Monday, 29 November 2010

Thanksgiving in Williamburg Part 5

This is from the offical Colonial Williamsburg Site. As Mark and I ask questions about jews in Williamsburg, we are starting to get bits and piceces of what life could have been.
And since I finally figured out how to use the video on my cameria, I hope to include video clips.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Thanksgiving in Williamburg Part 4

It is our second day, third evening here in Williamburg and we are having a blast.
The lobby of our hotel.
This morning, durnig breakfast, the manager came over to our table. He had seen our names and wnated to welcome us personaly. Since we have been coming to the Holiday Inn Williamsburg since it opened four years ago, the kind folks here do not only remember us, but roll out the red carpet.
Jeff (the manager) asked if everything was alright.
I said my only complaim was we couldn't get a king size bed as we usually do. All those rooms were booked.
Well, Jeff asked us to give him a few minutes.
When he came back, Jeff had made arrangements to have our things moved to another room.
We got an upgrade. All we had to do was pack our stuff.
So we went out and did our shopping, came back and found that the move had taken place. Jeff himself made sure the move went smoothly, oversaw the moving of our things and the setting up of our room. We even found our little traveling buddings placed on our bed.

For those who are history buffs, next to Plymouth Plantation, Williamsburg is one place you should add to visit during the Thanksgiving season.

Williamburg Virginia is the the world’s largest living history museum. The restored 18th-century capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous outpost of empire in the New World. Here is interpret the origins of the idea of America, conceived decades before the American Revolution. The Colonial Williamsburg story of a revolutionary city tells how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality. Americans cherish these values as a birthright, even when their promise remains unfulfilled.

In Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre Historic Area stand hundreds of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters tell the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city—black, white, and native American, slave, indentured, and free—and the challenges they faced. In this historic place, we help the future learn from the past.
Here the values that made us and kept are remembered and even celelbrated.
While much isn't known about Jews here in Williamburg (right now), we have been encourged that there were a few here and their lives are beginning to unfold as well.

Today we brought new jeans and sweaters. K-Mart wasn't that busy. And tonight we are heading for Busch Gardens. Tonight starts their Christmas Town,
We're hoping to pick up some things for Hanukkah.
Hey, ya never know.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thankgiving in Williamburg: Part 3

 This is the Holiday Hotel and Suites in Williamburg, Virginia. Whenever we plan a trip to Williamsburg, this is where we stay. The service and the food is awesome. Just a few minutes drive from anywhere you wish to visit.
This days has always been special to me. Mainly because it was a special day for our family. The Prude family always made Thanksgiving an grand affair. The morning would begin with going to church to give thanks. Lots of good, traditionial food. Lots of laugher and fun. Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving and other holiday specals.
But over the years, After much study and discussion, both Mark and I tend to go low key on this day.
The Feast of the L-rd, Shabbat,  Passover, Shavort, Rosh HaShanna, Yom Kipper (which is really a Fast Day) and Sukkot are all Thanks Giving Days. Thanks we gather with family and friends and rejoice in the good gift we have been blessed with.

 So today my sister, who lives in Boston, will continue the tradition: her husband Frank, their children and grandchildren will gatheraround the table  the foods our family has always enjoyed.
Mummie is sharing the day with her very special family where she lives.
And Mark and I? 
We are going to Williamsburg.

There is a chill in the air in Williamsburg.. But the day is a sunny and as I knew it would be, aflames with reds, oranges, browns and golds.
And people. Families with kids riding thier bikes. Dogs enjoying Colonial Williamburg as much as their families.
Mark took my hand and kissed it.
We are going to have a blast.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Thankgiving in Williamburg: Part 2

Boker Tov:
Well this is the day.
Mark is still sleep, but I can't.
When I was a child, I would be up like this, going through my clothes and books, jazzed about spending Thanksgiving in New York or the family coming herr and all the preparations that went with.
I guess some things just don't change.
So I am cleaning the house and packing for the trip. We aren't planning on taking a lot; we plan to do a little shopping while gone.
There are several Thanksgiving Plays as well as an reactment of Coloinal Thanksgiving ( sadly we were too late and the event is sold out) and other cool sites.

