New Page----New day

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

I am not brave,but I am not afraid..

I am not brave. I cry easily. I hate confrontation. I don't argue. I hardly raise my voice in anger. I don't get angry a lot. I like most people . Mostly. But I now have to turn the TV off when news from the Middle East comes on. Or else I hold my hands over my ears and go"lalalala".
I have two sites that I go to for Israeli news. I believe what I hear there. I don't believe what I hear on air time here in the US. Why do they always start off the interview with a Palestinian. Why not a Jewish doctor that tells how they treat everyone,etc. I guess that I am preaching to the choir when I make these statements, but it makes me feel better and it feeds into my support of Israel.
I am not brave, but I am not afraid to still be wanting to be in Israel right now. This surprises me because I am afraid of so many things in life. Most of the things I am afraid of are out of my control. This fighting is certainly out of my control. I don't feel any braver because I want to be in Israel right now. I just feel it is what I am meant to do.
Too bad it is not my time. It's never too late to understand that I will be afraid until peace comes to Israel. I am not brave. I am a Jew.

Dogs prefered


There is no good reason not to have a pet. Dog preferred. Every morning I am happy to walk Cricket. The morning is clear, the air smells good and mostly the sky is blue and cloudless. Occasionally I see a rainbow, often I hear and see birds.
People who would normally pass me by, stop to talk to Cricket. I am the appendage on the other end of a leash.
Excuses I've heard for not having a pet, are simply excuses." I won't be free to travel. " Honestly, how often do you travel? Then you can exchange dog sitting with a friend or use a kennel. We used to board Charlie Two at a kennel that gave him his own room, a TV and a small bed that was raised off of the ground, AC and a person who came and played with him for 1/2 hour every day. I've never had my own room ! Or anyone who came just every day and just paid attention to me. Just me.
Another nice thing about having a pet is that you can always say that you have to go home and take care of them. It's true, but pets can be flexible with their scheduling. No one needs to know, but pet owners wink when you say this.
I've read that pet owners live longer. We know the effect that dogs have on patients when they visit nursing homes and hospitals. Very therapeutic . A visiting dog can sometimes trigger a special memory in a patient who has not communicated much with family and staff.
Traveling with pets is so much easier now. There was a time when pets didn't go along with the family. Almost all hotels and motels take pets. Our dogs have stayed in some high class hotels.And Motel 6. 
Ritz Carlton has a very generous pet policy. They will deliver a meal to your pampered pet and serve it on a special floor covering.(Charlie Two went to a wedding with us, so we know this) I think that Cricket is a barker in new situations, so I don't know how she would behave. She may have to stay with her buddy,Lucky.
It's never too late to make a commitment to a pet. They give unconditional love and they get you up early. In time to greet a great new day.


The question is how I became me

I am trying to think back into my past about why it has always been important to me to be Jewish. My parents were indifferent Jews. We never participated in any of the traditional Jewish practices. I never said a Motzi or lit the Shabbat candles. We did burn a Yahrziet candle at whatever time my Mother decided to do it. My Grandmother ,on the other side of this spectrum, owned a Kosher boarding house for men. In New Orleans. Go figure.
I went to Sunday school and was confirmed because I wanted to. No one in my house cared if I went or not. I don't think my sister went.
I always wanted to go to Hebrew school. Even when I was 10 years old. My parents said no. I went when I was 40. I guess it takes longer for some wishes to come true.
My Grandparents lived the kind of life that you read about. Grandpa studied all day. He never worked once he came to this country. Grandma was so Kosher that only she could take care of the Synagogue kitchen. My mother only stepped into the shul at the High Holy days and then she didn't stay long. As soon as the other women could view her dress,we left. My father had a seat with the men on the first floor and I would sit with him. It was tradition for my father and me to go out to lunch on Yom Kippor. Was that a slap in the face to my grandparents ? I looked forward to it, regardless of the meaning. It was a special time for me.
Where did the feeling of Jewishness become who I am? I did not have any role models unless you put my Grandmother in the mix. But she never talked to me, or paid any attention to me. Maybe I was a stranger to her. Maybe someone left me on her door step. How did I get so different from my immediate family.?
But then,, how did one child of ours, who was raised a Reform Jew, become Orthodox. Does what goes around come around. This is confusing. I have a head ache.
It's never too late to sit back and try to figure out how I evolved. I think I will just continue down the path I've created for myself. I'm on a journey.

