Monday, September 18, 2006

Not Having Fun

Just in case you all continue to think that we're having fun all the time should step into our footwear (at least the pairs that are unpacked) for a few days. Mountains of boxes in the house. Stressed and cranky Beth and Ira, who have by now divined that settling in will take some time. Exhausted and sweaty Beth and Ira, who are so tired that they can't believe it. As a matter of fact, I tried blogging last night and fell asleep in front of the monitor and woke to discover a line of the letter gggggggggggggggggg. Needless to say, I waited until this afternoon to try again. Had to prop my eyelids up with toothpicks at Ulpan today but made it through - perhaps it wasn't worth it. Ira, as a matter of fact, went home. He's delighted to report that he survived his initial hayfever season without a problem but the honeymoon is now over and something's in the air the last few days and he's sneezing and dripping and I'm also aware of it physically, as is Akiva.

Last week was nightmarish. It was hard to get anything done as one had to shift boxes wherever you went. As the week went on, we become more tired, dusty and annoyed with one another - boys were great, unpacked boxes, moved and shoved and did their part. We got their rooms ready in a basic way and over the week as we discovered sheets, pillows and other bits and pieces of their lives in Bklyn, slowly their rooms came together. Ira built bookcases, slowly but surely each day and we continue to work thru our billions of boxes of books. By Friday we were at our wits end, sure that we'd never feel that things were getting better. I purchased Shabbat food for us and we planned nothing special for Friday night due to exhaustion. Then, late Friday afternoon, things began to calm. We set up the living room and it looked nice - still unfinished but it was suddenly a room that one could relax and enjoy on Shabbat. We unpacked the chaise that we bought before we left and arranged the new pillows and sat on it with great satisfaction. Ira was the only one to go to shul - he checked out the little Sephardic synagogue/shtibel down the block near Jess's house. He was the only "white man" on the premises and was amused that those sitting near him kep making sure he had his siddur open to the right page. We ate our Shabbat dinner - a Middle Eastern mix of meat moussaka (Ira is sure enjoying the kosher takeout and Gabe, after first thinking that his parents were now buying treyf/unkosher food, realized that all this takeout is kosher in our neighborhood - imagine that!), fish cakes in red sauce, rice and lentils, pickled salads and so forth. We especially enjoyed the Sephardic take on the potato nik - essentially a potato kugel that is more bready but in this case, seasoned, as everything else was, with cumin and cilantro and other interesting spices. Shabbat morning, I walked over to my parents with Natan and we escorted them to services, Natan pushing my father in a wheelchair. My father is improving, vis a vis, his hepatitis but he's weak and not handling walking distances well, especially up the steep hill to shul. Ira went to shul locally with Gabe and Akiva and even snagged a last minute lunch invite at a long-time folk dancing friend of ours, who lives with her South African husband and 3 kids (one more due this fall) down the street from us.

I was pleased to have people stop in late on Sat afternoon. Actually, it felt normal to do so. We sat outside on our balcony, with a pleasant breeze blowing and thankfully it was shady and welcomed Alan and Lisa and kids along with 2 friends of theirs. Jess and Daniel stopped by after lunch (they were eating where Ira et al ate) to see all of the home improvements. Natan and Gabe had the company of our friends 2 daughters and some of their buddies - basically, many cute teenage girls in nice Shabbat outfits. What could be bad? I didn't have anything fancy to put out - purchased cookies, bread and cheese and related stuff but again, it felt good to welcome guests on Shabbat.

Sunday morning the miasma had settled a bit again but I pushed myself through a bunch of phone calls and Ira and I went to the bank and properly begged to be given a credit card (that's another story but we were tough and did not accept no for an answer) and I felt suddently that we were doing ok. I also realized that I can live with boxes - this is big for me. That there is no option as I just don't have the NRG to unpack every day. Today, as a matter of fact, after resting and eating a bit after Ulpan, Jess and I went to the local pool and joined and swam and read the paper for a minute and planned the menus of Rosh Hashana. Not bad.

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