After all we are talking about Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. I wonder if we'll be served wild turkey. The bird, Marty :)

Both are aflamed with colour this time of the year, so the cameria, of course is a must. Along with walking shoes and sweaters. Hot chocolate with my beloved before a fire.
As long as it doesn't snow.
So, back to my cleaning and packing.
 I'm so jazzed.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Thankgiving in Williamburg

Boker Tov:
Well it is Thanksgiving Week.
Because all we have gone through, we made the decision to head for Williamsburg. We have once been to Williamburge once since Mark came back home and that was a one day trip.
It is going to feel strange not being home, not preparing a Thanksgiving Feast. No homemade cranberry sauce.
But I am sure they have both in Williamsburg.
It will be nice not to cook and clean up. Just to spend time with my big guy.
There is much healing needed.
We need the time to forcus on us, on our marriage. On our friendship.
Both took a beating this summer and despite the blows we took from outside forces, we came out the better for it.
But yesterday, I realize how much my beloved needs to get away. The hurt, the anger has finally come forth.
He spoke for the first time of  trying to do the right thing by caring for another in our home, someone in need. And then being judged by this man's church,  the very church that dumped their member on us. Of the many deployments, the cancer, ther family drama and just wanting to be with the woman he loves and practice his faith without judgement.
After letting go of all that was in his heart, he felt better, but tired. I reminded him that The Holy One will reward us for caring for one of His own. That we cannot get weary in well doing, non allow what others do or fail to do affect us or our faith, or being what I heard a rabbi call, "being lovely human beings."
We can't change the fact there is another deployment in our future. As long as Mark is in the military, it is a fact in our life.
But we can't forcu on the future. We need to be in the here and now.
So this week, I am taking my beloved away and delight in him. To give thanks for the many blessings in our lives and who knows, learn a few new dishes for our feast next year.
Think I shall by Turkish delight for the trip.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Ask Me How I know.

Last night Mark and I watched the O'Rielly Factor.
We really don't watch much news these days, making for a rather peaceful house.
But we did hear about a report that Mr. O'Rielly was doing that caught our attention. It was about body screenings at Airports and if this was a voilation of americans rights. That there are groups who are upset about being singled out for screening.
We are all aware of security checks at Airports, militiarty post, courthouses, etc. Often those with their hair covered are asked to remove it or go through pat down,
Annoying, yes.
But we know how these folks feels.
Whenever Mark is deployed, he has to remove his boots and berat, his kippoh (headcovering) is patted down. And because I wear scarves and snoods, I have to go through the same thing.
A TSA officer always directs me to the side with; "ma'am, I am going to have to ask you to step to the side. A nice lady will come over and very politely (I have never met anyone who wasn't pleasant) tell me that she is going to pat down my head and neck, then slowly pass a metal wave over me.
I smile a nervious smile and tell her I understand and thank her and her co-workers for keeping us safe.
I always get a huge smile when I say that.
We don't take it personaly; TSA is just doing their job.
Just as Mark has done each time he has been deployed.
But I think there needs to be a compromise. For women like myself, modesty isn't just a nice idea; it is a way of life. We cover our hair, our bodies, for the Holy One dwells in us and  anything that is precious is always draped and hidden, revealed to few. Men cover themselves for the same reason. The forus isn't on the body, but the soul.
Yes, I remember 9-11 and what has happen since. I have kissed my beloved off to four deployments so I know the price of freedom.
We pay it.
But I believe that people of faith should not feel harass or abused. I think that if religious leaders and TSA can sit down and talk, I believe a reasonable situration can be reached.

