Remember the closing comments from the previous letter:

There is a purpose for everything in life. I was connected (to the Internet), Ima was connected, Tal was connected Osmo or Tintin were connected and you will soon be connected. We’ll get that syllabus done and we will also print it. It will be a wonderful year … Max picked up Tal’s laptop (its harder than it sounds) and you will soon have it. Believe it or not Ima managed to pack a carpet into the same bag instead of the mouse pad.

Well as you know by now Max figured out that the computer and the carpet were too heavy and he ‘forgot’ to take them with him. To be on the safe side his parents waited for two days before discovering the package that lay in the middle of their living room. Obviously they notified us ‘immediately’ and drove it back to our house without delay. We were all kind of pissed, given that we really wanted you to have the computer and having gone through so much (its time to read the previous letter if you do not know what I’m talking about) to try and get it to you. When they arrived I contemplated repeating a ‘Nili with chocolates’ ritual but their naturally sad eyes and artificial apologetic smiles got me back to my senses, ‘Yeela has to live with their kid for the next two years’ I said to myself, ‘it is enough that he does not clean his room, you don’t want to kindle underlying aggressions between them.’ Having weighed the evidence and the circumstances it would have been somewhat (but not completely) cruel to make them feel (too) bad about (Max’s) forgetting to take the computer. ow do you forget such a thing, and with a whole carpet wrapped around it’. Easy, easy, let’s get a grip here’. Smiling a better smile then they could ever muster I welcomed them un-wholeheartedly ‘Shalom, how are you?’. ‘We really just wanted to drop this off’, ‘Oh, [is this something that Max forgot?] of course, I understand’. ‘We’re really sorry’, ‘Please don’t feel bad (feel terrible), it can happen with all the emotion you and Max must have gone through these last few days’. ‘Yes, yes it was very difficult’. ‘Well we’ll see you’, ‘Bye (good riddance’)’

Max knew something that I did not regarding flights and weight limitations. I’ll get to that shortly.

So we had the laptop-fuff back for a while and I would bring it to you when I can over to visit. I think that at the time we knew that I would be going to see you so it wasn’t such a problem. As you know by now it made little difference anyway. In fact the computer is probably still disconnected thanks to ‘Nissan the Nistar’, but its there at the kibutz all the same.

It was decided that I board a plane and go to see how you were doing in the land of milk and honey and Tiv-ol. It’s hard to remember how the idea came about, however experience teaches us that the discussion went something like this:

“I think it would be a great idea if you went to visit Yeela”


and so it was decided. Having said the last word making the decision I felt that it would be best to let others take center stage preparing for the trip. What this implied I found out when standing in front of the British Airways check-in attendant when the time came to execute the plan. ‘You are over weight’ said the woman’s metallic, unwavering, remorseless voice. You know how your mind begins to race at times like this ‘Overweight, overweight’ This is something that I have always dreaded. Yet it has never happened to me when I travel alone and solely on my behalf so I was not sure how exactly I would deal with the terrible news. Clearly this was an Imma situation, let alone the fact that it was caused by Imma’s packing expertise. But Imma was not there and I had already admitted to having packed everything myself and to having never let the ‘supplies for an army’ out of my personal control since I packed them. I suddenly realized how diabolical the questions were. They had nothing to do with security. Every one knows that only fools admit to not having packed themselves. The questions are meant to corner those who are carrying overweight bags, and prevent them from using excuses about their not knowing who or why or how the bags are so heavy all of a sudden. ‘Perhaps they were out in the rain and are full of water, I’m sure they’ll dry and lighten up in the cargo bin’. ‘I didn’t see rain today and you said you came from Sunnyvale’. It’s for this and this alone that these seemingly stupid questions are asked!!!

I had tied the rope around my neck. I was all alone being told for the first time that I was overweight. Well the only shred of hope I possibly had was to play dumb and try to make the attendant believe that this is the first time that I was over weight anywhere, anytime. ‘I’m sorry’, I said, ‘but I am six foot and three inches tall and weigh two hundred and ten pounds which yields a body (pronounce the ‘o’ as in ‘old’ so the Brit gets it) mass index of 25.8 which is wonderful at my age which is forty two. You can verify my date of birth in my passport’. That was sure to convince her that I didn’t understand what she was talking about. ‘I mean your luggage sir’ ‘Well shouldn’t you weigh it one piece at a time’ I asked, hoping yet again to appear as ignorant as an unaccompanied major could possibly be. ‘Two bags are fine but the third is over weight’. There was an excruciatingly long second of silence during which I had the chance to envision how I spread ten pounds of candy meant for so many eager relatives and friends over the counters to relieve myself if the excess weight. ‘Starting November 1st you will have to pay extra for the excess weight’. And then there was silence again. I looked at the plane ticket just to make sure ‘ the date was somewhere in the beginning of October. ‘So if I stand here waiting for the flight for another three weeks I’ll have to pay extra’ I asked. ‘Yes, sir’ ‘Or if you fly with us again and your bag is overweight’. But I was not listening. ‘Talk about Peter Piper and the ‘if’ statement’ but I didn’t want to share so I thanked the attendant for the ‘useful information’.

