One Week Shy…

….Of One Year!!! WOW! I can’t believe that we have been living in Israel for 51 weeks. It seems like it was just yesterday we began our journey. Just yesterday….hmm, just yesterday… a considerable amount of our lives happened ‘just yesterday’. The expression, ‘seems like just yesterday,’ is tremendously overused, a real cliché. But it is very apropos in this instance. Much has happened over the course of these 51 weeks. We’ve experience Israel like never before. We’ve lived Israel and felt Israel like never before. We’ve learned so much, we’ve felt so much. We’ve struggled sometimes, cried occasionally, and laughed often. We (mostly I) sometimes long for familiarity. We’ve experienced a range of emotions from extreme ‘highs’ to the occasional profound ‘lows.’ We have an appreciation for our homeland, for being here. There is so much to share. I want and need to share my thoughts, my emotions, my feelings, and I will.

But you will have to wait.

Til next week, week 52.      🙂

I neglected to mention in the prior post of our chance-meeting two weeks ago with a large West Hempstead contingent. We were picking up a package from the Ickowics’ at a restaurant in town. They were enjoying a dinner together with four other couples and it was wonderful to spend a few minutes with everyone catching up on West Hempstead happenings. I think it was interesting for all of them as well to catch up on Stepner happenings as well. Speaking of Stepner happenings, that week on Friday Meyer and Yechezkel went ATVing (all terrain vehicle) in an area near Mevasseret outside of Jerusalem and had great father and son bonding time. Michal is working hard in school, writing papers, working on projects, tutoring, and studying. I think she is in need of a little R&R. Eitan is enjoying camp as a junior counselor and seems to be having a great summer. He’ll sure have an adjustment when he comes home..don’t think he’ll be terribly excited, but are any of us ever really that excited to return home from vacation? Yechezkel is working on his base and comes home periodically during the week for his own R&R (TV, air conditioning, sleep in a good bed, decent food). We are doing well. Meyer is working and working and will probably be teaching more in the Optometry school after the chagim. I am working three days per week and am adjusting. It is a challenging position in that in addition to adapting to a new work environment, new people (and I have a mental block when it comes to remembering names), I have to familiarize myself with the manner in which research is conducted in Israel. The approach is different, very informal, and I am not quite used to that. The good thing about the level of informality is the dress code. There is none. I can wear jean capris, jeans, t-shirts, really anything I want. And I do a lot of running around so sandals or sneakers are the shoes of choice. There is one person with whom I work closely who hails from Switzerland, is multilingual and fortunately, one of her spoken languages is English so communication is not a problem. Truthfully, though I speak a lot of Hebrew and understand about 70% – 80% of the spoken language, most of the documents are in English which works to my advantage. My work environment is, well, a little interesting to say the least.  I started working without an office, desk, or anyplace to settle in. No place to call my own. I spoke to the head of the department and he arranged something for me. I now share an office, actually a lab, with one of the doctors with whom I work. He is hardly ever there so under normal circumstances it would be fine. But there is also an older woman who shares the space making phone calls and scheduling patients for sweat tests, and well, not much else. She is very sweet, but she’s not whom I would have chosen to share space. She’s not there until the afternoon which is not all that bad and I am not in the office all the time either. I work using an antiquated (from the dawn of time) slow working (extremely so) computer. The place is a mess with papers, reports, magazines, lab equipment strewn all over the place. I was able to clean and prepare a small work area for myself and was told that I can do what I want with the room. What am I supposed to do with it?? Torch it? Ugh. Oh, and the best part…there are small research lab mice behind a glass screen being stored there with their food strewn everywhere. Nice office mates, wouldn’t you say? I would love one day to have my own office somewhere with modern office supplies, no office mates (of any kind). I’ve never really had that. Oh well.

Our Shabbat last week was great. We spent the weekend with my cousin and family and on Shabbat afternoon went for Seuda Shlishit to Sharon and Jerry Liebman. We had a great time reminiscing about old times… like how over the years we were planning Aliyah and were convinced we would be here before it would ever dawn on them to move here. This has been an ongoing source of humor between our families. This Shabbat we will spend by ourselves home.

Wishing Mazal Tov to all the West Hempstead upcoming smachot, especially to our dearest friends Michael and Debbie. I so wish we were there celebrating David’s wedding with you. Missing you all.

Stay tuned for Week 52 blog. My anniversary blog.

Oh, and yes, it is so very hot here.


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