After my last session of PT (from a shoulder injury) I was waiting for Mark to reurn.
He had gone for gas.
While waiting I was reading an article about  family dinner. A woman had decided at the beginning of her marriage, there would be family dinners, that they would important to family life. She and her husband had two children, girls now in their teens. And all their lives, the girls knew nothing different.
But the couple divorced three years ago. And this woman kept the family dinners going. Why? Because it was important that during this time of change, the girls needed something to hold on to.
Soon, she began inviviting her ex-husband, that it was importandt that the father remain part of thier lives. It was tense to be sure the first few times, but now, the couple are friends and the girls enjoy once again a piece of their old life.
I remember that my mother, though a single mum, insistes we eat together as a family. I carried on the same tradition with my son. And today, it is rare that the dinningroom table isn't set for meals.
It is important to break bread with those we love, to share our joys and sorrows. It is a teaching and bonding time.
Times we build lovely memories.
Ask me how I know.
I am told this happens to Mark and I because we look muslim.
We're wearing Stars of David.
No, sadly, we live in a world that people with their head covered, mostly for religious reasons, have to be searched to make we are safe

Monday, 15 November 2010


Boker Tov:

Mark is still sleep as I enjoy a cup of coffee.
Poor guy is finally winding down and getting some well needed rest.
With David gone, the tenison is gone and our bodies are slowly releasing the tenison that has builded over the last four months.
Having another person in the house and a sick person at that, takes a lot of a couple. Emotionly as well as spirituality.
Now it is our time. To pour back into each other as we move on with our lives.
The start is allowing Mark to sleep in.
Usually we are up for prayer. But this morning, I felt my beloved needed to sleep in, knowing that G-d will minister to Him right in his sleep.
There is nothing pressing today.
So I shall finish my coffee and put on one of the new walking suits Mark brought me  (yes, there is a story) and go for a walk.
Maybe Mark will be up when I get back.
Or maybe not.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Shabbat Begins Today

Boker Tov
(Good Morning)
This is the first day of the week.
In a Hewbric home, The Holy One, The Torah and the Holy Days are the center of ther home. For in each is the reflection, the essence of G-d Himself.
For the study of Torah is the highest form of worship: we sit at His feet and hear His voice and are taught His word. We can feel His smile,  His look of correction and His hugs of comfort and delight. For like any good Father, G-d loves spending time with His children.
The Holy Days, Shabbat and the various feasts, are Torah acted out, lived out. We remember what G-d has done, is doing and will do in our lives. It is time to gather with family and friends, with the Holy One Himself and teach our children Torah and pass onto our faith. It is a time of joy and celebration.
And that is why so much attention is given to the home. This is why the wife's role as homemaker is celebrated, for it is she who prepares the home, the temple on earth, for those holy times.
Yes, I know it is 2010, not 1960.
In 70 C.E. when the Temple was destroyed, the temple was brought into the home, saving our faith.
 The heart of Judiam is in the home and not the Synagogue.

The table is the altar, where the kiddish (blessing) over the wine and challah is given and torah is taught. It is here that prayer begins in the morning and ends in the evening. The hebrew home is the house of prayer and study.
And thrus why Shabbat , in our home, begins today.
Today I look at our Shabbat clothes and make sure they are ready for Friday night. If they need to be washed, a buttom replaced or a hem that needs to be repaired.
The menorahs and candlesticks are cleaned and polished, fresh candles are placed. I send out the invivations for shabbat supper and in the afternoon, enjoy my husband.
It sounds like a lot of work, but as I go about my chores, as the scent of almond  oil polish fills my head and and our home, I think about how I am cleaning the House of G-d, that it is pleasing it is to Him and my beloved. I feel Heaven come down and fill our home.
Yes, I know it is 2010, not 1960. Women aren't chained to their stoves or the nursey. We can be CEO's and Senates. Queens and rock stars. Choir directors, archor women and doctors.
Even rabbis.
And then there are women like me, who raise them to become CEOs. Wo makes the challah that the queen enjoys and who's roast lamb the rabbi wants the recipe from.
Hmmmm roast lamb sounds good for shabbat supper this week.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Yom Shalom Shabbat