On the face of it what had happened was completely ridiculous. For the god-knows-how-many time I had been victimized by what seemed to be a dumber than the dumbest airline attendant that I had met to date. It filled me with sadness that there seemed to be no bottom limit to the stupidity of man. What made things even gloomier was the notion that the bottom seemed to be quite a ways from where normal every-day life takes place. ‘So why are the airlines so different’. Perhaps because these people spend so much time closer to god and its his/her/its way of punishing them for this perceived impunity. While this might be accepted as a strong theological explanation, I was not all that comfortable with it. For once I thought that I have to make a genuine effort to look for the fault somewhere else. ‘Perhaps the woman you were talking to is far more intelligent than that airline uniform suggests’. You, have to admit that anyone who is willing to wear the horrific out-of-date-Scottish-skirt design over their entire body does not gain point for character right up front. ‘You are only rationalizing your own prejudices’ I said to myself. ‘Try to think positive’ ‘Two pound overweight is positive’, ‘two pounds underweight is negative’ ‘or is it the other way around” The power of metaphors, especially bad ones, can help one orient themselves in the ways others’ minds work. As I reflected upon the way the conversation developed I realized that I responeded immediately when I heard the shocking news that I was ‘overweight’. In my anxiety I had probably gotten ahead of her measured ‘stop-as-you-speak-to-Asians’ breaks which are made deliberately in order to allow us people to fully comprehend what we are being told without unnecessary apprehension. If I erase all of the above page I could end up with the following sentence:

BA: ‘You are overweight, [this is where the pause I did not allow to complete came in] if you fly after November 1st you will have to pay extra’

I could have lived with this analysis but it’s the use of the word ‘if’ that still didn’t work for me. I decided to pick up the contemplation after I had concluded my business with the now perhaps-much-more-of-stature attendant.

Past the check-in, the ATM machine which did not at first want to give me money, and the security check which yet again found nothing wrong with my Bin-Laden (or so they seem) sandals, I sat down to think. As I always have a lot of time when I get to the gate, I had a lot of time this time as well. I could think clearly about all the weight business. ‘Clearly there are two separate issues here’ I told myself, feeling good that I was able to think straight in spite of the events. ‘First of all we need to put the aspects of the human interaction in perspective and understand why the attendant used the word ‘if’ in such a confusing manner’. This aside I would need to focus on the future and quantify the probability of my flying after November 1st with bags that are that heavy.

On the first matter (which is not be taken lightly) I came up with a few possibilities:

1) The attendant did not use the word ‘if’ at all, which implies that she made two simple statements in English with a ‘stop-as-you-speak-to-Asians’ pause between them. This possibility gives the attendant very high scores leaving me the idiot.

2) The attendant used the word ‘if’ in a manner which conveys the same meaning as the first option described above. In this case the word ‘if’ is redundant and could have been replaced with a period. However she chose not to use a period because they teach them that they can pause a sentence and still continue to use the same sentence provided that they use the word ‘if’ when they resume talking after the ‘stop-as-you-speak-to-Asians’ pause they need to make from time to time. This possibility gives the attendant very high scores leaving me somewhat less of an ‘idiot because the logic is not trivial..

3) The attendant did exactly what I described on page 2. She was (and probably still is) a complete idiot and my reactions where human and well in order under the circumstances. The third option is required to balance the exercise and as it puts us back to square one, can be used to belabor the issue further and further.

Having made one through and inconclusive analysis of the first intellectual item at hand I had time (I have a lot of time in airports) to contemplate the second. It took me about six seconds to realize that whatever caused the over-weight situation this time around would most likely repeat itself every time Ima and I make future decisions about flying to Israel. It was therefore required that I analyze what contributed to the weight of the luggage that I was carrying and determine whether the factors that I identify continue to be relevant in the future or not.

