Saturday, December 22, 2007

COOL ...

I had a business meeting scheduled at my home on Wednesday morning with someone I have not met in person before. When he called to confirm a few days earlier, I made a point of mentioning that he should please be careful on the walkway as it was very icy. The weather has been really bad these last few weeks and with DDTF being away the whole week in Hong Kong, no-one was available to shovel and salt the area. Selfishly I didn’t pay too much attention to it as Ross and I exit and enter the house through the garage. If I drove slowly and carefully enough down the driveway, I would manage not to get the car into trouble in spite of the layer of ice that was now my driveway. My lovely neighbor, Stan ploughed the driveway for me on the Sunday, but under the snow was a layer of ice from the rain and freezing temperatures from the week before. It was a real mess.

When Person A. called me to tell me he was on his way but running late, I once again cautioned him to negotiate his way very carefully up the walkway to the front door. He told me that I had mentioned this previously, that he had heard me and that he, “got it!”

My office window is directly above the walkway. I was working at my desk when suddenly I heard a loud and clear THUD outside on the walkway. I couldn’t move. I put my head in my hands and the first thought that went through my mind was, “Oh great – we are about to be sued by Person A.” I remained glued to my chair as I heard yet another THUD … and another … and another. By this time, still glued to my chair, I had visions of the ambulance arriving with DDTF’s colleagues coming to rescue the THUDDER off my walkway. I was thinking to myself that although there was really no point in my going to his rescue because how would I be able to lift him off the ice, I had to go downstairs and see what was happening. The picture I had formed in my head while the THUDDING continued and seemed to get LOUDER with each THUD, was one of Person A. lying on the walkway THUDDING his fists on the ice to get someone’s attention from inside the house.


I managed to dislodge my terrified ass off my chair and mustered up the courage to look out of my office window. To my shock and relief, I see Person A. on his feet … and the explanation to the THUDDING took me by complete surprise.

I got on my stair chair, made my way down to the front door, opened it, and all I could think to say was, “WHAT are you doing?” Important to note at this point that I had not met Person A. before, I had only ever spoken with him on the phone.

“Person A. asked me to come by and do this before he got here.” he said.
“Yeah, right – I do recognize your voice. I can’t believe you are doing this* for me.” I replied.
“Well,” he said, “I study torah every week and I have learnt that one of the best ways to build bridges is to do something for someone when they least expect it. So, thank YOU, for giving me the opportunity to do this for you!” he explained.

To clarify, – this* amounted to close to 45 minutes of hard labor – breaking the ice and then shoveling it away – this was no small task.

I could not believe that this total stranger arrived here, having totally planned to shovel my walkway with no knowledge of how much work this would take. He came equipped with an ice breaker, snow shovel, the boots and gloves to do it in and the sole intention of extending this random act of kindness to me.

I don’t think I could have scripted a better story if I had tried that would so perfectly speak of what the season of goodwill is all about.

Needless to say, we went on to have a very successful meeting and what he did was totally super cool, don’t you think?


HAPPY, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!



Sunday, December 09, 2007

CONNECTING ...

Having a ten year old son, a husband in the IT industry, and a blog of my own, I am often amazed at the wonders of technology. However, I also often think about the frustrations of the technology. I feel frustrated when I feel that people are hiding behind their email faciities. I feel frustrated when I see people having text conversations as opposed to being old fashioned and picking up the phone and speaking to each other. I feel frustrated when I see people zoned out on their ipods depriving themselves of opportunities of chance meetings with a stranger at the bus stop, for example. I sometimes ask my son to take the headphones off, switch the dvd off while in the car, and to talk to me.

I guess it has become an aspect of our lives now that like most other things, one has to simply find the balance. There are often little miracles waiting to happen through the technology, and here is one that I just experienced.

My friend Sandra shared a letter she had received with me and some of her other friends via an email to all of us. Sandra is a South African living in Canada. She makes beautiful pottery. I thought the letter she shared told such a lovely story that I wrote to the sender and asked her if I could please use it on my blog. We then exchanged some emails by the end of which I had permission to share the letter. It reads as follows:

Hi,
I just washed and dried one of your small Vanilla dipping bowls and thought I'd check the internet to find you and tell you a little story about the bowl.

I bought it at the shop in the Gardiner Museum, in May this year. I was on my way to a memorial service at Victoria College for a dear friend who would have celebrated her 100th birthday next week.

Marguerite was her name and I met this generous, lovely woman ten years ago when I was doing research for a children's book about the teen poet of "High Flight" ("Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth..."). Marguerite had met young John Magee when she lived in Ottawa in 1941 and her husband was a minister there. John's dad was a minister in the U.S. and John took a message to Marguerite's home while he was stationed in Ottawa. Eight weeks later he left for England and was killed that December in a training accident. The poem lives on. And Marguerite had John's signature in the family guest book. And her story of him sleeping on her couch while waiting for her husband to finish writing a sermon....

Anyway...I was early for the memorial service and decided to spend some time in the Gardiner shop. I saw the little bowl and thought of Marguerite. That little bowl spoke to me. When I saw the "Dotti Potts" name on the bottom I knew that Marguerite would have 'got a kick' out of the name.

And so I bought the bowl, put it in my purse, and went over to the service in the beautiful Victoria College Chapel.

Since May, every time I take out the bowl to use, I smile. It's now the "Marguerite bowl" for the family. It's wonderful how something so physically small can be so huge. Marguerite is very much present and remembered.

Many thanks for 'listening' to this tale. I just thought you might like to know how I truly appreciate the human touch that went into this bowl and the utter wonderful humanity and friendship it now celebrates.

May you and yours have a wonderful holiday!

Linda Granfield, Toronto.


The internet certainly makes it possible for us to reach out to people whom without it, we might not have known even exist in the world. It opens doors that lead to wonderful connections – the likes of which I would find it very difficult to survive without.



CHAG CHANUKAH SAMEACH
TO ALL THOSE CELEBRATING THE LIGHT SINCE LAST TUESDAY.


pic by jen gray

Monday, November 26, 2007

LUCKY ...

I received an email from my niece today -
In the subject matter it said ‘lucky you’ –
In the email there was nothing to read just a link to click on –
I clicked –
I watched –
My day was instantly brightened -
And then I sent her an email back telling her I was going to bed now and that she must be sure to call and wake me on the day it is released –
Starting tonight, it’s 130 sleeps until April 4 –
Anyone who knows me will confirm that 13 is my lucky number –
Getting an email like this makes me feel very lucky – that someone took a moment out of their busy day to brighten mine – that’s a special kind of lucky –
Click here with your volume up, to see why I am feeling so lucky!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

YOU...

