Tuesday, February 22, 2011

35,000 feet in the air

This is it.  We're on the plane from Los Angeles to Atlanta, then on to Tel Aviv tonight.  I can't believe it has been six weeks already.  I haven't spent more than a two week visit in Washington State since the summer of 1997.  While I would have much preferred for this visit to have taken place in August (thereby experiencing the best weather of the Pacific Northwest while avoiding the worst of Israel), it was a great visit. 

I met my nephew, Ernest, in his NICU room, then watched him come home and grow from barely 5 pounds to over 7.  I visited over a dozen family members all across the state including all my grandparents.  My good friend Erin, from Wellesley, came up from Santa Rosa, CA to visit for a weekend in Seattle.  I had a crazy night out with my best friend from high school, Leigh, and was asked by my best friend from elementary school, Stacy, to stand up in her wedding in July.  It is exciting to be going home, knowing I will be back again this summer to see more friends and family whom I missed on this trip.  It is amazing how quickly days can pass when a member of the house is on a 3-hour eat, sleep, and diaper cycle.  I spent many mornings and afternoons cooking, and many evenings babysitting.  And I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

I took full advantage of the exceptional local seafood - oysters, clams, and salmon.  And realized how much I miss access to raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and all the local native versions like salmonberries and huckleberries.  Unfortunately the local varieties are only available in August, so I will miss them this year.  I will also miss the tulips and daffodils that will sprout up all over the Skagit Valley in a month.

Dan joined me for my last few days in Seattle, and we wrapped up our visit with a weekend in Los Angeles for his cousin Ariel's wedding.  This provided a bit of easing back into my new reality in Hebrew.  I have a bit of trepidation about the inevitably confounding struggle to communicate that I will face upon my return home.  But it does feel like I am returning home, and that's a nice feeling. 

I am looking forward to stocking up on fresh produce from the shuk, and not layering my clothes to keep warm anymore.  And I am excited to see Israel in springtime.   

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good thing we finished buying our furniture in December

Because one of our old reliable suppliers burned down this month in Israel - IKEA.  Check out this link to see a picture and more of the story.  No one was injured, as it started in the wee hours.  But having closed down this store on a few Friday afternoons and Thursday evenings this fall, I can tell you there will be many sad Israeli's, as it was always packed with shoppers and Swedish meatball eaters. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Willapa Bay baked oysters, raw oyster shots, Discovery Bay clams in a lemon broth, Dungeness crab cakes, and shrimp.  Just a few of the delicious locally produced shellfish I have been enjoying while home in Washington. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You won't see this in Israel

Driving up I-5 through Mt. Vernon, toward Bellingham, WA yesterday, I saw this on this lane in front of me.  For my Israeli readers who may have never seen this before, it's a logging truck.  They are so common in my mind, from my 18 years in Washington, that I wouldn't have given this a single thought before.  But having had conversations in Tel Aviv about the complete lack of such an industry (understandably given the environment), it caught my attention this time. 

Being away from the natural resources and beauty of the Pacific Northwest has made me acutely aware of how rich this area is.  Sure, it has rained about 50% of the days I've been here so far, but it's that rain that brings the forests, the snow on the mountain tops, and all the blueberries I can eat!