Sunday, May 5, 2013

This is My Israel

Therapists often tell people that compatibility helps tremendously in marriage, so if they are culturally affiliated, no, identified, then they should stay within their tribe to marry. There are so many things to argue about in life, why start off a committed relationship with obvious differences?

So it was nice to see a contest, This is My Israel, where you vote for the couple of your choice to get a $10,000 prize to start life in the Holy Land. That has to last more than a week, right?

NCSY sent me an email hoping I would shoot over to the aliyah site and vote for their 3 couples, and I did. Voting for people you don't know is fun, and the stories are good. Check it out. 

Flying East

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Achdus and Israel at War

I don't know about Conservative, Reform, or other kinds of Jews, but those of us of the Orthodox persuasion talk a lot about achdus.  Achdus means unity.  We don't do nearly enough about achdus.  We don't try nearly hard enough to be inclusive, to open dialogues with Jews who don't do things exactly like we do.

When you think about it, who does do things exactly like we do, any one of us? Yet we can't let our own children do things differently (as if we have this choice), can't give them a blessing when they choose to disregard a traditions. Disregard is a soft word.  Usually we say, he's strayed, eschews the religion, is off the derech. Encouraging differentiation isn't a strong suit for those of us who call ourselves Orthodox, or observant.  We're nuts about conformity, emphasis upon nuts.

People have free choice, and choosing to be yashar should have meaning. Not everyone can fake it.

Facing a war in Gaza, one that is perhaps in full swing even as I write this, a war that seems to never have had a beginning, may have no end, our people are united.  It is the one time that Jews really do unite.  In Chicago, Atlanta, and other cities (I only follow where I fly) everyone who rallied downtown yesterday couldn't have cared less about what type of Jew held the sign.

We were united, we are united.  It shouldn't take a war to make us feel this way.

Flying Strong

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flying Less

I made this huge deal that I had to fly thousands of miles to see my kids and grandkids to do what feels so right, grandparent.  Meaning, I complained on occasion. 

To feel better, I started this blog.  FD called me Coast to Coast Bubbie.  But The Flying Bubbie won out as a handle, ultimately.  

Crazy thing happened, the west coast bunch moved back to Chicago!  Now I only have to travel to one city to see their cousins. I travel a lot less, having eliminated California.  Some see this as a great loss, not visiting California three to four times a year.  But flying is expensive, and we could say enough already, to CA.

 Nobody is retiring anymore, and those of us who still work, seem to be working more than ever,  certainly the case with me.  We’ve already discussed that when you're busy time flies, no chiddush (Yiddish, rhymes with hid-dish, hard "ch").  It's out of control, how much it flies.  Time wins frequent flyer miles contests.  

Blogging, deliberately capturing the finer moments of not working is feeling like a good idea, even if the technical intent of some of my trips down south are to present corporate or educational workshops.  

Unlike my other writing, however, there's no tremendous therapeutic import here, just observations, opinions.  Feel free to comment on them.  

A granddaughter graduated kindergarten, so we flew south.  We almost didn't make it, airfares are so high, but white knuckled the wait for them to drop.  Eight days before the big day, Delta dropped below the $200.00 mark (from Ohare yet).  So we popped.  

I mean, it's a graduation.

There's a spin on what they learn in kindergarten, arguably among the most important things they will ever learn in school..

Little munchkins in blue caps and gowns.  Pretty adorable. Instead of long speeches, you get songs!
And before it's over, time for cookies, and off to enjoy the day.  As opposed to college graduations, these are over by 11:00 am.

It's hot in the south.

So after the ceremony, cake, and peanut butter and fluff straight from the jar for lunch (and yogurt, fine), we went to Centennial Olympic Park to run crazy in the fountains.  It wasn't an original idea.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When Your Guy Gets the Flu

I wrote about this, how a Jew will feel more guilty for giving over the flu, than suffering through the illness, even though it feels like you're dying. And it does.

So FD comes home from band practice and he's shivering and he says, "I got it! You finally gave it to me! I'm dying."

His hands are ice so I say, "Get away for crying out loud!" (No, I don't say that.)

But I do get him some Tylenol and this morning, at 6:00, he's already gone to shul. Guys are crazy, seriously, in a good way though. You would never see women rush out of the house to pray with a bunch of other women. Never.

The Healthier Bubbie

The Flying Bubbie

I just spent almost months of my life avoiding music, not going to movies, missing every wedding and bar mitzvah (not the services, but for sure the luncheons). And I'm about to come out of that state of mourning.

It's a pretty crazy, giddy feeling. You don't miss those things so much, not until the last month or two. I didn't even want to watch TV, which for me is ridiculous, because even if I only watch a couple of hours a week, those hours are nirvana.

