Thursday, May 29, 2014

Almost Summer

Summer came and kicked spring's tail this week. It's sweltering in my un-air conditioned house and the chocolate cake baking in the oven isn't really helping things either. Tonight my baby girl gets one step closer to the black belt she has been doggedly working on since kindergarten. She has a quiet confidence but shyly refuses to show off anything that she has learned. But every once in a while, we can talk her into demonstrating and after being thrown to the ground a few times, I've wised up and volunteer Chris instead.

Tomorrow is the last day of school and I'm not sure who is more excited, me or the kids. No more chauffeuring, packing school lunches and volunteering! But mostly, I'm just happy to have my little birds back in the nest full time.

Today is such a stick-your-feet-in-the-sand sort of day that I'm going to post some pictures of the beautiful Tel Aviv beach. (Which according to the taxi driver, has the finest sand in the world, imported from Egypt. And on secondary note, when you tell the kids to put on sunscreen, they might only think to put it on their faces...)

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We were sitting on some nice chairs, but when a surly young man wearing a hat telling us to F-off came over to collect payment for the use of the chairs, we begged our ignorance and dumped our things to the sand instead.

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Our totally awesome sand castle

I thought it would be fun to rent a boat, but apparently Chris thinks that being stuck in a boat is not at all relaxing and more like a kind of torture, which led to an interesting debate in which there were no winners, and we sort of agreed that it was okay to disagree.  (I don't really understand how he can't like raspberries either.) But the moral of the story is that we made a beautiful sand castle, and didn't rent a boat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Texture Tuesday

The onset of spring and weather warm with the scent of growing, living things, gives me an almost irrepressible urge to paint things glossy white and lemon yellow. During the winter, I wanted to paint things orange; in fact, I walked around the house sometimes muttering, what would that look like Orange?

Another random fact is that going to the library makes me so happy that sometimes I find myself walking the aisles and humming, usually Christmas carols. It happened yesterday. Weird, I know.

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Tzfat, Israel
Old windows and doors also make me happy, like this one. It has character, and stories to tell, and it's beauty and order surrounded by old crumbling stone. It was processed with Kim Klassen's texture, happy heart.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Somebody Else's Pain

I remember standing in the dark concrete halls that housed the Nazi prisoners in Cologne, Germany.  The walls were scribbled with their words and stories, attempts to not be forgotten. I felt the haunting sadness that those stones held. There was a name scrawled on the wall in front of me, an American soldier on the day they liberated those inhabitants from continuing darkness, in time for some, but too late for many. I remember feeling both proud, and ashamed, as I looked at his name. Proud of our part, but ashamed that it had taken us so long to lumber out of our own self-interests and come to help. I added my own whispered apology for the walls to hold before heading back into the sunshine.
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National Socialism Documentation Center
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In Cologne, Germany
I wonder now, sitting at the table of a man whose words weep with the weight of pain felt by Syrian children being slaughtered in a man's game of tug of war, if this generation, my generation, is going to have to carry the weight of inaction. Or if we will even lift our heads high enough to see someone else's sorrow. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Random Thursday

Every day Aidan comes home from school and asks me if I've written a new blog. Most times, the answer is no and I try to explain that with all the laundry, cooking, cleaning, car pooling, gardening, bill paying, soccer coaching, errand running etc...sometimes I don't have time. And so today, I have a guest post from Aidan Cummings. This short story is shared completely without the permission of the author, because he is at school.

Aidan Cummings                                                                 
I stared through the window, my nose pressed up against the cold, clear glass. My breath fogging up the crystal clear window, etching intricate patterns that would disappear as soon as I decided what cake I wanted. In front of me there is an oasis of pastries, everyone so pure, so perfect. My eyes glanced up and fell on a luscious lemon torte, my mouth watered as I thought of biting into the cool, sweet lemon pudding. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dense, rich, and beautiful German chocolate cake next to a simple vanilla bean and cinnamon dainty. I glanced to the right and saw a creamy tiramisu with glazed espresso  beans on top. I sank to the ground in despair. There were just too many amazing cakes to pick from. I tried to pick but it was in vain, there was just too many options. I glanced across the street and saw a sign. I suddenly had made up my choice. I picked myself up and walked across the street. Lemon tiramisu ice cream never sounded so good.   

And because I have just named today as 'Random Thursday", here is a random photo from Israel:

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I'm sure this sculpture has some meaning, although I must confess, I haven't a clue what it is. We were just off the shores of the Sea of Galilee visiting the Yigal Allon Museum on the grounds of Kibbutz Ginosar.  Otherwise more famously known as the "Jesus Boat Museum". (We might have still been smarting from our trip the Mount of Beatitudes- more on that later, so we just peeked through the doors at the boat and then bought things from the gift shop. Chloe bought a sheep carved out of olive wood (what else?). I also have a picture of a older pot-bellied man wading in a speedo. And a cat. But today is just a boat-full-of-heads kind of day.