Every child knows that the weight of a bag that a passenger brings on board is the’ accumulated weight of the bag itself, its contents and the water that it absorbs. The first component is unavoidable as one cannot have ‘contents’ without a container ‘ bag to put them into. Choosing a light bag is important, but one must be aware of the tradeoff between a bag’s weight and its sturdiness as well as its resistance to water. As we still have a whole letter in front of us I will not elaborate on the bag too much. Suffice it to say that seasoned travelers like Doron carry one light bag for contents of high durability like sneakers and chain-saws, and a flying safe such as a ‘Samsonite’ suitcase for perishable goods such as mirrors, neon lamps and noodles. Note that the noodles are the exact opposite of glass in terms of vulnerability. Glass is breakable but resistant to water, while noodles will turn to shit if they get wet however it matters not whether they remain intact. In case you are asking what does water and getting wet have anything to do with flying, you should ask Ima about what happened to her bags when they were left in the rain by a ground crew in London, a few flights to Israel ago’

Bags behind us (at least from a high level analysis) we can talk about the contents. The contents of the bags are determined by the personal aspirations of people who call themselves friends, and/or claim kinship either through marriage or due to natural causes (mating). The more people that qualify the more contents there will be in the bags. What can make things worse are events in the personal lives of friends and kin (family). The most common ten types of events can be listed in ascending order of their effects on the weight of bags:

They got us something (size matters here) when they came to visit us. The fact that they stayed at our place, ate our food and used our hot water for six weeks does not count. They would gladly do the same for us’ So we are ‘muchrahim le-havi’ just a little something for the house Note that mezuzot are only an option when coming from Israel not when going there.

Third marriage ‘ a phone call will due but so will contraceptives. You do not want more kin out of this acquaintance of yours. However the fact that the person cannot remain in a relationship does not mean that you can default on your own obligations as a friend. A book will do, but books are heavy. There’s not a whole lot more that you can bring. You want to keep it as low key and as neutral as possible. You do not want to get trapped in the bottomless pit of bringing something for all the kids that have been sprouting from all the previous relationships that this relative or friend of yours has had.

The dog died ‘ while you had nothing to do with the dog, you need to show sympathy. A framed picture of them and man’s best friend would be nice. Wooden frames are better than metal ones for three reasons: they are lighter, they are cheaper and they do not show up on the X-ray machine as an object which requires your belongings to be torn apart by newly hired, highly motivated security ‘opicers’ from the P(h)ilippines.

Moved into a new house (distance matters). You have to get them something since they would have gotten you something if you had moved into a new house which was within a thousand mile radius of where they live. It just so happens that when they visited you for six weeks in America it was more than a year after you moved into your new house, and besides people in America do not need gifts, they already have everything they need.

Birthday ‘ there is at least one of these if you come for a week and know at least twenty people. The numbers grow at an alarming rate since trips to a far country tend to be longer than a week and the number of people that you feel compelled to see is significantly larger than 20. If you plan to show up 10 months after a birthday hoping that all is forgotten, keep in mind that its 2 months before the next birthday and nothing is forgotten. It’s best to wait another 3 months and bring only one present. If course you want to apply this logic across all the birthdays that your trip spans. Don’t be surprised if you find that you have to cancel your trip or send gifts by sea. Sending gifts by sea is cheaper but the arrival date is harder to predict. The worst thing that can happen is that a gift arrives two days before the next birthday so it doesn’t count’

Second marriage ‘ There is still hope that the first marriage failed for genuine reasons e.g. the spouse’s rehabilitation program failed’ Towels usually work for this kind of event. Towels are large (do not brink kitchen towels, these can be used for event 4) but they do not weigh so much.

New baby ‘ this one is not too bad in terms of weight generated but heaven help you if you forget about it. Please keep in mind that a baby is considered ‘new’ until you bring the ‘new baby’ present. Stalling only runs the risk of accumulating ‘birthday’ debts on top of the ‘new baby’ event. Twin are two distinct people. Triplets are a set of twins plus one more distinct person. Quadruplets are two distinct sets of twins, but you don’t have to worry about all the combinations.

Bar Mitvah ‘ happens only once in a lifetime so is far less frequent than 5 but cannot be mistaken for 3 (many dogs can die during a person’s lifetime), never-the-less one needs to rise to the occasion with a hefty gift.

Bat Mitvah ‘ Used to be the equivalent of ‘birthday on steroids’ however nowadays it has established equal social significance and must be treated as such.

