New Page-----New day

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Time to say Good bye to Jerusalem

I feel as if I hae come of age. Electronic age. I am sitting in the Ben Gurian airport and I am using my iPad. I am so cool. Now all I need is a smart phone and I will really be current.

Our last day in Jerusalem was a long one. We didn't want to do anything too exciting since we knew we had a long night ahead of us. 

Our month passed very quickly. Everyone we met was kind. The weather was what I expected, but worse. Sitting in the airport longe, we are warm for the first time in a month.

Did I have a good time? I worried a lot about Bob, but I did have a good time. Did I do everything that I thought we would do? No,but that's OK because I remind myself that what I wanted was to see how it felt to live here.. and I did.

My most fun was the grocery store. I also learned to be thrifty with food and with utensils. I am amazed how well we ate and I cooked with one sharp paring  knife and a few ratty pans. My one concessionwas the purchase of a French Press coffee pot. Maxwell House Instant isn't a taste that I wanted to develope. 

Bob's best memory of our trip was the walk to "The First Station", a repurposed railroad station that was now a center for all kinds of activities. I think what I will come away with is the white Jerusalem stone that is on every building, everywall.And the King David Hotel. It is all that you hear it is. And they have very nice bathrooms.

It's never too late to sit back and replay my 28 days in Jerisalem. It was a good time had by all.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitellease

I forgot, but now I won't

Its the day before the last day, and as you would have it, it is sunny and warm. ! We took our last trip to SuperSol, mygrocery of choice. To bring home to remind me of this adventure, I bought a few chocolate candy bars and some dead sea salt. I hope the salt is worth the $5 for a small bottle.

I put the last load of clothes in the two hour washing machine.Yes, the machine is a little hard on our clothes.

I asked Bob what was the first thing he wanted to do when he got home. A haircut. We never saw a barber shop. Maybe that is why we say so many hair salons. Must be neutral territory. I didn't figure that one out.

I read that there was some vandalism near the Jaffa gate. We are near that gate,but we must have slept through the firesirens and excitement. Damage but no one hurt.

I bought my Shabbat chicken at the grocery. I have it worked out that we eat half tonight and half tomorrow. That should clean out the fridge. I even plan to cook the last two carrots that I bough and never used. I should practice being this thrifty every day.

One thing that I didn't do here and I can't explain why not, is to say the Shema everyday, the way I do at home. I don't really understand why I wouldn't automatically say it just because I am in the holiest city in the world.I didn't even realize that I wasn't saying it until the other day. It made me feel unappreciative of having this opportunity to be here and not acknowledging it.

It's never too late to rectify this and start right now...Shema Israel..

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Thinking ahead

I'm getting a little apprehensive about our return flight to the US. I don't have a printer so I can't do boarding passes and my Israeli phone gives me a message from ElAl in Hebrew. Just a little disconcerting. But it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and we went for our usual walk in the park. Yesterday we Googled the name of the man who is honored in this Independence Park. Harry Wilf. Seems his family was not completely on the up and up and a legal battle that lasted years was resloved that said his family in N.Y. or N.J., swindled a lot of people. They were and maybe still are in the land development business and at one time and maybe still, own the Minnesota Vikings. It's still a nice park and Bob is very fond of it.

I am thinking ahead for the week end. I need to food shop to include dinner Friday, breakfast, and lunch.. with no left overs. Once 3 PM happens Friday, the stores shut down, so I can't run out for anything. between dinner Friday and lunch Saturday.

I have done some preliminary packing and I seem to have a lot of extra space. Do dirty clothes take up less room.? Maybe I need to go out and buy some more gifts.

It's never too late to appreciate the fact that you have such mundane problems to keep yourself occupied.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Found it

I just came back from Ben Yahudah street. I carried a map, but unbelievably, I found it all by my self. Since I am directionally challenged, this is a first. It is walking distance from our apt, Still uphill, though. There, there are stores every where,resturants, a tavern. Thank goodness I didn't know before how near it is. I indulged and bought a pair of sandals. Made out of recycled plastic. Look like those jellyfish fisherman sandals that were popular several years ago.The sales clerks Dad made Aliyah 30 years ago from NY and this year, she went to NY for her Grandpa's 90th birthday.You strike up all kinds of conversations here. She said that her favorite street is the one we are renting on.I know. We just got lucky.

