Is he really coming?
Is he really coming? That would be the story of the century, and you would hear about it first on these pages. That’s what the message from Uber said. JESUS IS COMING! He is coming to pick you up at 10AM Wed. morning to take you to the airport. Wow! When we arrived the week before, a regular, run-of-the-mill young woman picked us up at the airport. Now, Jesus, himself. What a step up!
A big nothing-burger…
One of the things you realize once you leave the land of your birth is how little attention the rest of the world pays to the national holidays that were such a big deal to you before you went away. Here in The Land, there is no nakba (catastrophe) for turkeys in the middle of November (although Black Friday – celebrated any day of the year – has caught on big time). July 4 is a big nothing-burger in this part of the world. Having made aliyah the end of July 2007, we had gone thirteen years without a proper fireworks display and the obligatory barbecue that most citizens of the U.S.A. are able to enjoy as the highlight of the summer season.
The Good Lord, having some time on His hands one day, and being in a particularly good mood, decided to have some fun. He would create a series of rivers and lakes that would allow the humans (who would sooner or later live in the area) to start out way up north, in what would become Canada, and travel inland from the Atlantic Ocean and then south and west, traveling all the way to the Gulf of Mexico by boat. However (however!), it shouldn’t be too easy. I know; I’ll put a waterfall in one place and some rapids in another. I’ll make sure that there are plenty of other obstacles as well. Let’s see how long it takes for the humans to figure out how to deal with all of them so they can travel the whole way without setting foot on dry land.
When the word got out that we were planning a visit to The States and that our first stop would be the Windy City, two of our friends, originally from those parts, got excited, very excited, maybe more excited than we were (well, than I was). Bryna Lee went so far as to notify some old friends of theirs that we would be in their neck of the woods and suggested that they invite us to spend Shabbat with them in W. Rogers Park. A series of emails followed between us and Sherwin, and we were duly invited.
What could they feed us; what could we bring them? I understand, Sherwin, that you are a coffee drinker. Shall I bring you some extraordinary coffee from my supplier? No thanks, I drink instant these days. How about some wine? My wife drinks wine; I’m OK with grape juice. I get the picture: a good guy with simple tastes.
The doctor knows best: Tina was cleared to end her COVID isolation and reenter the world at large – as long as she continued wearing a mask for the next two days. That was a sensible arrangement as far as we all were concerned. And so, Fri morning, Tina drove the family car – with Milo secured in his car seat in the back – into the alleyway behind the houses on the block between Goethe and Schiller Sts. (You can figure out the ethnicity of the original occupants.) Head back up N. Welles St. until the end, make the 45° left turn, go a respectable distance, and then pull into the parking garage across the street from where we need to be.
I’m leaving on a jet plane….
So Fred, how was your flight? Can we agree that the less there is to say on this matter, the better off things have been? We’re dealing here with the hoped-for absence of negatives, as in, no news is good news. No, our flight was not delayed for ten hours, making us camp out at the airport. No, we didn’t miss it altogether because of the long lines going through Security. No, the plane to Chicago was not re-routed to Newfoundland. No, our luggage was not misplaced, mishandled, nor misdirected. No, they did not forget our kosher meals. No, we did not suffer any ill effects from consuming said kosher meals.
We – and that includes Scottie, the Evangelical we had met at Ben-Gurion – arrived in one piece at O’Hare Airport at the crack of dawn after twelve hours in the sky. Barbara texted Tina that we had arrived, prompting a flurry of back-and-forth’s, the upshot being that, on our way out of the terminal, we espied a young woman holding a sign: CASDEN, Barbara.