I have been struggling with what to post. I have been struggling with how to shift from the previous post to a new post.

My father in law’s passing, combined with the whole process and experience of getting my mom through her post-surgery journey have been nothing less than daunting. In an on-liine conversation with Angel recently, she asked me how we were all doing. I told her that we were trying our best to make our way through and adjusting to what is now a new normal for all of us.

Change can be difficult, especially when you don’t see it coming and when the impact of it all takes you by surprise.

Today however, I came here with a greater sense of ease than on any other day since my last post.

I came here and it seems appropriate to be here to say THANK YOU.

This is a THANK YOU specifically for YOU … my friend in blog land – as YOU, yourself read this. If you have left me a comment, then it is YOU and your words that I thank for the comfort you provided.

If it is YOU who has been here and not left a comment, I hope you will feel motivated to let me know you were here so that I can know it is YOU I am thanking.
In today’s Notes from the Universe, I got this inspirational message:
~ Do you know how to give folks what they most, most, most want from you, Dawn, without even asking them what it is?
In all regards, just be yourself.
That's what they were after when they manifested you into their lives.
Whoa! The Universe ~

I give thanks to, and for - YOU.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

REST ...

My father in law passed away peacefully on Saturday night.

When I realized a few weeks back that I was not going to see him again in person before he passed, I emailed this letter to my in law siblings who were visiting at the time. I asked them to please either give it to Brian to read, or if necessary to ensure it was read to him.


Dear Brian,
I am sending this letter to you because it is very important to me that you are aware of the things I want to say in it.
It is important to me that you know how much of an honor and a blessing I consider it to have been a member of this family for the last fourteen years. You have raised an exemplary son and nothing makes me prouder than to call myself his wife.
It is important to me that you have given yourself credit for having raised such a special being.
It is important to me that you know that our son will continue to be raised in the tradition of where he comes from and that we know you hold so dear in your heart. Please G-d he will mature into a mench that you will always be able to be proud of.
It is important to me that you know I wish you love and peace.
G-d Bless you, Brian.
Dawn
Brian and Beryl were married on June 5th, 1960.
I was born on March 28th, 1960.
They were happily married for my entire life.
I think that is so amazing.

We shared very happy times when they visited us while we were living in Holland.
(We had just gotten Pingy whom you can see peering over the top of my coat!)

BERYL & BRIAN WITH DDTF

BERYL & BRIAN WITH DAWN & PINGY

REST IN PEACE, BRIAN.

Monday, October 01, 2007

FKCU ...

This might seem like an unlikely piece to post after a long break and not the most cheerful of posts at the time of taking the break.

I feel so overwhelmed by the events of these last weeks since September 5th that I need to still process them just a little further before I can share what’s been going on, if at all.

September 2007 will rank as big lesson month for me. I now know this: - fear is both crippling and isolating. I have been through intense fear these last weeks. I don’t like feeling stuck and I don’t like feeling isolated. It has passed and I am again feeling able and re-connected.

One of my favorite new shows on TV this season is CALIFORNICATION. I am a big fan of David Duchovny and I am enjoying Madeleine Martin who plays his 14 year old daughter. The story line is not a new one - but the characters are very now. Madeleine plays the daughter of never married parents who have now split up and Mom is going to marry someone else. Dad and daughter love each other and circumstances in Dad’s life lead to him letting her down in spite of his deep wish to not ever do so.

Sitting on the edge of her bed one night after having to leave a social engagement where both parents were involved, she extended the following response to his apology for letting her down even though he hadn’t wanted to:

“You never mean to let me down, but you do. It’s all well and good to talk about happy endings but if a person can’t deliver, if he keeps screwing up, eventually I guess you just kind of have to say fuck you or words to that effect.”


I found this so profound and what struck me was her bravery to lay it on the line and tell him exactly how she felt. It took courage because she knew well enough that it would hurt him deeply.

So many things from my life flashed through my memory and I thought about how much hurt I could really have spared myself in the past had I been courageous enough to lay it on the line like that.

It is true - the truth, and only the truth will set you free.

Peace out!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

TODAY ...

… is our 14th wedding anniversary –

… my mother in law called me in tears to tell me my father in law had been asleep since 8pm last night and had only opened his eyes fleetingly when she arrived at the hospital around 10am –

… ross went back to school to start his 5th grade year. i remember that my 5th grade year, or standard three as we called it back then, was the first time i felt what is was like to have a crush … on my teacher, mr robertson –

… i pulled up behind a car in the parking lot at my mom’s apartment building thinking it was my sister’s car. i flashed my lights and blew my horn and then sheepishly apologized when I realized it was one of the residents in the building and not my sister. my sister arrived soon thereafter to get my mom -

… my mommy is undergoing surgery to remove a malignant tumor from her stomach –

… ddtf left for toronto to go see his dad ... today we think dad is closer than he has ever been to lapsing into a coma which will be his final stage of his journey through brain cancer –

… i try remind myself there is no place in my life for fear but i admit i am fearful that I might be the only family member who will not get the chance to say goodbye to my father in law –

… i remind myself more than ever that this is a day not to question anything but to rather choose to have complete and utter faith –

… i am not in the mood to punctuate -

… I feel very, very lonely –

... today I know tomorrow will be a better day -

... today i would rather be here ...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CRAP ...

I had it all worked out. I have been working on it for some weeks now, and I was going to post it all on Monday. I was going to do a review of the summer which is passing all too quickly. I was going to write about completing 4th grade … turning ten … camp 2007 … even more health challenges in the family … teenagers moving out of the house … romantic weddings … ring bearers … first week away from home … cruising … stuff, stuff and more stuff. Stuff that makes me think global speeding is as much to be concerned about as warming … too much humans-doing rather than humans-being … and then, Monday happened.

DDTF is away until Thursday. With all the time he is spending in Buffalo, I am considering changing his name to Bill. By the time he returns he will have visited with the family in Toronto as well which gives meaning to his time away from home.

Ross and I had planned a number of possibilities for the day. As it was raining on and off all day, we decided to spend a chilled day together – summer reading for school 2007/8 needs attention, there’s a movie we wanted to watch and we had some cooking activity planned too. Once we had done all this, I was very much in the mood to sit down and bring this page back to life with the stories as listed above.

We enjoyed a yummy lunch and curled up together on my chair to watch that movie. It is quite interesting to see how we have mastered this. It is really a case of necessity being the mother of invention. When DDTF is away, my lift chair becomes my bed – so when Ross and I want to lie in bed and watch TV – it’s squeeze on to the chair or not at all. Pingy decided she didn’t want to be left out. There are special doggie stairs for her to get up on to the bed and then she jumps from the bed on to, as in this case, our laps. The three of us were shnoogled up on the chair. Could it be any cosier?

