1 Comment

Still Moving and Why Is There a Chicken in My Bedroom? ©


For two weeks I have suffered the agony of downsizing. Actually, to refer to it as downsizing is like referring to a hot air balloon ride as a walk down Park Avenue. For instance, I had sixteen closets in the large house. And everyone one of these closets are extra-large. Here I have two small closets, two even smaller closets and one decent sized closet.

My serving dishes, which I could easily stuff into my cabinets are now decorations on top of the bookshelves.

I got a mover to move the large items, like filing cabinets and beds, but everything else I moved myself That includes all the clothing, kitchen dishes, pots and pans, end tables, small desk, two nightstands and about 800 books. I knew that I could pack up dishes without any cushioning and get them there in one piece. That would take less time than wrapping everything in newspaper, unwrapping it and crying over what was broken after it would be delivered by my mover. My back paid the price.

My mover did not disappoint me. Despite my warning him not to turn anything upside down, I found all the cedar shavings moved from the bottom of my mother’s hope chest to the top of my clothing. Worse, the files in the filing cabinet are so jumbled that it is impossible to open the doors. I have no idea how I will ever access them.

Two Fridays ago was my first night in the “new” house. I gave myself an hour to get ready as I was, thank G-d, invited out for meals. I went to take a shower and there were two problems. No shower curtain and no hot water. The shower curtain I could call myself names for forgetting to bring one over, but, to my immediate gratification, I could use my most colorful four letter words to blame the “gentlemen” who installed my hot water heater.

I took a sponge bath in cold water, grabbed something to wear from a pile of clothing (the racks haven’t been hung in my closet yet and my dresser had to be tossed as it would not go up the stairs.

Ah, but as with all things in life, there has to be some good surprises too. And there were!!! I realized that my bathtub has a Jacuzzi. Since my back may never recover from all this moving, at least I can soak in with eight jets pulsating against my weary body. I discovered that there is hot water, it’s just that my bathroom cold water faucets are the source for the hot water and the hot water faucets are the source of an ice shower.

I got in to the tub about 11pm and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up, I thought something is missing. Yes, some bubbles. I found a bottle of baby shampoo, left over from when my son came to visit with two of his children, and poured in a capful. The bubbles grew, and grew, each bubble giving birth to an awesome amount of baby bubbles until they threatened to overfill the tub.

I pushed the off button of the Jacuzzi. And again, and again, and again. The jets kept creating bubbles and I was panicking. The twelfth jab worked.

Now, the only thing missing is a refrigerator. My online research and telephone calls finally turned up a black 30 inch refrigerator. My trusty mover delivered it, removing lots of paint from the newly painted door frame and plugged it in. It worked for one day.

Every day I am moving items and every day I am showing two houses that I am trying to rent. As I was moving things from the minivan to the house, I kept the doors open. I received a call from a potential tenant asking me when I would be the house. “Just as I said, 4pm. Why, what time is it now?”


“I guess I had better hurry.” After a quick trip to the bathroom, and five minutes of panic searching for my keys, I was ready to leave.

I went to the driveway opened the driver’s seat door and discovered a pitbull sitting in the passenger seat. While he looked somewhat friendly, I had visions of myself lying on the ground with my throat being ripped up. However, I had an appointment and I was not going to drive to the appointment with a pitbull passenger.

“Out, Out” I screamed. He found that funny and raced from the front of the minivan to the back. Finally he got out. “Whew.” I had already closed all the doors except the driver’s door and rushed to the van. The pitbull was faster than me and was sitting in the passenger seat again while I had only one foot in the door.

I went to the middle of the yard of my neighbor and yelled, “Out, out damned spot” over and over again. The dog ran out and I rushed in. This time I beat him. Yeah!!!

However, this dog had the last word. He attached the van as I was backing out, continually clawing the exterior driver’s side.

On the way to the appointment, I was doing a tally of the pluses and minuses of my new dwelling. Plus, I have a Jacuzzi, a very large bedroom on the second floor even though all the other rooms are postage stamps, no big lawn to mow, smaller heating bills, lower taxes and no mortgage payment.

My minuses are no heat in the only large room in the house, my upstairs bedroom,  a new refrigerator that only blows hot air, a pit bull neighbor (not sure who his owners are) but since I called the police and hopefully the dog was arrested, I am afraid to meet them. I’m sure all the neighbors heard me screaming and witnessed the comedy.

