knee that makes it hard to extend and point too high.

I can't do turns because I have such horrible motion sickness/equilibrium dysfunction (I made that one up) and I'm so worried about getting the steps right that I can't focus on that point in the corner if the room.

It's an amazing thing, though, when I close my eyes and feel the moves in my body, it just flows. I'm not self-conscious or stiff and my body just goes...

What happens to a young girl over the years?
She's not young anymore, that's the first reality.

I might be wiser in some areas of my 41 year old life. But in others, I'm just plain stupid!

Yet one more place to have to learn to let go...

The other holiday

It's December 24th. And if it wasn't for the fact that my husband is in NYC and called me so I could hear the Christmas carols on the radio, I wouldn't even know the holiday existed anymore.
Living in Israel around this time of year is really about living in a Jewish country.
And really not missing anything else.

On the other hand, I have wonderfully fond memories of growing up in Clover Hill and runnning to my friends' houses on Christmas to gather my gifts that awaited me under their trees. The music. The cookies. The snow.

So to all my friends - Non-Jewish and even Jewish - who are celebrating this day, I am thinking of you. And remembering...

Now onto another new year!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Technical help

Can anyone tell me how to condense the side bar that has all the archived monthly posts? The list is getting very long.

Pajama Day

This Shabbat was a pajama day.
I got dressed Friday night and went with the girls to our dear friends for Friday night meal.
But Shabbat morning after I got Ely out of the house to go to a friend's, I went back to bed.
Slept til 2 - Made kiddush and a salad.
Read the newspaper.
Read a new book, The Alchemist.

All in my pajamas!

I needed that!

All better now, back to my crazy week!

Have a good one

Friday, December 21, 2007

Quick story of likeness

I asked NED to leave school and go to my doctor's office up the street from her to pick up some medication for me (digestive enzymes - nothing terrible!)

She got the permission she needed and took a five minute walk up the street.

She got the medicine, but not before relaying the following story, (in NED's words, sort of)

"I got a little lost and I saw this woman walking with a baby in a carriage, so I went over to her and asked for the address in hebrew. The woman answered me in english and then said, 'Are you Sarah B's daughter?', I was a little freaked out and wasn't sure who she was. She told me she worked with you at the Family Clinic in Jerusalem and I look just like you."

Amazing that someone who never met NED could see her on the street and know she was my daughter!

NED and I don't see the likeness at all, except for maybe eye color.

Cool story though, huh?!

What do I know?

Been thinking alot about that question and other things lately.

I have judgements.
Ways I think about people and things because...

because someone taught me to think that way. Someone told me I had to think that way. I was influenced by the way people around me thought, thinking that it was the only right way.

I am 41 years old and still thinking about what I think and not what others tell me to think. How crazy is that?

Why should someone be the way I think they should be?

I find myself saying alot lately, "I no longer think I know what is best for other people."

Which is hard when it comes to my kids - all my kids.

What are judgements?

Ely asked me this morning as I was putting on makeup, "Imma, why do people where make up and dress up nicely when they go out?"

Not knowing what to say, I turned it back on her. "What do you think?"

"I guess people don't want to be embarrassed. They want to look nice."

How do I teach this without it being a judgement?

Just thinking...

And wondering, What do I know?

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'm just not sure...

How do we decide?

For funerals or weddings
we need to decide
we live so far away
we miss so much from our family and friends
it's all about money
how do we decide
we just do it

Chanukah family trip to Eilat

Spontaneous. We left Sunday morning, without knowing where we would stay.
Just went.
Found a family hotel away from the boardwalk. Half the price.
Kids went swimming/hot tub - hotel was empty.
Dinner with friends - and great wine!
Walked the boardwalk. Teenagers without their parents.
Parasailing - two-by-two.
Ely and I together, flying through the air. Needed to get back on land - fast!
DB, MB and NED went tubing. And then Snorkeling. Ely and I sat by the pool.
Imax - I sat that out. motion sickness.
Dinner - too crowded.
Walked the tax free mall. Finally bought my new candlesticks - love them!
Underwater observatory - amazing colored fish!
Pizza lunch and back on the road home.
Family time.
Family memories.
Life is too short not to.
Just means I won't get my bookshelves anytime too soon.
It was worth the sacrifice!

44,000 hit question

I know I skipped 43,000.

Oh well.

Not that too many people answer my questions. I like asking them anyhow...