On Shabbat each person experiences a special holiness of G-d and realizes the greatness of the creator. Through this peace and love is created, because only through true humility and smallness in the eyes of ones creator can love and peace co-exist! Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Nachman

I find that most my friends who don't keep Shabbat, really don't know what Shabbat means. That's isn't a put down to anyone, but there are major mis understanding about the day.
First Shabbat is not just a good idea or an after thought. It is a commandment.  In Torah G-d tells us (one of the Commandmends) to keep Shabbat.
Shabbat is from Friday evening just before sundown to sundown Saturday. This day has never changed. Even Yeshua, His family and His followers observed Shabbat from Friday to Saturday. It was changed to Sunday 300 years after the death of Yeshua by those who wished to cut the church from its Jewish roots.
Today, many Christians who are learning about the Jewishness of their faith have begun to keep Shabbat.
Friday night is turned into Shabbat by the lighting of the candles, the lifting of a cup of wine to welcome the holy day.
We enjoy special foods, many of us have special clothes we wear. We go to Shabbat service as a family or have one in the home. The next day, we go to worship, have a special meal, study Torah, visit friends and/or spend time with our spouses and children. Children have special toys and games they play on this day. Family stories are told. If the weather permits, you shall see families, couples walking together. Some take their siddur (prayer book) to pray, some take books to catch up on reading.
Supper is a special time, for again there is a special meal that has been kept warm through-out the day.
It is a day we do something.
We rest. We spend time with G-d, family and friends.
In this hurried world of work, bills, grades, politices, on Friday afternoon, we turn off the tv and radio, turn off the phones (both land line and cells) and computers and tune into the Creator and our loved ones.
And yes, it takes work to create this time of peace. But it is well worth it.
So it is time for me to dress, go to PT and then prepare our home for Shabbat. It is our first one without David.
Let the Peace begin.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Coffe and Torah

I am sitting here in my new sitting room, waiting for the heat to come on.
It is one of the reasons we are looking for a house; because our landlord, despite how much we pay in rent, doesn't care about the people who rents his apartments. So it doesn't matter if we are cold; that's what space heaters and sweaters are for. So what the hot water takes twenty minutes to heat up? There's a lot you can do while your waiting for the hot water.
So we have stopped complaining and started looking at homes.
The first was nice, but not really us.
But half the fun is looking. And we are having fun looking.

In our home, breakfast, lunch, supper and tea time, we discuss Torah. It's just how we roll here.
The word Torah means more than "law." It means, teachings, commandments, the Word of G-d. It is the way of life for the g-dly. So if you ever sit at our meal table, you will find yourself listening to and hopefully join in, the bible discussion.
Questions are always welcome. And you don't even have to believe.
Mark and I are good for a laugh.
But I love these times with Mark. We come together and discuss what we have studied. Whether it is the Torah portion of the week or a subject we are interested in, we like to talk about, share and yes, sometimes even debate what we have learned. Often, "I haven't thought about that...." in uttered and out comes the bibles.
Of course we are careful not to spill coffee on the Scriptures.
But it isn't just Mark and I. How often we get together with friends and discussion of Torah comes forth. It is a teaching time for young and old alike. Ah the insights little ones bring.
I often feel that the Holy One is not only in the mist of such gatherings, but smiling and enjoying Himself as well.
I have heard it said the highest form of worship isn't singing or dancing, even raising of hands, but the study of Torah.
And don't forget the coffee.

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day, a day that we as a nation take time ti thank those who serve or have served our nation in the armied forces.
Recently, I read a blog entry about the military, The writer felt that our servicemen and women are not heroes, but murders, that there is no good reason for our nation to kill anyone who is different than us. that ours wars aren't the result of attacks upon our land, our people or way of life, but that our g-dlike need to force our will on others, the grabbing of land and theie resources and even wiping out those who beliefs are different than ours.
Well, that person has a right to their belief, though I disagree with thier findings and conclusions.