So, why is there a chicken in my bedroom? I could not make salads, which is what I prefer to eat, because salads cannot last without a refrigerator, so I made some barley with vegetables and purchased a rotisserie chicken. After serving half of the chicken Friday night to my one guest and myself, I put the rest in the cold bedroom in the hopes it would not spoil. So there you have it, that is why there is a chicken, now half a chicken in my bedroom.

Leave a comment

Rosh HaShannah Greetings

The sun is surrounded and trapped in a khamsin looking more like a stubborn, fading moon that refused to exit after a bloody sunrise. (A khamsin is a dust storm from Africa.)

Less then a week before Rosh HaShannah we were forced to move. The mover gave us an estimate at 1pm on Monday afternoon and at 5pm on the very same day brought boxes. He was supposed to come at 8am the nest morning but I asked him to put it back to 9am. He agreed. Tuesday morning at 7:30am the mover, with three helpers, was knocking at our door.
Hours later, hot and tired and surrounded by boxes in our new apartment, we didn’t know if we were too electronically challenged to work the remote or if the A/C didn’t work. It was about 90 degrees. We opened all the windows and the next morning everything, including Mick and I, were covered in fine red silt.
Our landlady came by to see if everything was alright. She wanted to know why we didn’t clean before moving and I told her we did but with all the windows open, it was a worthless exercise. Before she could ask why the windows were open, I smiled and said, Ruthie, are you hot? She looked at me with an expression of gratitude that we will turn on the A/C for her. I hand over the remote control. She presses every button and to her astonishment nothing happens. Mick and I look at each other relieved. We might still be hot and tired and covered in dirt but at least we were not too hopeless to turn on the A/C. Ruthie calls a repairman.
We have no wifi, we are surrounded by packing boxes, and soon depart for the center of Naharyia to eat, use the restaurant’s wifi, buy new mezzuzot, and fruits and vegetables for Shabbat and the New Year.
The owner of the fruit store is taciturn. I usually wait for him to look at me and then while his eyes are locked into mine, I wish him a gusty boker tov (good morning). Today, he wears a big smile, reaches for my hand and wishes me a L’Shannah Tova (may you be inscribed for life in the coming year), and L’bracha. (a blessing)
At the mezzuzot store, the owner Yossi tells me he has had time to check only two of the five mezzuzot I ordered but tells me to take them anyway and to come back on Sunday. When I try to pay he tells me to wait until I come back. “I won’t lose any sleep”, he tells me.
On line at the grocery store I examine a jar that says dates, but it is in liquid form. I ask the woman in front of me if it is date honey.
“No. But you must buy it. It is delicious and on sale.” She asks if we have the store’s discount card and when I shake my head, no, she tells the cashier to use her discount card for our groceries and then wishes us a LShannah Tova and showers us with blessings.
I went to Cofix to buy freshly sqeezed carrot juice for five shekels ($1.25) and while waiting I see two very young Chassidic boys. With their very young eyes they swallow everything in front of them and when the cashier places a coffee milkshake on the counter for another customer, not only the eyes drink everything in but a thirsty mouth descends on the straw. The cashiier snatches the drink back and looks to see if the intended customer saw this partial theft of his drink. He didn’t. She throws the violated straw out, places another straw in the drink and smiling widely, hands it to the unsuspecting customer.
Aah, finally time for Shabbat. Since our stove top and oven are not yet hooked up, I cooked on our two burner hot plate and we readied for a quiet evening alone Friday night and for our luncheon guests the next day. I suddenly remembered right before candle lighting that we had been unable to reach our guests to tell them we moved. I wrote out a note and put a piece of tape on the top.
The next morning I walked down eight flights of steps, two blocks to the old apartment, up seven flights, posted the note on the door and then retraced my footsteps with my grand finale of collapsing on our couch. We were so happy when our guests arrived and thanked us for the note.
For those of you not living in Israel, we hope you too will sometime soon enjoy the warmth of the people here, the feeling of being close to G-d and the beauty of the land.
Wishing you a year filled with joy and good health followed by more of the same for years to come.
Below is the view from our living room window. In the distance is Lebanon. From our bedroom window, at night, we see Haifa all lit up.