About ten minutes after Pingy settled in, she hopped back over on to the bed and promptly threw up all over it. Ross and I started unfolding ourselves off my chair. It is important to note that these situations are not done at the speed my brain knows they should be done at. In my brain, I am up and off my chair in seconds, dashing up the hall to the kitchen for kitchen towel, back in the room, lunging across the bed to the middle and furiously mopping up the dog’s insides before they seep through the duvet cover on to the duvet. If only! The reality is that while Ross charges up the hall to the kitchen, I am shouting instructions like, “Bring the whole roll of kitchen towel, not just some sheets, and bring the disinfectant wipes, and Ross, also bring an empty shopping bag and also bring my picking up thing.” 'Picking up thing' is one of those amazing pieces of equipment that allow me to pick something as small as a paper clip up off the floor as well as reaching for things off shelves that I can’t climb up to.

This is where Ross shines. “Ok Mom, got it, getting it, found it, where is it, oh I see it, I’m coming!” gets yelled back down the hall at me. However preceding that on his way up the hall to the kitchen were gasps of, “Mom, there’s poo everywhere, and lots of other throwing up. There’s some in the hall, oh and more in the living room. Mom, come see it is in the dining room and even in your office.” While I am picturing the scenes of the chain-vomit-demon-crapper-from-outer-space-dog activity that awaits me in the rest of the house, I am trying to calm Pingy down as she continues to produce more of the same in my bedroom.

So the big clean up, wipe up, wash up, fold up, roll up and pop into the empty shopping bag (were you trying to work out what that might be for?) began. This went on, without exaggeration for well over an hour. At one point though, Ross made a spontaneous decision to put two sheets of the kitchen towel into his bathroom loo. As I heard him flushing it, I cautioned him about the dangers of clogging the loo with kitchen towel. “Too late, Mom” he replied – the toilet is blocked.

I made my way into the bathroom and I will spare you the details other than to say Ross and I stood there screaming, “Oh no, it’s going to over flow.” As I stood in utter disbelief and overcome with fear, I started shouting, “Ross, there is no way that is dog poo. Oh my goodness move back this toilet looks like it is going to frigging explode!” Fortunately, the water stopped just at the rim of the bowl. Ross was insisting on finding the plunger and I have to admit that as amazing as he was being, I was shouting at him that he had no prior experience with plunging a blocked loo and making a mistake with this particular process would present a hazardous outcome. While Ross steps up to the plate for me with a maturity far beyond his years, he weighs somewhere close to 53 pounds. There are just some boy jobs I can’t picture him doing yet. Today however was clearly a day full of surprises.

I take no shame in admitting to being happy I was born a girl. I would hate to have to do those things that I emphatically categorize as ‘boy things’ and a blocked loo is one of those things. I also admit to knowing how ludicrous it is to reach for the phone and to call my husband when he is literally in another state, but I do when these things happen. I had DDTF on speaker phone so Ross could hear him tell me that we should go out of the bathroom and come back in about half an hour. By that time he predicted the water will have drained and we should be able to successfully flush the loo. I had told DDTF that I had already dragged the kitchen towel and what seemed liked various other reams of paper out of the clogged loo already and that there was no visible signs of any more paper. When Ross interjected that the kitchen towel in the loo was his mistake, I felt so bad for him as I could see he was feeling dreadful about having made this mistake. Noticing this sort of acted as a slap in the face to a hysterical person and it washed a sense of calm over me. I hung up the phone, ran the picking up thing under very hot water, set it aside and put my arm around my little warrior. I told him not to feel bad, that he had been doing a totally awesome job and flusing the paper in the loo was a logical spontaneous thing to do under these circumstances.

I forgot to mention that when we were still in the bedroom wiping and washing, etc. we had to remove the duvet cover. Again, this is a task that most Moms would complete in seconds. For me however, it is physically demanding and I don’t have the strength and agility to do it in the speedy, sweeping movement that it requires. Instead, Ross goes to one side of the bed, I am at the opposite side and as quickly as we can (which is really not that quick at all) we remove the cover. Ross then run off downstairs to the laundry to dump it in the washer.

As I was assuring Ross that he needn’t feel bad about the loo, I realized it we should go check on Pingy. I confess that I was thinking to myself that if I was going to find any more disgusting froth and/or poo that needs wiping, Pingy and I might find ourselves in our first real bad space in 14 years.

To our relief Pingy was lying in her basket and we agreed she must be feeling like shit. Ross stroked her and we assured her everything would be ok and that we do actually still love her. I said to Ross this would be a good time to go downstairs and get the washer going. Off we go and I discover that he has dumped the duvet cover into the washer on top of a wet load of laundry. I won’t extend the length of this story with a detailed outline of how Ross climbs up on to the dryer next to the washer to haul out the cover and then the wet items which are in the after effects of the spin cycle – i.e. way down deep in the bottom of the washer, half their size and a pain in the ass to get out. Again, with combined effort we haul the stuff out, dump it in the dryer and get the cycle going on the washer.

We proceed back upstairs, do a ‘there better not be more crap upstairs for us to clean up’ check, and everything seems ok. We decide between us that Pingy must have eaten something that upset her tummy and that now her body had rid itself of it, she would be ok. The required 30 minutes had passed so we ventured back to the bathroom. I decided that as a token of appreciation and acknowledgement I was going to let Ross have his attempt at plunging the loo. He really wanted to do this and had been successful in his adamant search for le plunger. If ever we needed the theme from Rocky or Chariots of Fire playing in the background, it was in that moment. My hero loosened his neck like any boxer would before entering the ring and shook his legs like all runners do before they assume the ‘on your mark’ position, and down he went on his haunches. He plunged that loo like it was a scene from The Lion King’s Loo and then flushed it. I think the first words out of my mouth were, “You are going straight into the shower!” and as I stood there looking down at this disgusting loo again filling up and stopping just before the top, I realized that I had reached my limit for the day. I cleaned the plunger under boiling hot water, put it away, put my arm around my plunging warrior, told him to close the lid on the loo and we walked out the bathroom closing the door behind us.

“Mom, what are we going to do?” he asked me.
“Ross, when Daddy is away, there are some things I am just not prepared to deal with. Fortunately we have another bathroom. We are closing the door, and tomorrow morning I will call the plumber. Sometimes it is really easier for me to fix things with my check book.” (To clarify that I did not lose my shit completely in the bathroom, that is how we spell cheque book in the USA).

