It was great to be home this summer and no it really wasn't weird to see other people living in our house (not to me at least). Maor was a bit upset that they put Winnie the Pooh stickers up in her room but we assured her they come off quite easily. Again I need to thank our friends for hosting us and especially Les and Leeann (and Tomer and Chagit) who took us in for almost the entire 2 months.
Reflections on the summer:
1. It is wonderful being able to walk into a supermarket and buying anything you want without having to look at hechsherim. And the abundance and variety of the fresh meat counter is unbelievable!
2. Things really do progress - sometimes you just need to step away for a while to see it. On the macro scale, many roads that were being worked on have been opened. The road (531 I think) that connects Kvish 6 at Tzomet Chorshim to Tzomet Ra'anana (without having to drive through Kfar Saba and get stuck at every red light on Weizman) is a joy. One side of the machlef at Tzomet Glilot (coming from Herzlia Pituach) is open although traffic still backs up. And the entrance to Yerushalayim has undergone changes as well. On a micro scale, there are new mailboxes on the yishuv, conveniently located near the office. There is a nice little flower garden near the beit knesset which was planted last Tu B'shvat in Liam's memory. And last but not least, Zufim has a new roundabout complete with fountain, affectionately dubbed kikar halama.
3. The corollary - some things never change. Or in other words, Israeli politics. Are we really going to have elections with Ehud Barak and Bibi Netanyahu? Again? The government is still corrupt and aggravating as anything. One of the first things Shimon Peres did after becoming president was pardon Naomi Blumenthal. And Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, and Eldad Regev STILL are not home.
4. As the poem says: make new friends but keep the old; those are silver these are gold. Although we have made some good friends in San Jose, it is nice to be among the people who have known you for a while. They know your history, the good and the bad, and some things just don't need to be explained. We were blessed to have some of our "old" old friends and "newer" old friends with us at Maor's bat mitzvah. Thank you for being a friend.
And one reflection on coming back to San Jose: it is MUCH EASIER coming back when you know what is waiting for you. Although Maor was sad to leave Israel (and so was I) once we got back, she was fine. She has friends here. She knows the school. She knows most of the teachers. So far, the transition has been fairly smooth.
I started school August 24th and Maor started the 28th. I am taking 3 classes this semester and once again I am floored by how much work it is. (I know, I know, it's graduate school, quit whining)
There is so much reading assigned and though I love reading for pleasure, I am not so keen on school reading. One of my classes is required: Information Organizations and Management, a challenge for me since I've never worked in a library and never been a manager. My other 2 classes compliment each other which is a nice bonus: online searching (Yes, there is actually a class in that. It deals mostly with one particular database, Dialog, but the skills should be transferable) and vocabulary design (when you search for mercury how do you get information on Mercury the planet as opposed to mercury the element or the car). So I feel overwhelmed (again) and like I never have enough time (good thing I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the summer).
Maor's teachers are basically the same except for her language arts teacher. The exciting news at her school is that they got a whole bunch of new kids, some from the closing of Etz Chaim, the smaller Jewish day school in San Jose, and others from Israel or wherever. So middle school has gained about 20+ kids, many of whom she knows from our shul/neighborhood. She now has 12 kids in her class, 7 boys and 5 girls. And I have people to carpool with. A new experience.
Well, I doubt I will blog again before next week (YIKES, is Rosh Hashana really so soon?! You know Pesach is only 6 months away, right? Oh wait, it's a leap year, 2 Adarim) so let me take this opportunity to wish you all a shana tova and ktiva u'chatima tova. May the new year bring you peace, health, happiness, and all the good things you wish for yourselves.
And as promised, better late than never, attached are some pictures from Maor's Bat Mitzvah. May we only celebrate smachot together.
AND I changed the settings so all of you who told me you couldn't leave comments on the blog itself should now be able to (so no excuses guys).
View a slideshow of Maor's bat mitzvah:
Click below to see some pictures from Maor's bat mitzvah: