Dawn Lake Sunset

Dawn Lake Sunset
Dawn Lake Sunset, Sun City, AZ

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Sun City, AZ, United States
"Now go, write it before them in a table and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever."--Isaiah [30:8]

A resting spot of faith, hope, courage and peace of mind for net travelers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fortuitous October

We loved Israel.

All people should have the opportunity to visit. Not only to stroll the promenade along the Tel Aviv coast, walk at night among the mysterious shadows during the powerfully moving call to prayer in Old Jaffa , smell the hyssops in the Jerusalem Arab quarter and at the spice mill in Nazareth, or appreciate the upscale, high tech kitchen, bath and lighting design showrooms at the old port in Tel Aviv, the high tech industrial centers in Herzliya and near the Technion in Haifa, but also to help each of us identify our world view, and to experience a reminder of how far good can go in a short time, when people pull together for a commmon dream.

Goldie, Rejean, Lou and I came away from our trip feeling relaxed and loved. Each day, Goldie and I made a pact that we would look for at least one story, and take away heart-felt connection with a stranger. We talked with a soldier about a curious sign above a shop window, an artist-emmigrant in Old Jaffa, a woman at HaCarmel Market who felt that her street was the Fifth Avenue of Tel Aviv, and a young US student who was on temporary assignment to guard the entrance of the Bahai Gardens.

From Ida and Itzik Graff's fabulous dinner, to Orna and Rami Keren's insistence that we begin our trip with a tour of the Ayalon Institute, to the experiences we shared leaving our prayers and messages at the Western Wall, hiking up 1300+ feet to Masada , experiencing the cave-like atmosphere at Yad Vashem, dipping our feet in the Sea of Galilee, floating in the Dead Sea, seeing first-hand the remnants of the Dead Sea scrolls, walking the rampart around the old city in Jerusalem, and exploring Caesaria at moonlight, to Goldie's cousins Eton and Edith ensuring we had the most qualified Jerusalem guide in the city, we came away with a healthier appreciation for our history and people, greater affection for family, deeper and stronger ties with friends, and memories which will last a lifetime.

What I discovered was that people's choice made a difference in the world: boldness and forsight to make bullets under the nose of the enemy, choosing death over becoming Roman slaves, and courage to become the first disciple of a man condemned, as Simon Peter chose to follow Christ.

What these people did had impact on their world and our world as well. That they did not see themselves as powerless. That is what inspired and engaged me and is what I found most amazing and gratifying about our visit to this defiant and proud little country we claim as our heritage.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sweet, Sad September

Lou and I had a memorable trip last week, to visit Ernie and his family, and say our good-byes to Tanya. Dorothy's most vivid memory was when Dorothy and Tanya decided to go on a diet (this was many years ago). They checked in with each other often, but one day, Dorothy was surprised when "Tee," as Tanya was called, phoned her to say that she was in the middle of devouring an entire batch of chocolate chip cookie dough! They called the diet OFF. Funny story.

Ernie has promised he will visit us in Phoenix when the weather cools down. We were happy to spend time with Cindy, Debbie, Dennis and Ginger, as well as Dorothy and Larry. We are so lucky to have such a great and loving family.

Our 41st anniversary was sweet. Mom took us out for a beautiful lunch together, we talked with Debbie, Lisa and David, Phyllis and Arnie, and Robbie, and we treated ourselves to dinner and a movie. Bob and Jane were celebrating their anniversary on the same day, so we traded emails. This date also would have been Aunt Eva's 99th birthday, and she was on our mind on the 16th as well. On Friday, we visited Helen Garelick. Bob's been gone a few weeks. Helen's 92nd birthday is on Saturday. We brought her some of her favorite ice cream: chocolate! She looks wonderful and is working with her social workers to see about new housing; we'll check in with her in the next few weeks to see what they come up with.

Today, September 21st, is cousin Terry's 63rd birthday. Tomorrow it will be 50 years since Grandma Simita's passing, and September 25th is Lois's birthday.

September has always thrilled me -- the brilliant fall colors, preparing for school, the start of the Jewish New Year -- and saddened me as well -- ending of dazzling summer, less daylight hours, preparing for winter chill. September for me also signifies a time when I take a good look back on the year to date, see where I'm headed, and then reshape routines and priorities. Here in Arizona, life tends to center around work, Mom, friends, and pets. Out-of-town family and friend connections are mainly through email and phone, giving us only brief glimpses into the lives, health and routines of those we cherish.

Recently, an acquaintance of mine ended her own life. Her despair and act of anger towards her family surprised me. The fact that she could not dwell on the good, nor find any good in the world, was so alien to my thought process, that I was amazed more than saddened. Thinking back, I remembered many times I thought how lovely, how vivacious, how passionate this woman appeared to be. How could she go from that state, to commit such an act as self destruction? To think so little of ourself, and so little of the impact of the act, upon those who find us, and witness what we have done, that she could actually do what she did?

I recall Norman Vincent Peale's quote which went something like this: "The only people I have met without problems are those in cemeteries." That struck me as odd, because I think they have a problem too: their lives are finished; their deeds and acts are recorded (or forgotten), and they don't have the opportunity to choose, to shape, to LIVE. We do. We have that ahead of us because we are still on the planet. We are still here. That is what September means to me: a time to renew our passions, our dreams, our priorities, and most importantly, our CONNECTIONS, and to continue to find joy and peace in all that we do.

That is what amazes me with my friend. That she couldn't think beyond the box, see outside of her own pain and dwell on all the choices that are out there for us to make every day we are here. Wow. That is what shocks me most. Not finding joy and peace, not seeing herself as a miracle that could choose any action she wanted, and that her last action on the planet, was giving her life away. For what? What wasted energy. What wasted talent. What wasted love.

My first goal this fall is to fix our web cam so we can stay in touch VISUALLY with family and friends. Let us know if you have a cam too, so we can connect with you as well. Wishing you a wonder-filled fall ahead.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tanya Taub

Our first post.

Wow. All that empty white space.

We are struggling today with the loss of our cousin, Tanya.
How do we say goodbye? Achieve closure?

For us, there was no thinking about it. We jointly decided to get
in our car and drive to be with family. We can share stories and
memories of the impact Tanya had on us and our lives.

The drive will give us time to reflect on these, and grapple with
what life will be without her nearby.