Thereafter, everything and the dog calmed down and a sense of normalcy returned. Ross and I called DDTF and told him we felt we had earned the right to eat the last Flake in the drawer. (Flake being a delicious chocolate that DDTF’s cousin had recently sent him a supply of from the UK). We shared it and re-assumed the position on the chair. For the remainder of the night, the doggie steps were removed from next to the bed and Pingy would have to spend this night in her own bed … just incase.

I am writing this post at 4am on Tuesday morning so if my tenses are disjointed in relaying this story - forgive me. I slept a few hours but as often happens when DDTF is away, I don’t sleep very well. When I got up from my chair and stood over Ross and watched him sleeping, curled up in his duvet on my bed – I extended thanks and adoration over him.

As a person who firmly believes nothing happens for nothing – that there is a lesson in everything – a blessing in the worst of situations and that our thoughts become things, I urged myself to put this down to nothing more than a blue Monday. I assured myself that there really was no subliminal message here and that my life is not on a downward spiral to shitdom, that this was just a really bad day.

I reminded myself how much I really do love Pingy and Ross kept reminding her all evening how much he loves her. The pic below was taken on the first day of summer camp while waiting for the bus.



If you are wondering about the new look blog from thee most technically challenged blogger, I am almost reluctant to make mention of it in this post because it seems disrespectful to do so at the tail/tale end of this particular title (no pun intended) – but I had nothing to do with it. It is all thanks to my oh so clever and oh so kind budvolina down in South Africa – angel – you can make your way over to her place by clicking on her homepage link in the previous comments section – because yip – I still haven’t worked out how to get all those icons back on to my posting template that would allow me to link by saying, click here. She gets all the credit and thanks! (And with that in mind, I will click on PUBLISH POST soon and hope for the best as to how this will present itself on the page.)

I will continue to work toward getting that post up with all the wonderful and some not so wonderful things I mentioned earlier. I thought this would be a great way to sign off for tonight. This great pic that Ross took at my nephew’s wedding rehearsal dinner last weekend. Let Tuesday shine as a bright, fresh new day and more than anything, let it bring me a punctual plumber.



Thank you, Ross for delivering beyond the call of duty and for being the coolest ten-year-old photographer. DDTF – come home!

Monday, July 30, 2007

THANKS ...

Unfortunately I have hit a brick wall when it comes to sorting out the difficulties I am having with coming to terms with my new computer. I haven't had time to start my weekly lessons at the Apple store so I feel like I am stumbling around in the dark. I miss blogging, I miss the exchange of communications with all my blogging friends and the whole thing is really pissing me off. Every time I sign in to do a post and I come to the page where the post is created, I see a different picture. Right now, the only icons at the top of this box are the spell check and the one I click on to post a picture. I have no clue why all the other icons are no longer visible to me and I wouldn't know where or how to begin looking for them. Therefore, I have no clue how this post is going to look as there is no icon for me to select my usual font and the usual size.

I have been working on updates for KEEPING THE PEACE and THE ROSS EXPERIENCE, but right now as I can't even see the icon that would allow me to link you to them, I will stick with this post and hope for the best. If anyone can offer any feedback on the missing icons for me, I would really appreciate it and would welcome some pointers in the COMMENTS section.

Some time ago I sent out an email to everyone in my address book. I tried to be as diplomatic as I could in asking everyone to please refrain from sending me emails about the various wars going on around the world. I found I was opening emails and reading about absolute horror stories and looking at the graphic pics that went along with them. There were endless video links to news coverage that were equally horrific to me. Perhaps you might think I am like an ostrich and burying my head in the sand, but I just don't want to see that stuff. I have stated repeatedly on my blog that I am not a political thinker and I certainly don't hold any point of view other than that I support peace. It is also well known to regular readers of my blog and among those who know me that I believe very strongly in the concept that THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS - therefore, I choose to have peaceful thoughts. For the main part I was very grateful that no-one who received my email responded in any kind of negative way and in a very short space of time, those kind of emails stopped being sent to me.

The nature of some of the things going on in my life at the moment are making me focus a lot of time and attention to gratitude. I find myself really looking at my sincerity about the things I am grateful for. I think I throw this word around very lightly and I am trying to get myself more in touch with the heart and soul of it. When I lie in bed at night and hear Ross breathing in the next room while he sleeps soundly, I am thanking G-d on a much more conscious level then I have been doing for the fact that my healthy child is asleep in the room next to me and that I can safely assume he will be there in the morning. I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but right now I feel like this is something I need to be looking at in my life and when I give thanks, I am trying to really be feeling it from deep inside my soul - rather than glibly throwing out a sentence like, "I am fine, thank you and thank G-d the family are all well." I am trying to spend a moment at the end of such conversations to really FEEL the gratitude and then give more conscious thanks for the many blessings in my life.

In the midst of all this contemplation, I received an email which caught my attention and made me dig even deeper in my quest to get in touch with the heart and soul of gratitude. I have not checked this out on SNOPES - it just had a sincere "feeling" about it. Perhaps you received it too - but if not, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. It read as follows:

The picture of this Army soldier in Iraq with his tiny "plot" of grass in front of his tent is heartwarming! Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box. He asked his wife to send him dirt (U.S. soil), fertilizer and some grass seed so that he can have the sweet aroma and feel the grass grow under his feet. When the men of the squadron have a mission that they are going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the American soil -- to bring them good luck. You will see he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted. Upon receiving this, say a little prayer for the soldiers that give and give (and give up) so unselfishly for us.

Monday, July 02, 2007

MEMORY ...

Last week we experienced a very dramatic thunder storm. There were four short power outages during the storm. During one of them my computer died. This did force me to make the long overdue switch to the Apple Mini which Daniel bought me in November. How am I feeling about this? ... somewhat relieved that the Geek Squad at Best Buy have managed to retrieve all my data and I will get it back on disc. They did also manage to fix the computer and DDTF will just have to re-load windows. When we bought the Apple, the plan was to pass my PC on to Ross which we will now do. I am feeling frustrated and like a fish out of water and far too old for the challenge of learning a whole new technology.

I am attempting this post in the hope that something will actually appear after I press 'PUBLISH THIS POST'. Nothing looks familiar to me and I can't even see how to select my usual font style and size. I think I have been successful in posting a pic and a youtube video. YouTube is my best because they just make it so darn easy. It is the only technology that I have found to be simple and truly a case of, 1) read 2) select 3) click ... and there it is. I am sure things will improve once I start going for my weekly lessons at the Apple Store and I will do my best to keep you posted - no pun intended.

This weekend we hosted Ross' tenth birthday party and it was fantastic. I will elaborate on the story with pics on the ROSS EXPERIENCE blog once I have recovered from my technological breakdown.

