Sunday, August 30, 2009

Married 21 years

That's a long time. Not as much as my grandparent's 74. But still a lot!

With the same guy.

Day in and day out.

Same guy.

Never thought.

But am so relieved. So satisfied. Content.

Can't imagine anything else being better. This is as good as it gets.

Thank you, G-d!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

i need intervention

I need a sign.
From G-d.
Or someone
to tell me what to do.
Just tell me what to do.
Promise me that it will be the best choice
That everything will work out okay.
That I don't have to worry.
That I can be at peace with the decision.
And that she will be okay.
She won't get lost in the crowd.
That she will learn enough to understand.
That she will still love Torah.
That she will have a voice.
That she won't be influenced.
That she will learn.
If I knew that it would be problem free, I would sign her up tomorrow.
But, the alternative isn't much better.
The alternative doesn't even exist yet. Only in theory. And the past theory wasn't 100%. So the alternative isn't perfect either.
And a week before school is supposed to start, there is no other choice.

It's 4th grade. people tell me not to worry. People tell me it's the most important years. People tell me she needs to get used to big classrooms. People tell me she needs more structure. People say, what about the Torah? People tell me they have a great teacher. People tell me it's only elementary school. People say 38 girls is too many for one classroom. 12 is much better.

That's it!!
I need a sign. I need a sign with the RIGHT answer...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Crazy Dream last night

I don't always write about my dreams. But this one upset me, so I need to write about it.

In a nutshell, I dreamt that an old friend, who is very bad about being in touch, got divorced from her husband, without telling me.
We were somewhere together, happy to see each other. Talking as if we had seen and spoken the day before. It took me a couple hours to realize her hair wasn't covered anymore. (Which for observant Jewish women is a sign of not being married) I made a comment to another friend, who told me she was divorced, but hadn't told anyone. And I got very upset.

So now what. It was one of those dreams that felt so real.

It could be real. This friend might be going through marriage difficulties, but I wouldn't know it. She rarely speaks to me. I call. I leave messages. She does not (or very very rarely) reciprocate. So does that still mean she's a friend?

What constitutes a friend? Do the two people have to speak to each other. Or do they only have to think about each other without knowing what is really going on in that person's life? I used to consider this friend a very good friend. But if I have no idea what is going on in her life, what kind of friend am I? And how can I be a friend when she won't allow me to be?

Maybe this dream was more about what it means to me to be a friend, and not about this friend specifically...

Just thinkin'...

Sometimes my dreams really shake me up!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's real?

It's that question again...

People are so complicated. Life is so complicated.

Nothing or no one is simple.

Everyone has their own story.

Is my life real or is yours?

I might not live my life the way you do, but does that mean it's not real? It is for you.

Why would I live my life any other way than the way I know how to right now. That is real. For now.

So if it's a lie or extreme or different than what other people do or think or believe, does that make it not real?

I don't know.
How do I know?

Right now what is real for me is that I am listening to Country music over the internet while typing this; MB is on a plane flying across the Atlantic Ocean, coming home; DB, I assume, is alive somewhere in the northern part of Israel, learning navigation, and whatever else he needs to learn; i have no idea how he is, how he is feeling, if his ankle is okay, if he's hungry or cold or lonely?; Ely is alseep in her father's bed; NED is in a car with her father taking our friend Adina to the airport. I'm tired, have a sink of dishes to wash, need to cook more tomorrow for Shabbat.
I am thinking about a long stream of people: DG, YG, YMB, SS, SB, VR, AG, CLR, YS, -- they just keep streaming.

So in this moment that is my reality.

But is it real? Still don't know...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Expectations and Disappointments

I expect people to be nice.
I expect you to want to do what I want you to do.
I expect my son to call me, to tell me what the army doc said about his foot.
I expect to be pain free.
I expect my guests to help out however they can.
I expect people to want to.
I expect not to make any mistakes.
I expect perfection.
I expect you to be perfect
I expect people to think before they act.
I expect you to understand what's really going on and not just react.
I expect myself to be all knowing all the time.
I expect myself to avoid receiving or giving pain and keep others from facing and living with their pain.
I expect to get my way whenever I want.

These expectations and many many others, exist in my world.
In my fantasy world.
In the world I wish I could control the way I wanted to.

But the reality is not.

As I am not perfect and I am unable to meet my own expectations most moments of the day.

And so exist the disappointments.
In myself.
In others.
In the world.
In human nature.
In G-d's plan.