Every nation, every people has the right to live in peace and freedom, to deterine their own fate. Every nation has the right to defend theemselves. And if it wasn't for those willing to serve and protect our nation, one can only guess what we would look like.
Or if American would exist.
We as amercians have the honour to live in the greatest nation. There are people from all over the world who wish to become critzens and enjoy the freedoms we have. As many have seen written here before: we are not a perfect people, but we are a good people."
And the fact that we have men and women, fresh from highschool and after a twenty year career in another field, chosing to put on the umiform and enlist. To protect all that we hold dear.
Even the right to call american heroes, murders.
I come from a long line of such heroes. I would love to have gone into the AirForce. But my sight was too poor to pass the eye test.
So I support our armed forces the best way I and and now as a soldier's wife, I stand beside him and we serve together.
I say thank you to you all who have served this country. Those who have risked their lives and those who gave theirs.
G-d bless you all.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Shalom David

Yesterday, our friend david had a doctor's visit. While there is still concer about his heart and there is more test planned, the doctor said David was well enough to return to work.

We had decided three weeks ago that David didn't need us and was able to return to his home. It was decided that after his doctor released him, David would go back to his apartment.
So today, after Mark dropped me off for PT, he took David back to his apartment.
Given the fact that the doctors didn't even expect him to be alive at this moment, it is a true miracle that he is back home.
He still has a way to go to get his life back, but it is our hope that his church will at least now step in and take care of one of their own.
For they haven't been there up until now. Which is quite sad and a poor witness to what they claim to believe. Yes, there were several that were there for David, to help Mark and I. But a church of over 2,000 folk and pastors who didn't even darken our door to pray for the man. There are no excuses. None that we shall accept.
By their fruits you shall know them?
This has been the struggle Mark and I have faced these four months.
Our conclusion: that not every who claims to be a Believer is one. Not everyone practices what they preach. And while it is easy to say, "thy shall not judge," the fruit we have seen have been sorry and wanting.
And the things said about Mark and I were often unkind.
But judgement belongs to G-d.
I know in our hearts we have done what our G-d would have wished. David had he felt the love of G-d in our care for him.
That means so much, His family too, have expressed how grateful that we were able to step in where they could not.
To G-d be the Glory. The mistakes were ours alone.
So we send David forth with our love and prayers. He is so looking forward to what G-d has for him.
But he also said he is going to miss us.
We miss him already.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Here We Go Again

So Sunday, I had this sense of "having done this before."
I had actually. Twice.
It was that time again: preparation for an Colonoscopy.
Roubd three.
But my doctor had trailored my prep to make things just a little easier.
I had
 read a few months ago a suggestion that four days before your colonoscopy, you should begin to eat light; fresh fruit and veggies, more water, mint tea, etc. This begins to cleanse the colon. My prep Sunday included mixing a bottle of Miralax into 64 ounces of gatorade and taking my time drinking it. And while I did have nausea and chills, I did not become as ill as before.
This time, thanks be to G-d, I was clear out and the colonoscopy was proformed. However, I was awake and the medication did not put me under, so it was not a fun time. My doctor said next time she will use general.
Next time?
But the the scopy stopped because of some coiling that acted as a block, which means an x-ray, However, the doctor wa pleased because we finally able to do this test and find out once and for all why my iron count is so low.
Afterwards, Mark took me out for lunch and then I came home a nice, long nap.
Finally, sleep! And without having to run to the water closet every twenty minutes.
But the tummy is still sore. This will take a few days to work out.
So with this behind us, it is time to think about Thanksgiving and Hannakkah.
I need to get in touch with a friend to fget names of Jewish soldiers to send CarePackages to.
We are also planning of going to Williamburg for Thanksgiving.
With everything we have gone through this summer into the autumn, it would be nice to get away and enjoy some time together.
So what about David?
That's the next entry.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Sheheheyanu

Boker Tov;
This morning after breakfast, I am back in my little chamber. The only thing left is for Mark to have the evergreen around the windows.