Mid month clean up

The end of the month is usually a good time to clean up little bits and pieces of thoughts that I have had, but I can't wait.
I just learned that one of my nieces's daughter is enrolled in Rabbinic school and is right, this minute, in Israel. Her parents are very worried. My niece spent time in Evanston at Northwestern and visited us often. In fact, she brought her laundry basket with her. I knew that our great niece had been accepted to Rabbinic School, but not that she was in Israel right this minute. I pray for her safety.
Then I had a very vivid dream last night. I will swear that I don't dream. But every now and then I wake up, remembering something that I experienced during sleep. I dreamt that I looked at my left hand, ring finger and my lost wedding band was there , along with another very slim ring that was over it. What does this mean. Is this a good or bad dream.
Then , we brought our Grandson to the airport yesterday , for his return flight. Did you know that red signs mean something different than the blue signs. I didn't think they really meant anything too much, except when parking. Then you could be closer to your gate. No way. Red is one terminal and Blue is another terminal and a tram joins them. He ended up having to take the tram. No big deal for a guy who spent a year in Africa, 5 months in Israel and comes from a big city. I felt bad because just before we left for the airport, he went out to stake a overgrowing bush for me, and got stung by a hornet, Ouch.I sent him home damaged, but at least 2 Benadryl did the trick with swelling.
What else do I want to clear up ? Our daughter who is going to make Aliyah started her paper work. I am so jealous. It'll be my turn some day. I pulled out the copy of the application that I have . I just read it through because I wanted to. Not my turn ,yet.
It's never too late to clear my head of bits and pieces of information. Now I can face tomorrow with a clear outlook on life. That has to be a good thing.

Dang, I am not too old

I filled out an application to attend a class in Emergency Response. The classes can be done on line and in person at a place to be determined, here in Florida. The hitch is that every two years I would have to go to Israel to practice what I learned and to relieve the group that I am replacing. That works for me. I get to help in Israel, I get to go to Israel and I get to feel useful.
I haven't heard that I was accepted into the program.There is an age restriction , but I hope that I convinced them that I could do the job as well as a 65 year old .What's a 15 year difference, when you know that you can do it.
I prepared to volunteer for Hurricane Katrina. I even bought appropriate clothing . Baggie pants with a lot of pockets. I went to classes and got certified to do many things, including setting up a shelter for people who were evacuated. I never got called up.
It's never too late to want to be accepted . I hope that I am not black balled because of age. I can only argue my point so much. After that, I have to wait for a committee vote. It should never be to late to help Israel in any way that I can. That's my bottom line. It's never too late to be useful.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Grandchildren rock


i just figured out a good reason to have children. Because down the pike, you may be lucky enough to have grandchildren.I can say this because I have both and Grandchildren are a lot more fun .
Tonight, my Grandson did magic with my computer and I learned that I can talk to it, I can ask it questions that get answered, I can dictate and it writes what I said. Either my computer is brilliant or my Grandson is. I vote for my Grandson. I was so impressed with him that I agreed to share my hidden container of Gelato.He is the Grandson that I shared this humongous steak with in Israel. I knew that he would appreciate the Gelato. I hide my Gelato. It was behind the frozen spinach,which was behind all of the little packages of frozen bread ends that I seem to collect.
We all know that to fix problems on your computer, you need a kid around. It's a given. When you go to any computer store, or go to replace a cell phone, all of the sales representatives are young. It's a given.
I am so impressed with my Grandson. Not only did he fix my computer, he actually explained to  me, so that I understand, what to do to repeat what he just showed me. Now that's amazing .To both of us.
It's never too late to show appreciation to your visiting Grandchild.He can have the rest of the gelato, if he doesn't tell his Grandpa where he got it.


