Monthly Archives: March 2010

Ride baby ride!

Warm temperatures? Visible grass? Sunshine?  Can it be?  When the golden glow first peaked through the clouds I recall squinting and feeling like a creature who had grown so accustomed to the gloomy dark grey skies that this new force of light was a curious sight to behold. 

I love the spring.  I was born in the spring and it is my absolute favorite time of the year.  The kids play for hours outside jumping on the trampoline and riding their bikes, I clean and do the multitude of household projects that I put off until the defrost and hubs is in all out maximum force working on the yard.  Aside from the torn skin, scrapes, gushing blood and the occasional dramatic screams of agony it is almost perfection!

With the spring comes new life, new birth, new productivity and an entirely new level of creativity.  I’m on my creative game and plan to ride this wave wherever it carries me….ride baby ride!

Ugly people, ugly freedom

I was walking along the streets in Jerusalem spending the day with a friend, enjoying my time in the beautiful city.  I was also having an epiphany of American pride that I previously jotted about.  Breathing deeply, we rounded the cobble stone corner and cut through a side street which was similar to an American Alley only more artistic.  It was darker than the main street but still well-lit given that it was mid-day and the sun was shining.  We were alone surrounded by the gorgeous architecture.  It was then that I pulled my eyes away from the buildings and noticed the three young teens in front of us speaking what sounded to be Russian.  They wore punk, gothic clothing and had dyed black hair, piercings and tattoos.  A portion of their heads were shaven and spiked up.  I smiled at the thought of the universal punk/rebel style reaching the corners of the globe.  Then I noticed that they were suspiciously huddled together stomping something on the ground with their feet.  When they saw us approaching the one young male, who was doing the majority of the stomping, bent over and picked something off of the ground.  I gasped when I saw that what he was stomping on was the American Flag! 

They stood facing us wearing harsh glares waiting for a reaction.  Were we Americans?  Would we react to the blatant disrespect?  I held their gaze and kept walking toward them. I so much wanted to cuss them out for stomping on my flag especially when I was having this new-found love for my country!  But I also knew that things could get ugly and I promised Donnie that I would not act irrational.  So I quicken my step in a confronting “charge” like fashion and we closed in on them.  Nervously, they turned around and began to walk the same direction we were walking so that their backs were facing us.  It was then that I noticed an entire slew of American flags on sticks rolled up and sticking out of the girl’s jean pocket.  What had they planned to do with these flags? More stomping or something worse? They continued to look over their shoulders to see if we were still behind them.

We followed them until we both reached the main street filled with people and they quickly darted off into the crowd and disappeared.  Normally this act would not have bothered me so much but like I said, I’m having an epiphany and they were trampin’ on our flag!!  In some countries one can face death for such acts but with freedom for all one can expect ugly people [inner ugliness] to produce ugly freedom. It is not uncommon to see the American flag burned and destroyed in our own country and across the globe.  It is outrageous.  Sad.  Pathetic.  Hateful….Totally human.

Proud to be an American

I’m thankful.  I’m grateful.  I’m appreciative.  I’m beyond blessed.  To an extent I already knew these facts but the reality and truth of these [and more] hit me hard after my most recent trip to Israel and Jordan.  The Israeli people are truly proud of their homeland and daily sacrifice their lives and families for its existence.

Most of my daily decisions, although some try to pose as monumental benchmarks, are trivial at best.  Life has been placed into new perspective for me. 

I used to think people who wore camo and sported American flags were freaks.  Maybe because these camo wearing, flag sporting folks also tended to be boozed and doped up and have a fondness for hunting furry living creatures in the woods.  However, thanks to my most recent trip I realized in my heart something my head has always known….human blood was shed for our American freedom.  Human lives were sacrificed for my right to raise my children with religious freedom, for my right to blog, for my right to publically disagree with our government and not be killed or mutilated, for my right to walk with my husband not behind him in veiled procession, for my right to dye my hair purple and wear orange polka dots if I so desire in the name of fashion…and the list goes on.  Freedom, our American freedom represented by a simple red, white and blue flag…America. 

As a whole we Americans do not treat our country very well.  We are disrespectful.  We are hateful.  We are spoiled.  We are unaware.  We are ungrateful for our freedoms.  I learned from the Jewish people what it means to have pride and respect for one’s country.  What it means and looks like to remember the sacrifices and never forget the cost.  Someone, somewhere, at some time in history paid the price for the life that we are living.  Could it be that so many people are living and reaping the benefits of American life without having had to sacrifice for it?  What does it mean to be an American?  What has it cost us? What is our history?  Do we know the cost of freedom?  Do our children know the cost paid for their freedom?

I’m going out to buy a flag.  I’m proud to be an American.  I’m thankful for our country, warts and all.

God Smiled

mountain climber

Well, I am officially home.  I arrived in the USA physically last week but it wasn’t until this week that my mind and spirit caught up to my body.  The adjustment was made much quicker this time.  It took almost 3-5 weeks after the last trip to “fully” return.  The only way I can describe it is that you are going through the physical motions necessary for life to go on but your mind and inner being is somewhere else.  Mine just happened to be in Israel, glorious Israel.  In addition to being a symptom of travel in general, I have come to believe that this separation of mind and body is somehow a portion of being “grafted in.”  God’s covenant with the Jews also consisted of a land covenant.  He loves the people AND the land.  So although my physical DNA returns to the US, my spiritual DNA continues in the land, longing for more.  It works for me. 

I think the constant bellows of the kids (most especially the youngest) “Hey mom, MOM, Mommy, MAUM, HEY mom, MMOOMMM!!!” made me realize very quickly that I had returned home and would jolt me from my mental Israel landscape and Israel state of being quite effectively.  The piles of laundry, although mountain-esq, also helped provide me with all the tactile sensory input required to ascertain that I was in fact in my laundry room and not in the Negev Desert mountain climbing.  Yes, we did do a little mountain climbing and it was heaven on earth.  You heard correctly.  I climbed a mountain and thought it was heavenly and no, I was not delusional or suffering from high altitude induced confusion…It was devine and full of majesty and beauty.  We even found natural mineral make-up complete with iridescent shine up on those rock craters and had to pause for a quick make over.

My manly son sportin' some mineral make-up on his hand.

God smiled on us throughout this entire trip and I am blessed beyond comprehension.  More to come….