If I didn't expect, I wouldn't be disappointed.

Still trying to learn that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My first day out...

Today I drove to Jerusalem, my first real outing since I returned from the U.S.

It's hard to live here.

I struggle everyday when I go out (maybe that's why I don't like to leave the house or deal with Israeli's IN my house?).

There is a mentality here. It gets harder to live with every day.

The drivers are insane - don't care about anyone else!

I try to focus on the positive. I don't want to speak lashon hara (gossip) about Israel.

But I feel myself getting more and more bitter every day.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Amusement Park Musings

I took Ely to Superland today with her friend, Eliana. Superland is about a 1/4 of the size of any amusement park in the US. Perfect for me!

Cheap tickets, for Chashmonaim residents, I couldn't resist.

I don't love amusement parks as much as I used to. Can't ride the rides and scream like I used to. Motion Sickness.

Can't walk around and around and around the park like I used to. My feet hurt.

Women in the States seem to be much more casually dressed at an amusement park. I could never walk around in those high heels and tight dresses I saw today.

I don't remember the American kids being rude, obnoxious or disrespectful while standing in line. People are so much more courteous in the US. I have never felt the extreme sense of entitlement coming from people as I did today. It's part of the culture here. As if their time and space is more important than mine. It's disillusioning and makes me sad.

Ely is very brave. She went on the big kid rides. As many, at least, as her little body would be allowed on.
Ari or DB would have had more fun with her. I watched from the side more. Sorry, Ely.

We ended with an ice cream and one last bumper car drive before Ely got nauseous enough to want to go home. It was 10:00 PM!!

Fun day with my little girl, who somehow is old enough to enjoy roller coasters!

And by the way, we saw several military planes fly over today. Superland is very near the air force base DB is stationed in right now. I assumed they might be carrying my DB, as I knew he was going to be jumping from planes this week. He called tonight to say he was in them and he did jump! He wanted to invite us to watch him live tomorrow.
Thankfully I have a client, not sure i would want to really watch him do it!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

So, I'm back...

I've been gone for a couple weeks.

Did ya miss me?! :)

I'm back now and still trying to process it all.

Here's some of the things I am thankful for, in no particular order:

1. My Ely for being so brave and well-adjusted while I was away
2. The DELTA pilot for getting me to the States safely.
3. The steward who asked for my ID when I requested a bottle of red wine with my meal.
4. My Ari for holding down the fort while I was away.
5. Not vomiting on the barf plane from NY to Baltimore.
6. BB#2 and SIL for picking me up at the airport.
7. My Mom for letting me have use of her car!
8. Yoni for taking MB to the bus stop to catch the bus to NY.
9. Spaz for coming to Bmore for our annual luncheon date.
10. Vicki for making the time to go out for a coffee and catch up.
11. Stacey for making the time for our annual David Chu's date and catch up!
12. Levi for lending me his phone and taking a box to Israel for me.
13. Dovid for coming Bmore to visit me, our day trip to Frederick, putting up with my nostalgia and putting the top down for a ride to Cunningham Falls and back! AWESOME!!
14. Ella and friend for picking NED up at the airport.
15. My Grandma for helping me pay for my trip.
16. BB#1 and family for walking over to Mom's for Shabbat lunch
17. Nephew, Dovid, for still wanting to play cards with his old Aunt Sarah.
18. Niece, RM for letting me wipe her dirty hands even if she wouldn't look at me :)
19. Dovid for taking two full duffels back to NY, one for Ari and the other to hold for MB's return.
20. My friends in Israel for taking such great care of Ely while Ari and I were both away!
21. SIL#2 for making such a yummy and beautiful cake for MB's graduation party.
22. Nephew #2 for making sure I had special bonding time with Grand niece #1
23. Bribing Grand nephew #1 with gummies
24. Uncle Mark for coming to Bmore for MB's party
25. Aunt Susie and Uncle Marty for taking me and MB out to dinner AND hosting NED and I for a sleepover
26. The nurses who take such good care of my Grandpa
27. Visiting Mrs. Steinberg and hearing such great things about "her Ari".
28. Having family and friends I feel so comfortable with
29. Catching up with Aviva
30. Knowing I am loved...

So these are only 30 things off the top of my head from the last 3 weeks that DO NOT even include the most fabulous, fantastic, and fun 25th high school reunion in Frederick.
That gets it's own post.

Read on...