It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

I am so worried

I am having sleepless nights. I keep thinking of how I would handle being in Israel , right now. How would I feel. I leave the states to arrive in Israel ,under fire from air strikes. The word there is that all summer programs for children are cancelled. Universities are closed. Reservist called up. You are told to be only 30 seconds from your shelter when the sirens sound. Can I move that fast. Can I move Bob that fast. Can I not be there.?
I saw some photos of the newest arrival of people from the States. They looked happy. There were a large number of young kids in the picture. It has always intrigued me that the people getting off the plane looked relaxed and happy. The kids are not grumpy looking, the parents are beaming. Is this the euphoria that comes over you when you finally get to Israel?
I am so worried. I keep going to my sites that have Israeli news. Here I turn off the news on TV when the commentator starts with news from the Middle East. I don't like the message that I get here. Or the tone that I get with the message. It frightens me. I don't think the message is one that makes for peace. It seems more a message to incite against a country that belongs to me.
I am frightened. I want to do something helpful. The most helpful thing that I am told that I can do is to come to Israel.
It's never too late to want to do that, but it's not my time. It'll happen, but until then, I will support Israel and spend sleepless nights .It's all I can do right now.

Don't let it be too late

I just realized that on my Israeli Nefesh B Nefesh site that gives me all of the minutia about making Aliyah,  it has not mentioned one word about the turmoil in Israel that is going on right this minute. Before, when there was an incident, there were always words written. This silence is as meaningful as a response. I know that the next planned flight to Israel for the next group making Aliyah is July 20th. It's scary that I am not seeing any words of advice or questions being asked by the people going.

The expression "two  wrongs don't make a right" come to mind right now. maybe not hearing anything is good. Maybe calm heads are what is prevailing. Here is where my heart and head are colliding. Here is not where I want my voice heard. It is not a nice voice and it is not me. My voice right now is of a Mother who has lost a boy. I don't like my thoughts. I want peaceful thoughts. I want my head and my heart to match. 

It's never too late , in my life time, please.

It's OK to be proud

Yesterday,our Congregation , celebrated our service veterans. We honored men and a few women. We honored people who served in the Israeli military and in the Us military. We honored people who served from the second world war to the Korean war. Those of us who came to celebrate these people had ages that ranged from 3 to 105. It was a wonderful afternoon.

It was so nice to spend a Sunday pigging out on hot dogs and hamburgers and being surrounded by this thread of patriotism. I love ocassions where we get together to celebrate our country.

It's never too late to show appreciation for these people who were young and put their lives on hold to serve their country. I bet they would do it again ,in a heart beat.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

trauma exercise,use when needed

My mailbox is filled with group emails from Nefesh B Nefesh. One struck me as a good message to save and reread when I need it. It is  a message from a trauma specialist. The message is that when we are experiencing any trauma, do these few simple steps to ground yourself. Sit in a chair with your feet on the ground. Feel the ground. Put your back against the chair. Feel the back. You are being supported by the chair. Put your hand on your fast beating heart. Hold your hand on your chest, over your heart and feel your heart beating until it slows. You are alive,you are supported and there is ground beneath your feet.

I think that this is wonderful advice for everyone, no matter what your trauma issue is. This exercise can calm both brain and heart. It might take the heart a bit longer, but it sounds like an exercise that could be useful in different, difficult situations.

It's never too late to calm a broken heart,it only takes longer.


It's Never Too late
leona uchitelle

55 is not over the hill,it's a speed limit

I have finally found a place for me in Israel. I've mentioned before how I was busy doing other things, so the thought of making Aliyah didn't surface until much, much later in my life. So much later ,that what I want to now help with, has an age restriction. That is nonsense. I recently learned of a program in which volunteers are trained to be volunteer responders. Israel is a small country without friendly neighbors and when there is a need, Israel can't call on her neighbors for backup and extra hands. Not as military, but medical, firefighters,people to set up temporary shelters. I was trained by the Red Cross to do this. I can have a role, a purpose to be there.

Now I have to convince the organization that I can work as hard as a 55 year old person. I'm not used to being told I am too old. 55 is a baby. Where did that age come off as an end of ability.To me 55 is a speed limit, not a limit to ability or energy or passion. I guess that my mission will now be to set the record straight.

I already told them this. They said that they make allowences. Pass a physical, sign a waiver. I'm in better health than my physician. Bring on the physical. Rise up everyone over 55 and show how strong we are.