Knowing what you know now, what, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back to being a kid (or younger than you are now)???

I know one answer for myself: I would not have cared so much what others thought about me... That's just one! There are more...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's 1 am...

Do I have any idea where my daughter is??

How about my son???

I know NED and Ely are in their beds...

That much I do know.

But MB and DB? I have no idea...

When did they grow up and start becoming so independent?

chanukah cookies

made about 12 dozen tonight. alone!

where are my children?

The Eyes have it!

As if my sore and tight muscles in Ballet class weren’t enough to make me feel old, I have now established a stigmatism and blurry vision when I read, enough to have to now wear reading glasses!!

I have always prided myself on my perfect vision…. But it seems the body really IS getting older – even though I am holding on very tightly!

I haven’t really come to terms with it as a real sign of old age yet.

I’m not really that old…

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So much to say…

I know it’s been a couple weeks and I have a lot to write about.

I find myself driving to and from Jerusalem thinking about what I want to write and then when I get home - I don’t.

For one reason or another – I don’t.

There are reasons, or are they excuses? Doesn’t matter.

I apologize to my uncle and others who have patiently waited for me to write something…anything!!

Timing. Perfection. Writing the right thing. Not sure how much. When? Sometimes I just get stuck.

When I was three years old and living in Bangkok, Thailand, my mother took me to Madame Damon’s ballet school. I danced for the Queen of Thailand. Even got to shake her hand. I think. Or is that from Ely’s Angelina story?

I know I was a ballerina from a very young age. When we moved back to the US, I continued dancing at Mrs. Morrison’s dance studio. I danced ballet until I was 14 or 15. One or two of those years I even danced on toe (I had toe shoes and would do pirouettes like a pro!)

I got bored of ballet. I took jazz – downtown Frederick. Didn’t like that so much. Took tap – near Braddock Heights, I think. One year on tap and I was already becoming religious. No more recitals on Shabbat. I stopped dancing. And became religious. And something inside me got lost.

I loved to dance at weddings and Shabbatonim. In college I would go to dance clubs. I can still feel the bass rhythm vibrating in my body when I pay attention to it. I always loved to dance. As I got older, more religious, I lost the dancer in me. She was not modest. She did not know how to be expressed. She was stifled. I wrote about her in my thesis. I miss her.

Three weeks ago, one of my fellow teachers at the Michlala in Jerusalem where I am teaching asked if I would like to go with her to a ballet class in Modiin. I thought of every reason why I could not.

Until NED told me, in her wise, innocent way, “Imma GO! You never have any fun. You work so hard all the time and never have any fun. You’re going!”

So I went. And spent most of the night holding the bar with tears dripping off my chin. Couldn’t really tell you why. I hadn’t held a bar, done a plie, jete, balance or danced in front of a mirror in almost 30 years. I had a hard time following the steps. Remembering the steps. And when the teacher encouraged us with, “Don’t worry about getting the steps. Just FEEL them,” I cried. After the class I approached the teacher in tears to thank her. She looked at me with a warm smile, “You used to be a dancer, weren’t you? I can see it in you.”

I bought a pair of ballet shoes. Ely wants to know where my tutu is! I still don’t recognize the dancer in the studio mirror, nor does the body remember the steps. But the dancer in me, deep in my soul, she remembers. When I feel the rhythm, the music, the moves, she remembers.

So there you have it. Not a literary genius of writing. But the story of me still being a ballerina, nonetheless, true.

Here are a couple more goings on to catch you up:
- I am teaching somewhat successfully. The Hebrew-only speakers are getting very frustrated. I’m doing my best. I enjoy teaching.
- Just finished a 4 part mini course on creative approaches in working with teens – in English. Went over very well. Very proud of myself.
- Taking ulpan, So much to learn – and remember!
- Getting G-d’s guidance in my private work. Appreciating my abilities and noticing my weaknesses
- Letting go of DB is not easy for me.
- I had a realization that I keep waiting for something to happen. Then I realized it already is. I’m in it. It’s happening. What else am I waiting for?
- Missing my family and friends on the other side. Ready for my January visit.

I am an auntie again. B”H. That’s exciting!

NED’s room is a mess. So is mine.

I love my cozy warm PURPLE Bearpaw boots!

Chanukah is here – family time!

11 (so far) sleeping guests for Shabbat Chanukah. Wanna come too?

Hope this will do for a while…