On the Road

Trip Start Oct 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 11, 2007

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Flag of Israel  ,
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vacation takes me out of my routine. I spent a lot of extra effort to get things in order so I would not have to deal with work, bills, etc. and be in a new space. The ritual of packing at our house brings out two very different methods and philosophies.  As long as I do not bug Linda and hand out unsolicited advice and as long as she does not ask me to pack her over flow we get along quite well.
I move both Ghia and Westy into back behind the gate so Grouchy Gran can park her RV anywhere she wants. She is so sweet to watch the house and keep Henry company. Henry sleeps on the floor next to her, but when he tried to jump up for his morning spoon session he was reminded that not all people like dogs in their beds. He is a quick learner, I hope. First reports of regular walks are much to his liking, I'm sure.
It was really nice to head down to Santa Cruz for Maddies 2nd B-day! She is so awesome. The party was fun, actually really fun as I got to just be there. I mean, as an observer, I forgot how much effort, planning and hosting and doing all these things for your kids, guests and family. I got to actually sit and visit and be relaxed and watch the young parents enjoy their family! Man I am way cool with sharing the younger years with my nieces and not having to do it any more! There are still colleges, weddings, houses and grand kids on the far horizon, but for the moment a bit of piece.
Getting up early and off to the airport was a bit frenzied, but quickly settled down into relaxation as our schedule was not tight. Both planes were late and we even sat on the tarmac at JFK for ~25 minutes before docking. No worries as Linda's flight planning had plenty of margin.
We boarded the new Virgin Atlantic plane in SFO, Linda booked the discount fair the first week they opened. The plane is way cool, purplish and reddish lighting with wide black leather seats that lean back further then expected. The back of the seats are constructed of white plastic from "good guy" Star War uniforms. Each has a built in screen and pad to watch satellite TV, movies on demand, choose songs for a playlist, order food, play video games and chat with others on the plane. Linda and I chat on line for about a minute and realize how ridiculus it is since we are sitting next to each other. I choose songs form Hello Dolly (I love Walter Matthau's "It takes a Woman"), Black eyed Peas, Stones, etc. Linda orders a $10 lunch, nice sandwich with greek salad and chips. And yes the BBQ chips go between the bread as condiments!
Upon arrival JFK we meet all of the parents and siblings of the kids going to Israel and realize that we will be spending the next 10 days with these folks. People from all over, Florida, Washington State, DC, Arizona, West Virginia, So Cal, etc. all very nice. One of the other dads saw my filling my camelback, turns out he is a roadie. So there are all the old people from all over the country gathering to check-in at El Al. There were at least 2 groups, they belong to TV televangelist congregations are making a pilgrimage to hang where there leader JC used to be. I am talking hundreds of people. The NIFTY leader tell me that this is big business for the churches and especially Israel as they bring in huge dollars! I smile at the irony. One lady tells me that she wants all of the Jews in the world to live is Israel, why?, because then the messiah will come!
I take my BB on this trip. So I am fully connected. Too connected. In NY I get e-mails from work, oh wow, I can follow the daily trials and tribulations! Ringo, my old college room mate writes in that Brother Phil Huttenhein died of pancreatitis. He has been in the hospital ICU for three weeks. 46 years old. I call Heather, Mikes wife Mary's best friend. Mike just had a spinal tap to determine if the cancer had spread to his brain. Will get results soon. I decide not to tell Mike that Phil passed.
Some people connect/communicate better in different mediums. Camille, Linda and my Mom, horrible on the phone. Why? Just so. When it comes to Camille, her phone, e-mail and texting is very..................... efficient. But, in person, when we arrived at the Kibbutz I get the biggest hug, brightest smile and warmest conversation. My little girl has grow, noticeably since her departure. She is a bit more confident and enjoys sharing her new home with us. I am so proud of her for leaving home to learn more about herself and the world. When I talk to her I hear honesty and joy and I love her!
The EL Al to Tel Aviv flight was aided by an Ambien and Bruce Willis, Die Hard. We touched down to applause and a balmy 75 degree evening. Looks like sandals, shorts and t-shirts baby! The bus ride on hiway one to the hills just out side of Jerusalem remind me of my time with Amanda. We arrive at the Kibbutz for dinner, a ceremony with the principle and head to our rooms. They are nice, large, simple with a balcony with a great view.
There are announcements and I have to do nothing, but listen and show-up. A change for me. Tomorrow the whole day is planned. A field trip, with the kids, lessons and hot springs. Sounds like fun.
This is one of those times for me to think about things other then the now and right now. I am sad that Howard K passed and more that his kids have now lost both parents. That sound, as Dad say, that sound of dirt hitting the casket in the ground as ones body is buried............I felt deep emotion. Now Phil and Mike soon. The birth of Annabelle and Camille heading on her path, alone. Time to figure out the few things I want to do and how I want to spend the time I have left. I have been having fun expanding world this last month. Doing things differently. Setting different priorities differently and being open to where it may take me. Reconnecting with Linda, friends and family has been good.

Craig out
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chwingman on

Re: Fantastic Blog
I will tell Camille your love. Remodel? Sounds interesting, but not as interesting as Turkey. Thanks for note. Getting tired and heading off to sleep.

- Craig

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