I wanted to piece this post together because we are at a time in our lives where memories and the making of them seem to be in the forefront of our thinking. Unfortuately my father in law's now 15 month journey through dealing with cancer has reached a stage where every day and moment we are still blessed with having him here is being clung to by everyone in our family. For us it is about finding the balance between the reality of the inevitable outcome of this illness and life going on. It is hard to throw parties and celebrate when at the back of your mind one of life's harsherst realities is coming at you full throttle.

While sitting outside waiting for the bus on Ross' first day of camp last Monday, I was hoping that his life experience is making memories that he will look back on with fondness and joy. I was thinking just this when he and I made eye contact through the camera lense while I was taking this picture. When I look at the picture I can't believe that Ross will be ten on July 14th and I look at my little doggie who will be 13 years old in September. Pingy is as much a valued member of our family as any one individual. I am so grateful to them for the memories that they have made for me.

I am also totally loving this latest BON JOVI song and thought it was approprate to share in this post. I hope you enjoy it.






Saturday, June 23, 2007

JUMP ...

Having recently been on vacation, I once again had to deal with one of my demons that I stopped trying to resolve years ago. This is one of those demons that I chose to rather embrace and simply acknowledge it for what it is than spend time trying to work through it and master it. I resolved rather to accept it as one of my hang-ups which is one of the strands of fiber in the weave that makes me who I am. Bottom line – I always have and still do feel at my least confident and comfortable in a swimsuit. The difference between then and now is that back then, which I knew at the time too, I had no reason for it – which is what defined it as a demon. Now – quite simply, who gives a shit?

While chatting on line to Angel earlier this week, I asked her to do me a huge favor, the result of which you will come to enjoy in the near future, so for now I will not elaborate. In the conversation I told her about an incident that had taken place in my life which I described as being a very similar feeling to what I was experiencing just prior to popping the favor question.

My cousin and I, along with some friends were heading out to a very basic camping location for the weekend. It was a very popular weekend destination a short distance outside of Johannesburg called Syringa Spa. I have not been able to find it on the www. Do not let the word 'spa' conjur up any images of a typically gorgeous African spa. This was a very basic camping venue which offered lots of other activities. The motor cross track was the main attraction and it had a great swimming pool. Reluctantly I had packed in my swimsuit but with no intention of using it. My cousin had as good a physique as me and I could never understand her reluctance to prance around in a bikini especially considering that she had the added advantage of a gorgeous tanned complexion whereas I am very fair skinned.

I still can’t recall what possessed us to embark on the whole swimming thing, but after a long debate and lots of laughter – mostly nervous energy – our plan was made. We would wrap ourselves in towels and head for the pool area which was packed with people. Most importantly, we would be discrete and not attract attention to ourselves. This was imperative. As soon as we would get to the top of the grassed rise where the ground leveled out, we would drop our towels and with drawing as little attention to ourselves as possible, we would jump into the pool. We would be fine once we were in the pool because we both enjoyed swimming and we were happy to stay in the water until the last sun worshiper left the area. It was important that we jumped rather than took a dive, as we thought our quiet little jump into the pool would be less attention intensive. We also agreed that we would hold hands throughout the process. This aspect might well have been enhanced by the indigenous African plant we had inhaled before heading off on our mission.



Everything worked like a charm. We made it up the embankment without tripping over our towels. We felt certain that we had not attracted any kind of attention to ourselves to make us feel uncomfortable and we were giggling all the way. As we got to the top of the rise, we dropped our towels and broke into a sort of run-walk action, tightened the hold on each other’s hand and we were now aiming for the pool. The automatic reflex of blocking our noses with our free hands completed the preparation for the jump.



We made our jump, and SPLASH – we were in … up to our ankles in water … still holding hands and blocking our noses … while we stood in water up to our ankles. It took a moment for the crowd to start, but once they did, there was a thunderous round of applause from every single one of the people around and in the pool – young and old.

We had jumped into the kids side of the pool!

pic: jengray


“Silly is you in a natural state, and serious is something you have to do

until you can get silly again.”
~ Mike Myers

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

REFLECTING - PART I

I have been through some huge changes in my life over the last few weeks. It has taken me a bit by surprise as to how much I have found myself reflecting on these changes and how much the whole “thing” has impacted on my life for the last nine or ten years. I am processing many thoughts and emotions which I am not totally ready to write about yet. I believe the changes are all good. I am confident that the outcome of the changes will all be positive. These events lead to Father’s Day 2007 being the first in almost ten years where I was not involved at all with how my family celebrated the day. This was a relief for me and it was good to see DDTF’s older children take a moment in time to acknowledge their Dad.

I thought about my late Dad and although I am very used to not having a father, when I watch Ross and DDTF, I very often wish I did have a Dad present in my life. I thought about my neighbor whom I have only known for just short of six years. My friendship with Stan is the closest thing I have had to a wonderful daughter/father relationship in my life. I say that with no disrespect to the memory of my father. It is unfortunate that my relationship with my Dad had to wait for many years after he passed on for me to be mature enough to work through it and reach a place of understanding about it all. I am therefore very grateful for the friendship of my friend next door and I don’t think he has even a vaguest idea of just how much I gain from it and how much I value it … perhaps next Father’s Day I’ll tell him.

The conversation outlined below took place on Yahoo Messenger between me and a friend of mine who lives in Chicago. JBL and I worked together about 22 years ago when we were both still living in South Africa. About a year ago I saw a pic of him in a weekly e-newsletter I get from South Africa and it was through that letter that I managed to re-connect with him after all these years. Although we never socialized outside of our brief contact during working hours, I remembered him because of his UNBELIEVABLE sense of humor. He is the kind of guy that cracks me up by just walking into the room and looking at me. In meetings I would have to sit looking away from him as I could not keep a straight face when I looked at him. He was for me a top bloke and I was thrilled to get the warm and equally pleased vibe in response when I first emailed him.