First Marriage ‘ it’s important to distinguish whether this is the first marriage of the person you are obligated to present with a gift, the other party or both. A second or later marriage of the person you are related to should be treated as case 6. Otherwise a first marriage is a serious weight/price challenge. It becomes worse if the parties have been living independently for some time and seem to have it all. Cash is often the only way out. Too much cash and you cannot satisfy some or any of the previous categories.

Who said this was easy’

There are a few important guidelines to all of the above. First and foremost they are all mutually exclusive. You should not, under any circumstances, attempt to apply the same gift to multiple occasions. For example a couple just getting married and moving into a new house the next day which happens to be the birthday of one of them, and the lady giving birth to their first conceived-in-sin child a week later are four distinct events. When you show up three months later to congratulate the couple you are expected to address all four events with distinct offerings.

Another useful guideline is that in most cases one can substitute cash for cargo. One simply needs to figure out the overall cost of gifts that look expensive but weigh a lot plus the charge for overweight vs. the cost of giving cash up front, a transaction whose true value cannot be hidden. One thing that speaks in favor of cash is that American dollars have an added perceived value over the Israeli Sheqel because the latter is sure to be depreciated somewhere in the near future after the gift transaction is done. In other words 10 American dollars can be perceived as 100 Sheqels even though their current value could be only half of this amount.

And so it was time to board the place a fly to.

I’ll skip the flight because I flew business class so there were really no horror stories to tell. In London I first stepped into the connecting flights lounge and turned to a help-desk to figure out my options. The aging learned attendant who has undoubtedly seen millions of passengers to date, greeted with me with a ‘How may I help you sir’ to which I answered ‘I have a connection to Tel Aviv in 12 hours’, which caused the expression of the veteran’s face to change from a greeting smile to painful remorse. ‘Sir’ he said in an ominous and sad voice ‘you had best enter the country first, and then find someone who can help you. If you ask me it’s a great day to go to Windsor, you might even be able to make it to Scotland if you hurry’. In other words he what he said was ‘when will you people realize that waiting in a terminal for twelve hours is not an option’. So I thanked him and joined the very long line to enter GB. An hour later I met the man at passport control who was much more supportive. ‘Welcome to GB’ he said not even looking at me. ‘Fuck you too’ I thought to myself, ‘Thank you’ was my reply, and started getting organized in the new country I had just entered and would be leaving in what was now a little over ten hours. I changed some dollars for British money which to this very day I cannot figure out so I had no idea how much I had. All I knew was that I had to have enough to check in my hand luggage and get a two way ticket to London and back. The British have their own version of a bullet train it’s called the ‘Heathrow Express’. Impressed by the name I stepped onto the train expecting a joyous ride into the city at a pace which I had never experienced before. As it turns out the British concept of a bullet train is a regular train which follows the route of all other trains but does not stop at any of the stations save the destination. This shortens the ride from one hour to fifteen minutes without requiring any breakthrough in technology. Obviously there was nothing new to see along the way. The dreary remains of what was the pride and glory of modern transportation a century just got a little older and rustier and dirtier. In case anyone is really interested the trains’ one and final stop was at the Paddington Station. This was not obvious to me until I realized that not only had the train stopped, but I was the only one left on board. I disembarked in the most casual manner possible, as though it would make me look less of an idiot and walked in no particular direction towards anything that looked like it could be an exit.

I knew I had to get to Trafalgar square because that’s what people do when they go to. I figured that I could probably walk there because I had so much time to spend in the country. I started walking in the wrong direction because I never ask. I understood that I was going in the wrong direction because all the busses coming towards me has ‘Trafalgar Square’ included in their list of stations which is so conveniently illuminated above the drivers window. Of course in GB the driver sits in the passenger seat so its really illuminated above the passenger’s window but that’s a minor issue. I verified my hunch by stopping to read the map which is located in every bus stop which is located at every corner of every street. It became very obvious that I was headed towards Ireland which is the opposite direction from Paddington Station if one is to get to Trafalgar square. I reversed direction and it very quickly proved to be a good choice. The names of the streets and the places were becoming more and more familiar as I went. There was a place called Hyde Park, and some Wellington Arch across the street, and a Princess Diana memorial drive and a Buckingham Palace where many people were taking pictures of themselves taking pictures. Just past the palace another half mile to the east were the stairs I knew would lead me to the line of monuments that leads to Trafalgar square. When I got to the square exactly as planned I was dumb struck by something that was at first beyond comprehension. ‘Closed for SHIPUTZIM’ the signs said. Well that’s not exactly what it said but that’s exactly what it meant. A place stands for thousands of years (well only a few dozens but it seems like thousands when you wait for a connection) and they decide to patch things up on the day that you happen to be passing by. As the initial shock subsided I realized the it was the side of the National Art gallery that was completely cordoned off, but the southern side with the loins and the pillar and the Nelson on the pillar was accessible. I weaved my way through construction equipment and wire fences and got to the fountains where people and pidgins where now sharing what used to be a much bigger space. The problem with pidgins is that they don’t really care about shrinking two dimensional space because they can always go higher. What this means is that there was a much higher concentration of pidgins above much less of a portion of Trafalgar square. The practical implication of this was a much denser concentration of bird droppings in the dimension of Trafalgar square available to people. This was somewhat disturbing because under no circumstances could a six foot human expect to find a clean patch of land large enough to stretch out on.

