House Becomes Home

Yipppeeee!!!! Two weeks ago everything in the universe seemed to collide on the same day. We were put into our proper class levels in our Hebrew intensive Ulpan classes (5 1/2 hours of serious class each day with 2-3 hours homework); our painter arrived and began to make our house a home. That was Monday. On Tuesday, the moving van arrived and the excitement reached stellar levels. Despite the fact that it was raining off and on all day, the movers unloaded the whole forty foot container in record speed! It only took four hours as I checked off all the boxes and told the men where to put them. Back in California, I had clearly marked all the containers and furniture with the room and the contents of each box, so unpacking would be easy. The 6 weeks we were in Israel was spent planning where each piece would go and what would be stored in each closet. The Sonigo crew, all Russian immigrants, did a great job – they even put together our beds, and some other large pieces. All that was left was the unpacking… First thing: new linens and pillows for the beds. I can’t begin to tell you how much our bodies were aching at the end of the day. After weeks of sleeping on an egg crate atop a wooden palette, fresh towels and cosmetics and a big American bed and new sheets made it feel like we were guests in a five star resort hotel!!! All that was left was the unpacking…

Thank goodness for organization skills. I took the next day off  Ulpan to start going through and clearing out boxes. A big job – but, honestly, it felt like my birthday, Chanukah, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and everything else good and lovely all taped inside those  huge cardboard boxes: pictures of the family; 8 bottles of American salad dressing (more on that in a later post); real automatic drip American coffee – 6 bags; JIF peanut butter – 12 jars; our clothes!!! I loved  getting all my health and beauty products – and my dishes. I had prepared three weeks ahead of time for setting up a strictly Kosher kitchen. Different cabinets and drawers for dairy dishes and silverware and meat china, silver, and cooking equipment in another set of drawers, and cabinets. Separate counters and refrigerator shelves, sinks and drainers all marked, everything awaiting its proper place. Lots of work, but really easy and fun. Now I can actually cook real food. The only down side is that we have a different voltage and different plug system here, so I gave away and sold all of my appliances before I left the States. My Cuisinart, VitaMix blender, juicer, Kitchen Aid mixer, ice cream maker, mixers, toaster ovens, crock pots – well, you get the idea. Everything went for a whopping $225! One day, I’ll replace a few of the most-used items, but for now, just having real pots and pans and fantastic sets of knives is AMAZING!!! Also gone are all John’s coveted power tools: a necessity for my Dear Husband, Mr. Home Handyman Guru…

It’s been two weeks now. Most of the containers have been unpacked. We still have a ways to go, but spend long nights after Ulpan sorting and storing. Most of the clothes and dishes are put in their places; pictures have been hung. We still need to get modified cables for our stereo, television, and computer/printer set-ups. But all this will fall into place. I’ve also spent the last two weeks planting my garden. Thank goodness we have huge planters running all along our wrap around balconies, and huge window boxes at each window. I cleared all of these in the weeks leading up to our container coming and readied them for the seeds: beans, peas, beets, spinach, peppers, lettuces, carrots, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs. Because of the Shmittah rules and regulations (see previous post), any work done in the ground itself is forbidden for this agricultural Sabbatical which occurs every seven years. I had prayed for at least a small bit of land, and wound up being blessed with amazing amounts of usable spaces!!! Thank you, G-d!!! In addition, the next couple weeks are stone fruit season in the shooks here(farmer’s market, MidEast style), so I found a local farmer who sells me cases of nectarines (this week), apricots (next week) at a discount – “you got to haggle!” – and have been canning away!! Jars and jars of nectarine-rosemary conserves and apricot-ginger preserves to launch my new business.

So things are bustling around here, and there’s still lots to keep us busy for awhile, but I’m pleased that a California girlfriend of mine, who happens to be teaching at a University in Beersheva, will be visiting us from Friday to Monday. And the guest bedroom – my favorite, most peaceful room is now all ready for her… it will be a great break for us all to have another few down days – just in time for the last of the spring holidays: Shavout/Pentecost.

4 thoughts on “House Becomes Home

  1. So pleased for you that all your things have arrived! I’m wondering if you could not have gotten a converter plug for your household appliances? Maybe you will find you don’t really need so many tools in the kitchen. 🙂 Happy for you, Girl!

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    • A simple converter plug will only work here for small phone chargers and appliances that run on both 120 and 240 appliances. You need a very expensive transformer here or you will burn out the motor. Also at risk in blowing fuses, so…. Am doing most things by hand now…

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  2. So Happy for you. I can imagine how great it was to receive and put always all your belongings and treasures. Israel is less then a month away for us. I am looking forward to seeing you and your family.
    I am truly thankful for your Blog and believe it is part of my Holy Land experience. His way of keeping us connected.

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