As I look around me, I am reminded of the blessings about me: a lovely home that has light, heat (sometimes) and running water. A loving husband who is still employed. Plenty of food.
Some measure of peace.
There is a blessing for moments like these;
It is known as the Sheheheyanu.


Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.
This blessing is said at special moments and gifts, some we thought would never come.

How we take such things for granted. Like new clothes. Think of all of the people who cannot afford a new shirt or blouse. Think about the work that went into making the garment: financing, designining, drawing, weaving, cutting, stitching, folding, ironing, packing, moving, displaying and selling that one garment. Such a wonder! The tree that had to be fell and all the skill that turned lumber into the beautiful desk before me. This is why before we remove a price tag and put on a garment, we recite the Sheheheyanu.
This is why when a child is born, or starts to walk and talk, when they go to school, on Holy days, even the monring of my wedding, we utter this blessing.
For it reminds us of these happy, blessed moments, the gifts from G-d.
As I look across the room and see my friend David, helping Mark with the dishes. A man who months ago was at death's door, now walking without a cane, putting away dishes.
I say : Blessed are You O L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has granted us life, sustained us and
enabled us to reach this occasion.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Time To Break Out the Sweaters

Well, it is another cold night here in Virginia.
Tomorrow we shop for space heaters along with house hunting.
It seems that there is a running battle between the maanger of our apartment building and the Plumber. The Plumber thinks that until it hits around 30, the heat doesn't need to be adjusted.
He doesn't live in this apartment.
We  have lived here five years.
There will not be a sixth. And frankly the owner of the building doesn't care. As long as he can find folk to rent his aapartments, fine.
Not ones to continue filing complains when they fall on deaf ears, it it indeed time to move.

Today Mark and i went and found my wrting desk. It is large enough to house my laptop as well as pens, pencils and other fun stuff.
I promise I would surface every now and then.
However, this has created a bigger desk since I wasn't delievery so soon.
The deliever guys made it to our apartment before we did.
So, having made room for the desk and chair, it is time tobring some order back into my chamber.

Monday, 1 November 2010

November One: Cold

Winter is still a month away but already Mark and i have pulled out the sweathers and blankets. It is the first day of November here in Virginia.
And it is cold.
I am in my new room. Mark calls its, "my lady chambers." This afternoon Mark is taking me shopping for a desk and asmall lamp. And then I shall take pictures. But frankly, even with tapes and books littered about that need to set in their places, the room is beautiful. We found some nutmeg coloured curtians to separte the chamber from the rest of the house. But the curtians cast a soft rose hue over the livingroom. We had no idea how the white on one side and the rusty rose on the other side would give the livingroom such an enchanting beauty: something from another time. Think Arabian Nights with a TV set.
While Mark loves the look, he is having a hard time adjusting to me drawing the curtians for those times I need to be alone. I remind him he has the same thing in the Dinnningroom.
He said he was just so use to seeing about that it was odd that I would actully draw away from him (except for something like a nap).
We have worked things out: he sees that I need a place to call my own. That I wouldn't "hide the day away." and for the most part the curtian will be open. If the curtian is open and I am in the room, it's ok to speak to me. The only time I draw the curtian is for prayer, study and/or just a quiet moment.
I can his point: I know I felt the same way when Mark set up his office when we first moved into this apartment. He too needed his place to think, but also to study for a class or write a report for is CO. Or spend time with G-d.
We all need a special place; whether it is a place at a park or beach or one we create in our home.

Like I said, it is chilly today. So after my afternoon walk, I am making a beef stew for supper. Along with Lemon Zinger tea. Both Mark and David like tea in the evening. We even have a cupp before bedtime.
I think while we are shopping for my desk, I better get a couple pairs of socks.