Disappointed with the unfriendly conditions at the square I decided that I would identify a few Israeli’s to myself and move on ‘ just for fun. The two people closets to me, right on the other side of the dung mound were Israeli’s ‘ mission accomplished. I was beginning to take a lot of pride at the rate I was fulfilling my goals for visiting GB. ‘Just Big Ben and you can head back to the airport I told myself’. I had never seen Big Ben up close before so why not’ Big Ben is really a tower with a clock and its bells toll at the top of every hour. I went there, saw the clock, heard the bells and went back to the airport, feeling very proud that I had not been victimized by the flight plan and had made the best of my time in GB.

I landed in Israel early Friday morning and the rest you know so we can skip all that and talk a little bit more about what went on here in the weeks that followed my return. Fortunately you were here to share some of the experiences first hand so we can skip a lot of details and focus on the essence of things.

As you recall your leaving for Israel has had a lasting effect on the Family. Disruptive and depressing at first, but that is behind us, as we discussed in our previous letter. What is accelerating the turn for the better is the fact that we have been able to add predictable and powerful controls to our lives which I would like to describe to you. Our lives are no longer driven by feelings, intellect and instincts. These are weak human factors which are susceptible to changes in surroundings and events. There is very little of that now. Our lives both as individuals and as a family are no longer at the mercy of simple fate and circumstances. Oh no! Ima has become a zealous follower of an infallible cult ‘ the believers of the ‘Feng Shui’ and our future is all coming up roses as these words are being written. We are now guided by the good will and the positive energies of a feng shui teacher who is known to his followers as ‘Master Lee’. His day-to-day name is ‘James’ So great are his powers that he has managed to double his number of followers by meeting Ima’ so now both Elaine and Ima obey everything he says. Mary is headed down that road but we’ll get to that. The course of events also seems to be in line with his predictions. For example he said that ‘there would be changes in my company’ and indeed ‘there were changes in my company’. I personally am not only in awe but I feel that some of his prowess has rubbed off on me. Try this one for size ‘there will be changes to the whether over the course of the next six months’. I’m not sure I could have made this statement with the same levels of conviction before Master Lee came into our lives.

The nice thing about Feng shui is that it’s a brilliant marketing exercise in what the first chapter of Genesis tells us. The only difference is that as Jews we are taught to take the ‘shit always happens to us’ attitude and not mess with our surrounding, while the Chinese have realized that you can make a living out of making you believe that you can actually do something to your surroundings which will change your quality of life and prospects for the better.

Feng shui means ‘wind, water’ and traditionally symbolizes the space between heaven and earth – the environment where we live. The underlying philosophy recognizes that we and our environment are sustained by an invisible, yet tangible, energy called ‘chi’ ‘ this is the ‘ruach elohim’ which as Jews you aren’t supposed to mess with. It moves like wind, but can eddy and become trapped like water and stagnate. Well our Elohim doesn’t need to be trapped in order to stagnate. Many of us would give a whole lot to figure out how to get this Elohim of ours moving again.

The Hindus have a name of their own for these beliefs and if 2.5 billion people believe, then they cannot all be wrong’

The skill of a feng shui consultant lies in recognizing where chi is flowing freely, where it may be trapped and stagnant, or where it may be excessive. The work of an occupier is to create space for chi to flow and activate the opportunities that may be frustrated by obstacles. While the intent is not consistent with the recommendations, it did get Ima to close the toilet doors so that energy CAN move freely. Doesn’t sound right, but I don’t think that the intent is for anyone to question the logic. If your house smells like shit, it really doesn’t matter what you call it. It can be energy not flowing or fowling energies, its not appealing and its best to do something about it.

