Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More Good Stuff and The Gas Man Cometh

Once again I'd like to list a few of the wonderful things about living in Israel, and then I shall regale you with the tale of the Gas Man. [Note:  every time I hear that phrase I hear a man yelling in a booming voice, "Gas Man!" and pounding on my back door - the meter readers who used to come every month before the days of outdoor meters - sorry that was probably a very boring editorial note.]

Remembering my parents:  My parents (Mary and Jack Weintraub, a"h), truly believed in and loved the idea of the State of Israel. They weren't flag wavers and we didn't have discussions about politics at our dining room table, but I remember the look in their eyes whenever they'd talk about it.  Like it was some far off dream that only the very fortunate few could attain.  When they made their first trip here in 1972 (also their first vacation EVER in more than 20 years of business), they came back enthralled with everything.  From that time onward they'd recall their visit and look at their pictures with longing.  My father was the dreamer between the two of them and he said on many occasions that he'd drop everything and move to Israel - my mother, the more practical of the two, reminded him that they had a business to run.  I guess that made more of an impression on me that I thought, because now that I'm here I can't stop thinking about how proud they'd be and how much I'd like to tell them about it.

Children and grandchildren:  Aside from the obvious - we are living near two of our kids for the first time ever - the joy of hearing my grandchildren speak perfect Israeli-sounding Hebrew never gets old.  It is also a wonder, considering how adults struggle with new languages, how a child's mind absorbs the sounds and nuances of language so naturally. The thrill of seeing my daughters and sons in law living here, working, raising kids - being happier than I think even they realize - that is a daily joy.  If our son and his family were here - now THAT would be perfection.

Pride in the country:  I know there are lots of things wrong here, but wow, what a country.  What accomplishments - just to survive surrounded by enemies is a miracle.  I know it's a cliche but when you live here and see people smiling, laughing, living their lives, children running around - you are just so proud of what has been accomplished.

Chayalim [soldiers]:  I can't help it, I still get a thrill and a have a deep sense of gratitude and pride when I see chayalim.  I love seeing the men and women walking around the mall with their rifles slung over their backs, chatting with friends, shopping, sitting at a restaurant.  They are protecting all of us and I don't think there are words in my head that can thank them enough.  By the way, I feel the same way about the US military, but here it is just a deeper feeling.

OK, on to the gas guy(s) - there were two of them and they were very efficient.  What I never understood was why the gas line has to go somewhere where you can turn it off if you need to.  That makes sense, I guess, but I just didn't get it before they did it.  Now the gas turnoff switch is in my kitchen cabinet in case of an emergency or in case there needs to be an oven repair - no need to move the oven.  So no drama there, but wow is it good to be able to eat at home......and tonight we dine at home for the first time since January 2!

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