As this conversation unfolded, I decided to save it because I related to it so strongly. I am sure every South African now living in another country who reads it will relate as well. I think every parent who reads it will relate. It speaks of the dream that all parents have of seeing their children grow up into happy, confident, well rounded successful people enjoying the best life we all strive to give them. I asked JBL if I could use it and I knew the perfect time would come to share it.
(I have only edited out the user id’s at the start of each sentence. There are some South African slang words displayed in italics which are translated at the end of the post.)





jbl: today (15 years ago) we arrived at O'hare. Today 15 years ago
I stumbled off the plane, with my wife +2 kids, 8 suitcases, short pants
and a whole lot of butterflies in my stomach.
jbl: I had just said goodbye to my mother (avo sholom) who said goodbye to her two grandchildren that she lived for .... and visited our house in JHB 3 to 4 times a week to visit and baby-sit ......but she knew that we were doing the right thing.
jbl: and I will never forget that feeling of leaving South Africa on that flight. as the plane took off I remember looking through the window and thinking ...............
jbl: shit - I am on a one-way ticket ....(not like previous trips when you are moerse excited because you are on an overseas jol and then will be back home in about 2 weeks or so) this was a different feeling as the plane took off .... they were excited ......... I was kakking myself… sort of loose pooh stuff.

dawn: I also so clearly remember thinking, as we took off in pouring rain, what my mom on the ground must be feeling - I was the last of her three children to leave - she was going to be remaining in South Africa without any of her three kids around her - I remember feeling like I was abandoning ship.

jbl: sort of ....."what the fuck am I doing" - and is this the right thing to be doing? and all the mixed emotions as the plane takes off and you are g-forced back into the chair
and the lights of JHB sort of get smaller and smaller and you skeem ....... wow ........ when next will I see my chinas, my mom ......??
and so when the drinks cart came around I nearly kissed the hostie .....nearly gave her a fat smooch right on the lips - LOL
jbl: and two scotches later .... I sort of relaxed .....
I had a job to come to and knew that my missus would work (because she wanted to)
so that part of it was OK .... then fast forward to the picture of my daughter
because when you decide to emigrate, and you decide to leave , immediately we all refer to the famous … "well we did it for the children". Rabbi Yossi Goldman reminded me ..... 15 years ago when I told him we were leaving and he asked why and I told him ....for the children … his reply was, “good .... but remember you are leaving also for "you" and "your wife".
jbl: so 15 years later ..... at a graduation .... one does get the chance to reflect .... and put it all in perspective that ..... if we did it for the children - then fine .... here's a point in time to mark .... she graduates with her Master of Science in Developmental Education from one of the best Institutions in the US of A - a proud moment
so ..... happy events give us emigrants an opportunity to reflect . I am sure that sad events allow similar reflection but as a dual track one takes a moment in time -- sitting in the graduation ceremony (like sitting on the plane) and reflect - here is my little girl, now 28 - graduating ..... and I think back on when she went to the first USA school, then high school (and that graduation was a time of reflection too), then college and that graduation was a time of reflection too .... and then her masters - and so it goes - and as the kids grow up every moment in time of some significance allows us all to reflect.


dawn: and that is when, as a parent, you can really count your blessings when the moments of reflection are filled with pride, and achievement, growth and accomplishment - which essentially is, without taking anything away from the child's achievement, a manifestation of good parenting - and one can be proud and happy - what a pleasure! In an instant, so much become so worth it – right?

jbl: I love milestones ..... for instance I can now tell you what I have done and not done in the past 15 years .....!!! I can tell you for instance that in 15 years, I have bought Dominoes pizza about 5 times - walked into the Kentucky Fried chicken place near me twice - never ever eaten Pizza Hut in the USA in 15 years - don’t know why I remember this.

dawn: 'cos it's a darn hard trap to avoid - I can't take credit for that one - I must confess that in the beginning we most certainly fell victim to the convenience of fast food outlets!!
Thanks for sharing this china – very special! Talk to you soon. Love you lots!

South African slang translations:
Avo Sholom – Yiddish for respecting a departed one – wishing eternal rest and peace.
Moerse – big time!
Jorl – Party
Kakking myself – Crapping myself (as in being scared and nervous)
JHB – Johannesburg
Skeem – Think
Chinas – Friends
Hostie – Air Hostess/Flight Attendant
Missus – Mrs (wife)

JBL AND HIS DAUGHTER


Thursday, June 07, 2007

RUSH ...

When Daniel and I were dating, we would speak to each other way too many times a day for people holding down jobs. There would be moments in my day where in spite of the intensity of the nature of my work, my heart, soul, mind and emotions would drift to Daniel. (He wasn’t DDTF yet!)

I would reach for my phone, call him and tell him I was having a “Daniel Rush” and I would receive calls from him at different times of the day telling me the same.
With the demanding travel agenda his job puts on him, our ten day vacation gave me full access, 24/7 which is something I haven’t enjoyed for a long time. Having DDTF right there next to me without any distractions was indeed a treat of treats.

Four days after we got back he headed off to his annual conference. Although it was local, it was practical and necessary for him to stay over at the hotel where it was held.

I missed him. Ross missed him.

While working at my desk today, the DDTF RUSH that I experienced motivated me to look for this as a way of telling him how much I love him and love being with him. Nothing could be more appropriate than making a dedication to the man I love more than anyone else in the world, by the only other man who makes me weak at the knees.
(You may have to click twice on the arrow in the middle of the pic to get it going.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BACK ...

DDTF, Ross and I had a most wonderful vacation. We got back and had no choice but to swing right into ‘busy’ mode immediately. Prior to our departure we had assisted Ross in preparing for the 4th Grade Colonial Fair which was scheduled for 9am the day after our return. We arrived back in Brooklyn, NY and went to pick Pingy up from the doggy hotel. As soon as we got back home, we all spent the afternoon finalizing the preparations for the Fair. Once I have updated the ROSS EXPERIENCE, you will be able to see pics and read more about it.


In the week leading up to our departure a friend of mine in Chicago contacted me to ask if I would be interested in assisting the organizers with promoting a wonderful musical concert that will be taking place in both New Jersey and New York on Sunday and Monday respectively. I was grateful for the opportunity to be involved with this event and it kept me extremely busy prior to our departure and has continued to do so since our return.

If anyone is in the area, you should really take advantage of this event. This will be the sixth North American tour for the famous South African Jewish Musical – CELEBRATION. 3,000 applauded at the Royal Festival Hall in London and 800 in Great Neck, New York. Internationally acclaimed Oshy Tugendhaft & the Sydenham Men’s Choir, together with live musicians will appear in Montclair, New Jersey on Sunday, June 10th at 7.30pm.

Their show, ‘CELEBRATION 3’ celebrates the diversity of Jewish life. They are accompanied by a lively, jazzy orchestra and bring a vibrancy and joy to traditional and contemporary pieces. You can view some of their performances by visiting
www.youtube.com and doing a search for Sydenham Choir.

A lot of people have worked very hard to make this happen and I am really looking forward to it. It has truly been a treat to make a contribution to what will hopefully be a highly successful event.