The skills of the teachers and work are applied together with a harmonious re-balancing of yin and yang, the dark and light of all situations. The principles may be applied geo-physically as well as superficially to placement, design and decoration. House and garden should work together relative to life, health, wealth and happiness. Every aspect of home, life, career and relationships is open to enhancement. The implications of this have affected not only our bodies and our house but also our cars and offices. My car crushed two car jacks attempting to replace a flat tier and only a Triple-A service man with all the right equipment was able to fix it. Seeing this we feng shui-ed my office a week ago and I hadn’t had a flat tier since’

Feng shui facilitates holistic development of the individual, his family or business by enhancing the immediate environment and it is natural that good fortune and increased energy should accompany proper implementation. Recommendations for change and placement are based on nine traditional cures, adapted for modern western use, involving light, sound, life, movement, stability, electricity, symbolism, color and transcendental solutions, all as required or appropriate. We have diligently applied all the required fixes to 739 Durshire Way and the house it feng shui approved. Dick, however refused to cut down his hedges which Master Lee views as blocking the energy flowing from Grackle road. Knowing that this is the direction Nili Caspi tends to flow from I would rather keep the hedges where they are and beef them up with whatever we can. The fence guarding the entrance to the house was a different matter. This was completely under Ima’s control and she had John go after it with a Chain Saw. The fence down, Tin-tin was confronted with a dilemma ‘ should he continue to piss in front of the kitchen window, which is no longer shielded from view, or should he start using a toilet’ I think he’s opting for the toilet and the back yard more and more, which is not such a bad idea all things considered. Given that Tin-tin has marked off some of her territory, Tweety is opting for the neighbor’s yard which is not a bad idea either. Just the other day Osmo reported that ‘Jay’s yard is so full of poop its worse than ours’. Indeed, there are significant gaps in the fence between us and Jay and the dog crosses over freely to relieve herself.. Now that we know that the gaps are essential for chi to flow, its all the same to us that it keeps shit flowing as well. One of these days someone who cares will move into the house next door and the chi will hit the fan. In the meanwhile we have no intention of fixing the fence, as long as Tin-tin and Tweety are content with the territories they have marked for themselves.

I hope your back is feeling better following the MA-ASAH-LEE treating you.

The MA-ASAH-LEE could not overlook Mary’s house for reasons of kin or friendship which work in similar ways to those that cause us to fly long distances with heavy bags. As a gift to Mary MA-ASAH-LA recommended that she demolish her house and rebuild a feng shui friendly dwelling or else’ Poor Mary, as though Lulu was not enough. So now Ima is busy trying to figure out ways to get good energies flowing through the house in spite of its hostilities to the chi. As part of the effort we went to have the ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving dinner with Mary and many of her (new) friends. As usual it was a bunch of people who had so much in common’ Let me see if I can piece this together for you. There was a lady from Taiwan called Alison. Alison, my a(li)ss(on), but then who cares. The important thing is that she met Mary two weeks ago in a Yoga class and the bond grew strong enough for Mary to cook for Alison. Alison came with a husband who two hours into the dinner turned out to be just a friend living with her in sin. The friend is a fair skinned, faired thinning haired, short, somewhat on the plump side, Canadian who is living in the US with Alison whose name I forgot. He works for a high tech company but is not an engineer. Then there were five more people from China or Taiwan who were somehow related amongst themselves and to Mary. They sat on their half of the table where the ham was and spoke Chinese which is probably mandarin. And there were Peter and Lina and us. Like every year Peter cooked the food, Lina made the gravy. and we ate both. Thank goodness the turkey fell apart of something so it was served carved with the gravy that Lina made on the side. The were four kinds of side dishes which in Thanksgiving are called ‘stuffing’. Peter prepared all four ‘stuffing’s and Lina made the gravy. Peter also bought a nice huge half of a pig which rested peacefully on the Chinese people’s side of the table. After three and a half hours the Chinese people finished the ham and their share of the stuffing and went home. We cleared the table and left as well. Alison stayed on to make reservations for next year.

As the holiday’s come upon us, the house is filling up with positive energies which is a good thing. To encourage the good energies we decided to replace the furnace which is no longer working with a new one which should be here within a week. The new furnace will hopefully provide the energies with a place to originate from. Right now we all have to revert to Ima’s new down comforter which seems to trap wonderful energies under it. We have at least one person under that wonderful blanket every hour of the day.

As the energies mount I will begin planning how and what is packed for the next trip to Israel as it will take place after Nov 1st and we will pay extra for overweight luggage.

Love you and miss you