I'm trying to use everything in the fridge. It's like when we use to leave our rental cabin in Colorado and our cottage in Michigan. Our meals will become more extreme.Lucky, Bob eats anything.

After my solo trip to Ben Yahudah, I went for a walk with Bob. Those security guards at the embassy I am feeling, are beginning to recognize me. I hope that this is not a problem. We walk pass them on almost every walk, in both directions.I try not to look suspicious.

Like the secret service men in the states, they mostly all look alike.And how they guard those parking spaces in front of the Embassy. If you don't have a CC on your license, forget that spot. It's interesting to me, that the grocery store has a guard. I can't figure out what he would do, but he is there.And how d you go about your business here and not be in a crowd. Jerusalem in itself is a crowd.( Once again, as you read my messages, remember that I seem not to be able to check my spelling. When I get home, I'll go back and correct things.)

I hear from Cricket that she has been dognapped and she is content with her captors. I'll see about that !

Its never too late to scramble to do all of the things on your "to do list" before you leave this exciting city. The list is getting shorter.


It's Never Too Late, I
leona uchitelle

Things to do yet

This is another off day. We walked to Independence Park,a block away from our rental apt. A van was waiting at the Embassy gate. Before it can go into the compound, even its undersides have to be searched.We stopped to watch and to also get a glimpse of what is on the other side of the gate. Couldnt see much when the gate opened. A red brick drive that seemed to go to the actual Embassy. I can see that much by peering through the enclosed wall, where ever there is a hole in the stones. These walls are at least 16 inches thick. They are every where in Jerusalem. The white Jerusalem stone.. Bob wondered if they ever ran out.

We'll be leaving in a few days. The only thing that I am looking forward to, is Cricket and getting warm.In that order.

The other day, and I loose track of days here, we saw soldiers out with their guns drawn. We were walking to our grocery store, SuperSol. Now, a few days later, we read that there had been a stabbing .We are certainly sheltered from the news. Except for the drawn guns, we would not have known that anything was going on. You see soldiers with guns at their sides every where, Mamilla Mall, the park. But drawn is different. There is nothing that I can change that would make a difference for our safety. Crossing a street is dangerous enough for us.

Tomorrow I will try for Ben Yahudah street. I have the urge to buy some trinkets to bring home.And I haven't had a falafel yet. Can't go home without one.

It's never too late to always have a plan for tomorrow.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

A day in Jerusalem

Woops, there goes another power outage ! The only problem with that is that it gets cold in a garden (ie..basement apt) apt. No electricity, no heat, no cooking dinner, no reading. I used my Israeli cell phone as a flashlight to plug in the numbers of our landlord to alert him to the no electricity problem. After confirming that it wasn't us, he called the power company and because of all of the melting snow, water had some how done damage to things. In about an hour it was fixed, but for awhile I felt like the Jewish Mother who said,"that's OK. I'll just sit here in the dark."

I couldn't decide if I should buy the naot sandals that I liked, and I decided not to. For $29 at beales, I can buy sandals, vs, $150 for the Naot.

Today is an off day. We did a lot of walking yesterday. It was so good to get out in the warmer air.Our house guest are preparing to leave for the states. Bob, especially, will miss them. He calls them his girls.They spoiled him. I hope he isn't thinking that I will do that !! He leads a tough life.

It's never too late to just be so comfortable here that we are not in a hurry to go home. But still, there is no place like home,whether it be Kansas,Florida or Israel.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle


When I bought my Shabbat chicken, I wanted to have some kind of potatoes with it. I looked for those prepared mashed potatoes,but didn't see anything that looked like them. So I decided ,since I was already in the frozen section, to get french fries.I saw some that looked like the McDonald kind,nice and thin. I bought them. Later at home, I popped them in the oven. I tasted was white stringbeans. One, I've never seen a white stringbean, and two, I was sure surprised. Chicken and stringbeans is not quite the same, but it did the job. Things in the grocery store are always a surprise for me. Bob says I should ask, but it's more fun not too. It is a challenge not speaking the language, and everyone does try to help,if I look too confused. Right now I have a package of frozen ground mystery meat defrosting. It's either chicken, beef or veal. I know it's not pork.

It's never too late to have a second plan for dinner if the first one doesn't work out.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Rain, snow, thunder. What else can we expect?