DDTF is the chairman at his company’s annual conference taking place over three days this week. So between the Colonial Fair, Celebration 3 and the conference – this has been the first opportunity I have had to put fingers to key board. There has been much going on within our little family that has brought about some huge changes in our lives. All in all though, life has been good these past few weeks and there is much for me to share with you.
DDTF took this pic while we were on our cruise. It is very symbolic for me of the changes that have come into my life. When he captured this moment, I saw it as something to come back to that will remind me that there is always that some-one or that some-thing smiling down on me and looking after me. It makes me feel like I can breathe easily and with every breath I breathe new life and energy into every aspect of my life. This renewal feels so good!

Some family pics taken while we were enjoying our cruise.






At the risk of being repetitive, I again extend my most grateful thanks to those people who continue to pop in for a peek into my life and who never fail to reach out with love and kindness through the comment section. I intend to make my post more frequent and am about to go and make a long overdue visit to all those friends I haven’t stopped in at for some weeks.

Monday, May 21, 2007

GONE SAILING ...

As always, my friend and inspiration allows me the indulgence of her pics to match exactly what I might be saying or feeling at any given time.




We are off on a much needed, well deserved cruise vacation for ten days.




For those celebrating the upcoming holiday, CHAG SHAVUOT SAMEACH.




To those in the USA - have a great Memorial Day weekend on the 28th.




To anyone and everyone good enough to still be visiting me after my extremely slack period - thank you, as always!
With Love ... until later.




Tuesday, May 15, 2007

CLICK ...

... here for some inspiration.
Sound not essential.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

WINNING ...

Terri honored me with a THINKING BLOGGER AWARD.



When I got to the end of her post, I went *GULP* I WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT SHE FELT THIS WAY! Then I again went *GULP* as I tried to swallow the fear of the technical challenge this honor presented me with. As I have written many times before, it is a complete miracle that I manage to get a thought from my head on to this blog page. I saw this as a challenge to rise to and felt it was the least I could do to thank Terri for honoring me this way.

Many years ago I did a workshop which asked this question:

DO YOU WANT TO WIN OR DO YOU WANT TO BE RIGHT?

I always thought I got the lesson in this completely. After reading what Terri wrote about me, I thought to myself that in spite of thinking all those many years ago that I had grasped the thinking behind that lesson, I actually think I only totally got it now. Getting this kind of acknowledgement felt like a real win to me. The beauty in all this is that no-one has had to be proven wrong for me to have won. When we get caught up in having to prove ourselves right, rarely does anyone win. If someone is walking away feeling I WAS RIGHT, then they are delighting in nothing more than proving someone wrong. Is there a win in that for anyone? I don’t think so.

Thank you, Terri and now I will attempt to follow the instructions correctly:


The rules state I am obliged to include the rules.


ONE:
If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that you would consider worthy of this award.

TWO:
Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

THREE:
Optional - Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote. Here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog.


Here are my 5 choices, in no particular order:


ONE:
SUPERHERO DESIGNS - I find this blog extremely inspirational. Andrea writes beautifully, takes beautiful photo's and makes beautiful things. Go see for yourself - I am sure you will love it if you don't already know it.


TWO:
JEN GRAY - A well known favorite read of mine and I frequently use pics from her site. Jen takes amazing photo's and has openly and so bravely shared her deepest feelings about her journey through divorce over the last year. It is hard to take pleasure from someone else's pain, but her work is inspirational.


THREE:
GARY - I love visiting this blog because of how simple it is to enjoy. I find it quite delightful and I really respect how Gary writes big stories in a few short lines. I have no doubt you will enjoy discovering this blog if it is new to you.


FOUR:
MRS GREEN THUMB - Her passion for everything she does is fantastic. She loves what ever she does and I think she wouldn't do something she didn't love doing. I have also come to value her words of wisdom that she kindly leaves in the comments section of my blog.


FIVE:
SPOOKIE - I think anyone with such devotion to her faith deserves acknowledgement. In spite of the difference in our religions which sometimes makes it difficult for me to totally relate to all that she writes about, I really do often question my level of commitment to things I believe in when I have visited Spookie. Without trying to, she keeps me on my toes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

47 ...

It’s 2am and I am officially 47 years old. Today is my birthday.


Here are 47 things I am thinking about:

  1. I never sleep well when DDTF is away.

  2. I am so excited that DDTF will be returning home later today from a ten day trip to the UK and India.

  3. One of my greatest pleasures is taking photo’s of Ross while he sleeps.

  4. My Mom was 37 years old when I was born and I was 37 when Ross was born.

  5. A memory that always comes to mind when I think of birthdays is of my 1981 birthday and I get a clear picture in my mind of my niece. She is 15 years younger than me and she loved the excitement of being with me. She was so cutely and firmly tucked under my arm to share the process of blowing out the 21 candles on my birthday cake.
  6. Aside from my 21st birthday, only 7 other birthdays stand out in my mind without having to think hard about them.

  7. My 10th, because my mom and sister hosted the coolest “hippie” themed party for me.

  8. My 16th because my high school sweetheart and best friend threw me the most amazing surprise party.

  9. My 18th because that is legal driving age in South Africa.

  10. My 32nd because my dearly departed friend, Ady took me for lunch at the Zoo Lake Restaurant for us to celebrate both our birthdays which were a day apart.

  11. My 40th which was celebrated in London with a great party.

  12. My 43rd because my brother had passed away 17 days before that.

  13. My 46th as I had fallen and broken my shoulder the day before.

  14. I wonder if my Mom will remember when I ask her later exactly what she might have been doing at 2am. I was born around 2pm.

  15. I miss my brother phoning to wish me happy birthday – I could always rely on that call.

  16. I am thinking more about my 50th birthday than this 47th birthday.

  17. 47 feels a bit like a non-event birthday. It seems like it goes from 40 to 45 being birthdays of note, and then it’s all quite ho-hum until 50.

  18. My consciousness was awoken when I was 24.

  19. This year marks my tenth year of being diagnosed with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy.

  20. I am getting more and more in touch with the necessity for a deep sense of gratitude in my life.

  21. In the shower tonight my son referred to my boobs as, “sacks!” There’s one for the ego.

  22. I am excited about DDTF’s sister and her family coming from Canada next week to spend 5 days with us.

  23. I often dream about winning the lottery and surprising everyone I love from around the world with a plan that would have them all meet up on a privately chartered flight to an exotic destination where we would all meet up and celebrate my birthday of that year. Perhaps one of them will give me a comma for that birthday.

  24. My friend Jodi surprised me with HAPPY BIRTHDAY balloons and an AMERICAN IDOL balloon yesterday. When I got into bed to go to sleep I thought how kind that had been of her to do. Thanks, Jod’!