About a month or two ago I started changing the designs of my blogs, so that tells you something. Things are looking new. Before two long, I can give away some clothes, buy some new ones. Not a lot, but something. A hat. Gevaldik.

So I don't feel comfortable talking about this process anywhere else, even though some of my readers on other blogs wouldn't mind, might even like it. But here, where everyone loves a bubbie, it seems safe.

The Yahrtzeit is the 29th of Shevat, also the Yahrtzeit for my brother.

I already bought the candles.

Your Flying Bubbie

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Shoes

Last night I dropped off Aba (the father of my children) at the hospital so he could put someone's health back in order. He must have paged five times on Shabbas, and he's not on-call. It's a great life.

Doubled back to Target (wouldn't you?) in search of house shoes, again. My Dad needs something between a shoe and a slipper, and he can't shop, and he wears a size that does not exist, so I'm running around finding bargains (for myself, of course, too, so as not to waste time). I found the last pair for him at Marshalls, but they didn't work. Is anyone out there a size 10?

I buy two different 11's, one of the pairs really stretches,thinking if he doesn't like either, well, Aba's an 11.

Of course neither are any good. We watch the Bulls beat the Timberlakes and mom shows me a dress she has that maybe I could wear.

"A little old for me, maybe?"

"I didn't think of that."

I take it anyway, just to see. Her stuff is always in perfect condition.

Flying Dressed

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Garage Door Opener

Tonight I check my phone after Shabbas and there's a text from my brother:
The garage door opener works!
It's a miracle. My parents' garage door opener has been missing for 15 years. I assumed we would find it after the snow melted, when we didn't need it anymore.

But my father, apparently, has known its whereabouts all along and disclosed the secret to my brother. Why it had to be a secret is anyone's guess. Could be because they lived in Florida for the winter, they didn't want anyone to have access. But this is only a theory.

Anyway, the other option was a universal. I told Tam (s-i-l), "Something about a universal remote is disturbing to me."

Good thing they found it.

Flying Secure

P.S. I've subsequently learned that it never was a secret, that Dave rummaged around in a cabinet looking for it, and there it was. But the truth is, when I asked Dad, he said he had no idea. Maybe he just didn't hear me.

Friday, January 8, 2010


So I tell my parents, "I think I'm going to take the last week in February to visit the kids."

"A whole week?"

Flying Anyway

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Beauty Parlor

Outside there's snow, lots of it, so I think, skis. I should ski to work.

Aba (the father of my children) helps me shlep the skis upstairs, very into the idea that we should get some exercise. We've put on weight and it's already January.

The fat isn't working, I'm still cold.

Anyway, I'm thinking of a week, not a week-end in Atlanta, for those of you who really want to know, for Purim

The first task of Thursday has to be making sure that Boobah (my mom), gets to the beauty parlor without wrapping herself around a tree. This isn't so easy. You don't just tell a person who has been driving all her adult life, perhaps 60 years of it, without a fender bender, "The streets are bad, I'm driving you to the beauty parlor, and that's it." There has to be some politic.

I say to her, "The streets in Chicago are lousy, but in Skokie, maybe they're plowed. Maybe you'll be okay. Probably you're fine out there in the burbs." (This is called a paradox.)

"It's all of four blocks away. I'll drive slowly," she counters, not buying it.

"I'll tell you what." I try again. "I have to go to Bagel Country anyway (this is nearer to her house than mine) so I'll call you and tell you about the condition of the roads. If they're bad, I'll swing over and drive you."

She's okay with this, tells me when she has to leave the house, and I call her five minutes before. I tell her the streets are terrible, which they are. She lets me drive her.

She's off to get beautiful, I go to the post office, Bagel Country for a dozen bagels, a dozen bialies, assume she'll take half (which she does), fill up the car with gas, go to Marshall's to find a pair of shoes for my father, buy lemons and cheese, that's all they need, at Jewel, and cheese for my parents, and what we still need for Shabbas, then swing back and pick her up.

"You look beautiful," I tell her, and she does.

The plumber, unfortunately, has parked in the drive-way. She's all set to tackle the curb and the half-foot of snow on the grass, get out of the car from the street. "I'll get off here," she cries. "Just stop here!"

I pull into the driveway. She sternly informs me, "You're taking away my independence!"

I say, "Be independent on your own time, Ma. None of us want to visit you in a nursing home with a broken hip. Not that we wouldn't, but it would hurt us to see you in so much pain. These things really hurt."

She's mad but accepts this. Love you, I say. Love you, too.

And I walk her to the door.

Flying Challenged

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Using Grandchildren

Jake is driving Grampa to dialysis on Friday and they're up in arms, my parents. My father doesn't want to put anyone out, no one should resent him.

