Posts Tagged ‘camping’

Back on Schedule, Reflections

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Back on Schedule.

It’s great to be back on schedule!  For much of the school year I had got into the occasionally inconvenient habit of staying up most of the night and sleeping through the morning. This works while all the kids are at school but not during summer vacation!  It helps that during the week I accumulate something of a sleep debt which often guarantees that Shabbos night I’ll fall asleep early, especially without the temptation of computer activity. I’ll read some Robert Jordan ‘Wheel of Time’  until my eyes feel tired and general fatigue hits, then crash, and this is exactly what happened that Shabbos about ten days ago when we hosted our wonderful young archaeologist guest, Moshe’s new friend. 

Then it was ‘simply’ a matter of staying on that schedule.  The next two days I felt somewhat jet-lagged but thankfully that passed and now I’m back on track. Hurray!  

Apart from being up for the kids, (as well as the kids not having to worry about disturbing a sleeping mommy) there is the issue of renovations.  These are often done over the summer months when rain won’t interfere with construction and living along a terraced row the chances are high there will be thudding and power drilling some time in the summer, what I would call ‘the dentist from hell’. Not yet, thankfully, but better that my sleep is not disturbed by it if and when it happens, which it probably will.

My nature blog is still one of my great loves these days. Breeding season is pretty much over though many birds are vocal and apparently still amorous in some cases. Still, it’s a lot quieter than it was. Plenty gazelle sightings and a couple of scorpions lately, all dutifully written up in my log. I love heading out every day with the hope of finding something special to share. I just love to see the late afternoon sun strong on green foliage, there’s a tremendous vitality in that.

I’m spending much of the morning on the P.C. dealing with various facebook activities while listening to recordings of vocal performance talent competition, writing, taking part in iThink discussions and more writing. iThink can be very acrimonious but it is a great place for sharing points of view and gets broad exposure. This is probably the one place I’ve seen where dialogue between western and eastern youth can really flourish. There are plenty bigots and harsh words are written on both sides but there’s also increasing understanding and intercourse.  I’ve also been getting my memoirs up to date and deciding what else to post on my home pages on my main web site.  

Sarah, my 21 year old daughter, is home for the summer.  She had been staying in an apartment with roomies but needed a break from that for various reasons. She’s using David’s room now he’s off in the army. David is delighted that he finally got onto the computer course he’s been nudging them for, for months now. He’s really worked hard there, being a model soldier right from the start, taking on an extra combat course in basic training and excelling, according to his officers. Last few months have been more laid back but still demanding as he’s been rotated around the country from Kiryat Shmoneh to Kiryat Arba, and he has developed that slight cheery disdain of us mere sloppy civilians which military discipline tends to impart.

Sarah’s still working every day and has to get up early but Elisheva and Shira have no such pressures now high school is out. The boys are camping in the front garden again, they love sleeping out in the tent but have to be careful to come in when the sun comes up or they start to bake! Our garden faces east.  Moshe has been learning how to cook eggs and he’s approaching it like a chef. This evening we were goofing around till midnight talking in fake Italian accents as he whipped up another batch of egg with onion and tomato. I ate some with a little bread and lettuce for my ‘midnight supper’ – well I can afford to, for the past week or so I’m sitting in my target weight zone.  It varies.. especially right after Shabbat! 

We’ve been watching Morgan Spurlock’s 30 days series lately. Awesome show, much thought provoking material. We often pause it to discuss and make points  as we go along. This evening we watched the episode about his stay at a Navajo reserve. By the end I was blinking back tears, as was Spurlock. This episode strongly reminded me of Johnny Depp’s ‘The Brave’ over which I shed a fair number of tears.

We knew their poverty was bad but didn’t realize how bad. The lack of running water horrified us, living for decades shlepping water from a public well. Desperate need for employment opportunities and a dismal future for their beautiful cultural heritage that many there clearly still valued. Returning to the reservation gave them meaning in life, meaning they did not find beyond, in white America.  

However,  the poverty, the lack of jobs, being treated as second class citizens, – this has driven many to alcoholism and related behavioural problems. In some other places in the world similar conditions in some respects have led to a culture of terrorism.  Many differences to be sure, there’s a LOT more to it of course, but the parallel is striking. The only difference in outcome is that instead of trying to destroy white America these renegade  native Americans  try to destroy *themselves* out of sheer despair.  Tragedies, all such ‘solutions’, escapes and tragedies.