  25. This is a long list to complete.

  26. It’s now 3am and I am very hungry.

  27. I’ve just had an idea to send myself flowers in honor of all those people who might be having a birthday today that are not as fortunate as me to have others extending good wishes to them. Daisies are my favorite. I like this idea.

  28. I’m still debating with myself about whether I should go get something to eat.

  29. I wonder how many birthday messages I might get on my blog today.

  30. Ross has been so amazing while DDTF has been away for the last ten days. He told me the other night that one of the reasons he was created was to be my helper and protector. It brought me to tears.

  31. I am loving the new series on DISCOVERY CHANNEL called Planet Earth.

  32. Is it true that dogs have no concept of time?

  33. Isn’t it strange that when Marti went to the library today to get a book that Ross needs for a project, she came home with a post-it note on which the librarian had written an authors name. She told Marti they didn’t have any books on the topic and we should search the internet for a series of books by the suggested author. This didn’t make any sense to me.

  34. I have been wearing the same pair of summer sandals for well over 5 years and I am determined to find a new pair of sandals that I like as much, if not more than this pair for this summer.

  35. I set myself a challenge to knit a scarf by the end of the year and I haven’t even casted on one stitch yet. I first intended to do this last year, I think … or was it the year before? For some reason I really want to accomplish this.

  36. One of my dreams in life is to swim with dolphins. This urge never subsides. I think it would actually take a dolphin to get me into a swimsuit rather than this vision I have of myself in a full body wet suit.

  37. I have just received my first ‘happy birthday’ email from Spookie in South Africa. The time difference has all my mates there already at work attending to their personal mail – haha.

  38. I received a birthday package on Monday and Ross was surprised that I would not open it until today. I think I will wait for him to get home from school before I open it … or maybe I won’t and will just show him what it was.

  39. I have just spoken to DDTF on the phone. He has just flown from Hydrabad to Frankfurt where he has a few hours to wait for his flight from Frankfurt back to the USA. I can’t wait to see him.

  40. I have been friends with Denise since I was 17. She is in South Africa and we haven’t seen each other in going on 7 years. Although our friendship spans 30 years, we usually end up missing each other’s birthdays by either a day or a month or a couple of weeks. The basis of our friendship is so solid that we always have a good laugh about this. I am really keen to see if she remembers me TODAY. I am giggling as I write this.

  41. I wonder who will be eliminated off American Idol this week. I have not enjoyed this season as much as previous ones.

  42. It suddenly got so warm here today. I turned the heating off. Spring and the Fall are my favorite seasons.

  43. I must send Ross out with the camera to look for signs of Spring budding in the garden.

  44. I think I might be more excited than Ross about the almost two weeks he will have off school from next week for Passover/Pesach. I can’t wait for this school year to be over.

  45. By this time of the year those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are panting like dogs to be let outside for extended, enjoyable periods of time. I thought this pic captures it brilliantly!

  46. I am so going to raid my refrigerator right now.

  47. I’m 47 – I am allowed to eat when I want to!

    Love,
    Dawn

REF. NUMBER 3.



Friday, March 23, 2007

EXPAT ...

Without any kind of lengthy explanation as to where I have been and what I have been doing, I will burst back into action by having been prodded by the wonderful keeper of this blog.

I am honored that he chose me as one of a select few to tag.

Here’s hoping that my path will stay clear for me to continue updating on a far more regular basis. Thanks to EVERYONE who has continued to visit and to those who have emailed me.


And now, on with the expat tag:

Name 5 things you love in your new country:

Ross’ school.
The defined four seasons.
I never have to reverse park.
On a materialistic level that there is always someone out there with anything and everything you might think of to sell to you.
That my American nieces and nephew call me their Ant.

Name 4 things that you miss from your native country:

NO SNOW!
A complete sense of belonging and place on the planet.
My friends, relatives and all South Africans.
Calling the guy who pumps my gas, “Baba” and the lady who checks me out at the supermarket, “Mama.”

Name 3 things that annoy you a bit (or much) in your new country:

SNOW!
The healthcare system.
Gun laws.

Name 2 things that surprise you (or surprised you in the beginning) in your new country:

How wary people are of foreigners.
How conservative people are.



Name 1 thing that you would miss terribly in your new country, if you had to leave it:

The new, good friends I have made.


Thank you, NOMAD! I now tag TERRI.


As this is an expat post, I wanted to share this interesting news item which I read in a weekly newsletter I get from South Africa. The caption to the pic reads as follows:

Walter Galler, a man of Jewish origins, married a non-Jewish woman. When he died in August 1939 in Swakopmund, South West Africa, on the eve of World War II, his wife knew that some sort of Hebrew inscription had to be placed on his tombstone. The only Hebrew she could find was on a box of matzah. She ordered the stone cutter to inscribe on the tombstone those words plus a Jewish star. The stone cutter, not knowing Hebrew, erroneously placed the words upside down on the tombstone. And so the stone was inscribed with a Jewish star and the Hebrew words for “Kosher for Passover.” Some years later, the words in Hebrew were removed by an over zealous rabbi who was visiting the small Jewish cemetery in the town. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Richard Newman (from his book, Where the Desert Ends: The Jews of Namibia).






Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SURPRISE ...

During a conversation on Saturday night, DDTF made the comment that he wanted his colleagues who were going to be in town for a meeting to be able to get home on time for Valentine’s Day. I was completely shocked by this statement as DDTF holds a major point of view or two about Valentine’s Day. He does not feel the need for a special day for people to declare their love for each other and the whole commercial aspect totally turns him off.

I am on the fence about Valentine’s Day. I think it can be fun but certainly don’t take it too seriously. I have in the past been known to phone DDTF at work by noon on the day to say that he better make certain SOMETHING gets delivered to the front door before he gets home. I certainly don’t feel unloved though if no chocolate hearts or roses are delivered.

He was equally surprised at how shocked I was that he would even take Valentine’s Day into consideration while planning the schedule for his colleagues this week. I explained to him that I was actually impressed and how thoughtful I thought it was to consider them in spite of the fact that the day holds no major importance for him.

When I pulled into the driveway this afternoon after getting Ross from school, I noticed there was a delivery of flowers that had been left at the front door. Ross ran ahead and brought it inside for me.

The card read:

Dawn
Just incase you would ever believe in a million years
that I would forget that today is the day to tell you
how much I love you.
X X

Not bad for a non-believer.
Love You, DDTF!

(The reason the flowers were delivered today is because a ‘snow day’ was forecast for our area for 2/14.)

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO EVERYONE!
If you haven't watched the video at the end of my previous post ... please check it out ~
it shows a much loved being who spread a very unqiue love around the planet.

 
-->