It's never too late to get riled up about a cause that I believe in. 55 over the hill ? Not when you are pasionate about being counted in the survival of Israel.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

July 4

If we were still in the midwest, today would be spent at our cottage in Michigan. Most cottages would have a flag some where.  Some times we had a full house and sometimes not. The weather was usually hot and sunny. I just checked the weather for that area and it is not hot and sunny. But here, in paradise, it is definitely hot,hot,hot. I can't comment on the sunny part yet. It's too early.

We had a favorite breakfast that I made at our cottage. None of us can remember how we made it. It had fresh peaches and some kind of a creamy sauce. we loved it, so how did all of us forget what was in it and how to make it. 

I do miss the fresh fruits and and veggies we would get straight from the farms. We were in the heartland and the farms produced blueberries, cherries,peaches,apricots and carrots and onions. It was known as the carrot capitol. It wasn't unusual to be behind a truck carrying onions to market. Here in Paradise, we sometimes are behind a truck carrying oranges. Both are cool. We always wonder what happens to the onions or oranges on the bottom of the pile.

It makes no difference where you are on the fourth of July,it's just important to remember the reason for the special day. Everyone should be so lucky.

It's never too late to fly a flag, sing God Bless America or just be thoughtful for a few minutes. Not everyone has it so good.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle


I sometimes worry that I am not focusing enough on my wanting to make Aliyah.Stuff just gets in the way. When a tragedy, such as the death of the three young boys happens, I want even more to be in Israel. I know that my being there will matter. But ,it's not the time for me to be there ,yet. 

Yesterday was the day my daughter has designated the day to start her paper work for her move to Israel. I'm excited for her. I haven't told anyone yet that I have completed my paper work, but it is sitting in a drawer. It's not the right time for me. 

I asked people to read my blog as I prepared for this journey. My journey, right now has taken a different turn. My journey involves my being a care taker. That's how the people in my care takers group refer to it, a journey.  I don't like to take a word that has a positive connotation, at least for me, and use it to describe what this phase of my life is all about. But I can't think of another word to use , right now. My going to this care takers group has been a good choice for me. I fought it.I felt that I was admitting that I wasn't in complete control. I'm not, so why fight it. My group is great. I fit right in. These are a bunch of people just like me. It is a relief to be with others who actually know and understand and pass you the kleenex .My family of choice is wonderful . They are supportive and everything a family is. But they are not there.

So, I am sorry about the delay in my journey to Israel, but stick around, it's never too late to plan. It'll just take me a little longer.

Am Yisrael Chai !


I have a new goal. I have been wanting to run over the Legacy Bridge here in Paradise. This is a bridge that allows bikers and pedestrians to get across US 41. I have never been on it until yesterday. I had made an agreement with myself that in the fall, I would run across the bridge as part of my hill training. It's not fall, but all conditions were right yesterday, so I decided to do it. I thought that it would be harder. I went over it, turned around and went back over it again. I could see another bridge ! This is when I got the brain storm to run over all 3 bridges that connect Venice with the island of Venice. This is now my mission. 

I ran over the bridges in New York doing their marathon and I get such a kick out of seeing pictures of them and having that memory of actually using my legs to get me over them. I can do the same thing here and it is a lot closer to home. 

There was a great view of Venice from the Legacy Bridge and I expect the other bridges will give me a great view of the gulf and the inter coastal waterway. How lucky we are to be able to have these bridges.

It's never too late to look for ways to make my daily run more exciting and I think these bridges might just be the thing for me. I was getting a little tired of going in a circle.


It has to be Never Too late

I am going to try and not be angry. I am going to try not to get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am going to put myself in the shoes of the family of my boys killed. I will remember the loss that I feel for every parent who has lost a child. I will cry out with the family.

I am not surprised by the outcome. I can not understand anyone who still thinks that Israel is the villain. I can not understand how anyone can not support Israel.What is wrong with this world. That isn't a question, it is a statement.

Three boys. So young. Will this act be enough to show the world what Israel lives with every day. Probably not when acts like the Presbyterian Main Organization divests itself of holdings that support Israel and Hobby Lobby doesn't offer items for "those people". Doesn't this just make your gut hurt .Wake up world.

Don't let it be Too Late.


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Latest comments

01.12 | 14:15

Safe travels. See you soon. sally

04.07 | 12:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

22.05 | 12:38

so glad youre here mom!

29.08 | 17:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.