I was reviewing my Hebrew vocabulary and I have come to the realization that it is at about a 2 1/2 year old level. But I nust be looking the part even more because yesterday at SuperSol, a woman spoke to me in Hebrew about what something was . She dismissed me quickly when I said "lo everit". Yesterday at the grocery was like a happy, happy happening. People had to get ready for Shabbat, but it had snowed significantly over night and they do not plow side walks. I wasn't even sure that the store would be open, since everything closed up at 3 the day before. But, I left Bob home and started walking to the tore. I had already announced that if there was a threat  to my body by falling, I was turning back. It was fantastic. People were out with their entire families taking pictures of everybody playing in the snow. It was almost sereal. Then when I got to the main street, the plows had been by and there were piles of snow almost 7 feet tall at the intersections. People were walking in the street as there was hardly any traffic, since people had been warned not to drive. Water was melting and pouring down the hilly streets in a hurry/ But everyone was walking and smiling and just happy to be able to be out. The grocery was packed and I ran right to the rotisserie chicken and grabbed one for dinner. It was so large that it didn't fit into those shaped ones for chickens. The butcher wrapped it in plastic wrap for me so I wouldn't drop it on the wat home.

Later in the day, it started thundering, so loud that I thought that the Ten Commandments were being sent to us again. The room exploded with noise and it did that several times during the night. Weird weather. But a fun experience to write home about. It's never too late to be glad that I have a book to read while I wait for the weather to pass over.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Snow, snow go away

Not going anywhere today. It is literally a snow day. Yes, the snow in Jerusalem is beautiful. I can understand the excitement. However, I have seen snow and I don't like it. Now go away. It is Friday, the big shopping day in preparation for Shabbat. I was planning a Shabbat dinner, courtesy the take out grocery store two blocks away. Now, I don't know if they will even open. We still have left over pasta and oatmeal in the house. I'll think of something.Yesterday, my landlord showed me how to drip water in the bathroom so the third floor apts don't get frozen out. I reminded him that I remmbered how to do that since we did this regularly in the Midwest.

I can take the time today to remember all of the little things that happened over this week. Like our taxi driver who said as we got out of the cab, Bye,Bye,Honey. Someone probably taught him that. He said it to Bob ,too. Then the young lady at the resturant who looked to me to interpret Hebrew to our guests. Like I knew. That's when I thought that maybe I could pass for Israeli. 

I think that when we get home, I will stop watching the Food shows and start watching National Geographic. I am learning a lot.

I can be happy that I am here to experience all that Israel has to offer, even snow.It's never too late to make lemonaide out of these beautiful Israeli lemons. 

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Rain, they need it. Snow, we don'y need

Jerusalem is on call. They are waiting for snow. Stores are closing at 3 o'clock. Our landlord said that people from other cities in Israel are calling him to rent an apt., so they can see the snow. Are they nuts? I was warned to shop now because I won't be able to if it snows. Does that mean the stores don't open or that the streets aren't plowed. And how much snow can they get? I'll let you know.

Today was a fun day. We were treated to lunch and did not take an umbrella. When we finished lunch it was raining pretty hard. Our choices were to buy umbrella three and four, or just go for it. We went for it. It was fun, actually. We walked arm in arm, wind battering Bob more than me. As we waited to cross a street , and here you do follow the lights, or you die, and a car wizzed by, covering us from my eye galasses to shoe laces in water. It was so unexpected that we burst out laughing. I think we were the only ones standing at that light who were laughing. I can't say why we found this so hilarious, but we laughed all the way home.For all of the years that we lived in the Midwest, I never got sprayed while waiting for a light change. This must be what makes Israel so special.I had to be here to get baptised in this special rain fall. It's never too late to look for the fun side of everything, including the fact that there wasn't a dry spot on us. Thank goodness we have a dryer,

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle


Yesterday, I bought myself a wedding band. Many of you remember that I lost my wedding band. Its been almost a year. 11 months of mourning for it. I keep expecting to find it. I bought a gold band that has a cut out of the words"I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine". Lahad Dodi. I asked Bob to ceremoniously put the ring on my finger. Now I am married again.I bought the ring at the Mahane Yahuda Market, so it's gold content is questionable, but it's the message that counts for me. I don't feel anymore complete with this ring, but I like something on my finger. I don't really need a ring, or a Katuba to be married. I've been married so long that if a test was done to my DNA, it would show positive for married.