My 25th High School Reunion

The first and most important words I need to start with are how utterly shocked, amazed, honored and touched I was to learn that more than several of my high school friends have been following my blog over the years, without ever telling me.
Which, to me, means that they have been thinking and wondering about me, still, after all these years.
That is just amazing to me!! Thank you, my friends! I'm so glad we have been able to keep in touch even if I didn't know we were!

Over the last several years I have slowly been able to accept how loved I am. But never have a felt it as strong as I did last weekend at my reunion. In a concentrated, fun, accepting, respected way.

From Kelli and Teri refusing to move to the FSK Hampton Inn when they misbooked our reservation, so I would be able to walk over to the American Legion for the dinner/dance to Doug and Shawn coming to the TJ reunion especially to see me because I couldn't go to them.
No one cared or was threatened whether or not I could eat or drink what they were eating or drinking.
No one cared that I had my hair covered with colorful scarves the whole time (and even got some very respectful questions).
No one made any political comments about my living in Israel, in fact, I felt incredibly supported.
No one cared and were even more sorry when I had to run back to my hotel on Friday before I turned into a Shabbos pumpkin.
Teri and Kelli were more than respectful in helping me to keep my Shabbos laws in our hotel room.
My friends were genuinely happy to see me and appreciative that I came all the way from Israel.

And as the weekend went on, it became even more apparent to me that I am who I am because of the love and respect and support and acceptance of who I am.

No one cared that I was an observant Jewish woman. I was Sarah. With the same old energy, excitement, and fun that I had in high school.

Teri, Kelli and I spent alot of time reading my high school journals. We laughed alot. They laughed at me alot! To say I was a little boy crazy would be an understatement. And I had two worlds of boy craziness. I had my non-Jewish public school friends, and my Jewish friends in Baltimore.

I lived two worlds. Ones that the other never really understood. When I was with my Non-Jewish boys, they only knew that I would never date them, so I could do whatever I wanted with them, and be their best buddies, without any commitment. And they certainly had no idea what it meant to live in a Jewish world.

And my Jewish friends had no clue what it meant to go to public school and have the most wonderfully accepting and supportive friends ever!

I was the only one who had the challenge of juggling the two worlds. I cried alot back then. I was very confused.
My journals reminded me how hard it was for me then. Thankfully, 25 years later, I have made peace with that conflict. Have found my balance. Am "okay" with who I am today. And confident that I am the best person I can be.

It was fun to let loose. Go back to Sarah in Frederick. Take a ride downtown Frederick in Shawn's truck. Speak with a twang. Recognize how awesome it was to grow up in a place like Frederick.

I am thankful to Teri and Kelli for being loving and fun friends and roommates for the weekend.
I am thankful to Kathy for driving me back to my hotel on Friday night and keeping me company as I went through my Friday night Shabbos rituals; as we got caught up on alot of years of our lives.
I am thankful for Laurie for trying to get permission for me to be allowed to open my kosher wine at the Eagle's. (Even though we didn't get the permission and so I snuck the wine in a bag and poured for myself in the ladies bathroom at the American Legion Saturday night - sneakin' liquor, just like in high school)
I am thankful to Steve Speilman for being the first of many to tell me I hadn't changed a bit.
I am thankful to Gene Stitely for remembering that he was the first boy to hold my hand back in 2nd grade.
I am thankful to Kim Swank for reminding me that I am her "little buddy!"
I am thankful to Teri for coming to synagogue with me on Saturday morning. And letting me back in the door after walking back.
I am thankful to Doug and his wife for coming by our room to see me.
I am thankful to Frank and Chris for coming to the reunion so I could finally see Frank after all these years and share the happiness of their reunion of marriage. I am so very very happy for them! And feel satisfied closure in seeing him again.
I am thankful to Shawn for coming to the TJ reunion so I could hug and thank him for being the real reason I am a religious Jewish woman; taking us for a ride in his truck; a putting up with three giggly ladies.
I am thankful to Dave and Glenn and John for their fabulous hugs, smiles, and love.
I am grateful to Kris and Lorin and Caressa for still being the awesomest friends.
I am thankful to my senior year crush, Matt Warner, for coming to the picnic so I could see him after 25 years. A little awkward , but fun!
I'm sad Julius and Matthew couldn't be there.

But I am so happy I was able to be there...

Thank you, my friends! May we share many more happy times together...

P.S. If I a remiss in mentioning anyone, it is not intentional...