He wants his wife to take him.

Flying Exasperated

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


My brother and sister-in-law are putting in a washer-dryer upstairs for my parents so Mom doesn't have to go downstairs, risk breaking her neck. Dad won't ever be going there again. That has to feel weird.

And a freezer in the kitchen.

My mother doesn't want this. She complains to me. "You children can't control my life; it feels bad to me."

I say, "You just don't like being on the receiving end. You've been a giver all your life. Okay for you to give, but when we do, uh uh."

She thinks about this. Has never thought about it like this before. Progress.

Flying Happy

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Blanket

Dad has to go to dialysis and I'm supposed to help him down the stairs in the garage. Wes, the handyman, is in the kitchen taking apart the stove.

"I won't charge you for the time," he tells my mother, "if I can't fix it."

I feel doubtful, raise an eyebrow when he's not looking.

I go down to the basement, since my father is still trading on his computer. What's more important, honestly, being on time, or whatever it is he's doing. I begin to shelp up stuff that Purple Heart will carry away on the 12th of the month. Irene, from Purple Heart, my bff, has called me to tell me this is when they'll be in the neighborhood.

I find all kinds of very old stuff, drag it up to their front hall closet. This work-out is good for me, works muscles I didn't know I had, and is much better for me than sitting in the office.

Anyway, in a torn new plastic, either new or hardly ever used, is a very heavy blanket, but it isn't wool, and it isn't down. It's just a blue and white blanket, and my bedroom is in shades of blue, so what the heck, I took it.

Got it home and washed it. Petted it.

I'll bet he got it on a fishing trip in Canada, way North.

Flying Warmer

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sending Someone Instead

I assume my brother or his kids visited our parents today. It's the first Sunday in January, and I had all kinds of work to do at the office (when you work for yourself, you're your own slave driver), so I didn't leave until 3. For a Sunday, that's late, and it means I'm starving, like every other Sunday afternoon.

Not a fast food person, I scoot straight home to scrounge in the refrigerator and cook. This kills the late afternoon, but takes priority over visiting people. Anyway, I visited last night, and never even told you about the other things we did, the l'chaim (beautiful) and the shiva call (always meaningful).

But forget it. That was yesterday and yesterday's gone.

Plus I had to feed the grandfish. Duv's tank has been left in my charge while he and Cham are in California visiting that bottom piece of the sandwich, his sister and her family.

The fish were pleased. They all came out to greet me. I took their picture.

I added water, too, to the tank. And watered Cham's plants, lest they die. If they die it will be my fault for watering them, for I don't understand moderation when it comes to water, not generally.

I sent the youngest son to my mom and dad's with a little left-over chicken and some rice, to take care of the top slice of the sandwich. I didn't make the chicken, is the thing, a guest brought it over on Friday night and everyone raved about it, so I assumed the 'rents would, too. We'll see. I'll let you know.

Promised the doc I'd work on taxes with him, so gotta' go.

Flying Quiet, in a bathrobe at 7:35 pm.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Out and About

So cold. But you know, you can't just stay home because it's cold. Shabbas ends early, around 5:15, so there are parties and shiva houses, and of course, there are my parents who wouldn't mind a visit.

We take our time, putter around cleaning up dishes, putting things away, and the other doc runs off to see a patient in the hospital. It is a patient who has no insurance, who has no money, who has no resources, either. He will spend the next few days unraveling her mystery, and I'll listen to the upshot, because frankly, other people's troubles, don't sound so bad, somehow. Something about degrees of separation.

I hear him honk lightly and face the chill, for that's all it is, really. There's no snow left on the sidewalks, for people have shoveled (the good people have shoveled, the bad ones have not). First stop is my parents' house.

They're happy to see us, both still dressed (it's awful when people are in their robes in the early evening, she writes, in her bathrobe). They look good, smiley, happy he's back from the hospital and has resigned himself to the limitations of having a nondisplaced fracture. He walks with a walker and uses the raised toilet seat. The visiting nurse is God, and they will listen and obey.

No more falls, no more trouble, he'll have PT and OT and it is all good.

We talk about Florida. I say, "Maybe next year. Wouldn't that be great?"
My mother looks at me. "Who are you appeasing?"
I guess not. No Florida, not next year, not unless an angel appears who will take care of them there. They're self-sufficient, if you call leaving the house for a full hour on a given day to get to the fruit store or the beauty parlor self-sufficient.

We make plans for Monday's dialysis. One of us will be there to help him into the car. I'll take the morning, the doc will get free for the return home in the afternoon. He'll get to see the garage, how I've moved things around to make room for the car, the fishing poles, the golf clubs, the gardening gear, the plumbing supplies, and he'll wonder what I threw out.
Flying Bubbie, grounded

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