Its never too late to continue looking for my ring. I still think it'll show up one of these days. It and the Messiah.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Walk the walk, look the part

I've been waiting two weeks to do this. Today we went to Mahane Yuhuda Market. Open air, mysterious,sanitation questionable,at least for me. I had a great time buying olives,pastry,cheese and spices. I have no idea what any of this is, but it looks good. I could have spent many more minutes there, but I needed to get back to Bob for our daily walk in the park. I don't know what was going on in the park either, but there were groups of Israeli  young military people. Some at attention, some just lazing on the ground eating. And a helicopter was buzzing above in a circle. Nothing serious seemed to be going on , so we continued our walk about and then came home for lunch. Enough excitment for one day. This afternoon I will venture to SuperSol , a large super market that I found the other day. Now that I have an old lady cart, I can buy more !

It's never too late to fit in more and more each day that we are here. We may begin to look authentically Israeli.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Independence Park

We have company ! It's so nice. We have worked out the ballet of who gets the bathroom first, which is designated the nightlight and which dish is milk or meat. I fear that this place will have to be reKoshered after we leave. But we are sincerely trying. 

Our guests do not have the same agenda as we do, so today they are out on a tour. We think that we may take a walk in Independence Park which is right across the street. Just walking through this park is a history lesson. I am learning that you can not avoid history here in Israel. The park has a water fall,small,but it runs through the park. Then there are palques for various gifts made by various governments,like the Afican nation, or a wealthy New Yorker. And this is the place to walk your dog. There are cleaver "pick up after your dog" signs, but I don't think the dogs have learned to read yet. People use this park as a short cut from one busy avenue to another, so we see a lot of well dressed people walking and talking on their cell phones. Everyone seems to have to be talking on the phone, no one is listening, it seems.

It's never too late to be an observer. Sometimes you can get a real essence of the people.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Shabbat is special. I want this feeling

Yesterday was Shabbat .After services,people walk,stroll,look happy,have family around. It's very special. It has meaning .We saw a young man carrying a Torah,wrapped in a Talit, as if it were a baby. At first, because I have never seen a Torah being carried in this familiar way,I thought it was a baby. He was just walking down the street ,with his buddies,carrying a Torah, like it was routine. We saw black hat men, men with fur hats, men in knee lenght pants and stockings. Woman, in black, but so classy. Regular lenght skirts,black,stockings,black and stunning high heel shoes or boots,brown or black.Later in the day, we saw famiy groups,walking in the park. There was a sense of relaxation. You could feel it.It was definitaly Shabbat in Israel.

(excuse spelling,but I don't seem to be able to correct it).

Yesterday was a day that if you didn't have something already, you didn't need it. Everything was tightly shut down.I strolled through the latest and biggest shopping mall, Mamilla mall, and nothing was opened..not even a snack shop. Once Shabbat is over, people stream out of their private world and everything revves up again. It's never too late to want to have this feeling of a Shabbat like it was just celebrated. I'm going to have to work on it.

BOBBIE N 02.03.2015 12:54

WELCOME HOME! Glad u & Bob returned safely to SW Florida. See you soon......

Bobbie N 27.02.2015 17:44

Leona, We did not have printed boarding passes when we left u. Everything will be taken care of @ the airport. It takes a while but works!

Lorraine 26.02.2015 15:23

Otherwise try to call or find someone with a printer and print it so you dont have that concern...Kookie is still wanting to go visit you & Cricket.

Lorraine 26.02.2015 15:19

If you cant print off your boarding pass, I think you can take it to the counter where you check in to airport and they can do it, or you can there...

BOBBIE n 26.02.2015 10:20

Enjoyed our stay in ur little apt, exploring Israel, & yes, spoiling Bob. Wishing u safe travels home to Venice, FL. See u soon....

Elissa 25.02.2015 15:15

We loved spoiling Bob!

Lorraine 22.02.2015 21:49

Leona, I'm all caught up now on your blogs. We've had company for the past 2 weeks. What a time you are having, glad its not me. Colder here as well!

Bettye 20.02.2015 15:57

Leona, it is wonderful to follow your adventure. Some challenges but all good times for you and Bob. I am healing well and look forward to your return.

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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.