Sunday, August 9, 2015

#35 Visit from Jakub the cellist

Blog #35 Visit by Jakub Omsky  Trawkowski and his friend Delmar Uqualla

Every morning since I came in June to Wellfleet I think nothing will happen, no one will visit me and I will just rest and inhale the lovely whiff from the ocean, watch sun sets-  that is enough.

This morning I prepared coffee and croissants with good stuff inside and Jakub (cellist we met in Sedona who moved to Vermont recently) met me after his outside shower ready for adventure of Shabbat, 8.8.15.   Nothing special in this.  We left Delmar sleeping and off to the marina to have our breakfast. Early in the morning Jakub walks with me around the marina-  such delight for me-  no one else  is up at  this hour.

It was beshert that I spill coffee coming down the steps and we drank water instead.
We had our walk and then a lady sat down near us with a well-behaved dog. We talked about all kinds of things.  She lives year round in Wellfleet.  When leaving Victoria Pecoraro looked at me and remembered meeting me in a nursery in Orleans buying flowers years ago.
On the way home I asked Jakub to stop in a place I have never been to - Flying Fish - to get him the coffee I spilled this morning.
We sat down on the large terrace full of people and next to me came a little girl holding a big bag followed by her grandfather –beautiful, bearded and mustachioed man.  Then came her mamusia and grandmamma. Birds were jumping around us eating spilled crumbs, and Jakub had after enjoying second breakfast talked to these people and I heard them speaking French to the little girl-well, that started everything.
Aliska,you are the only one who will believe this-  2  professors  teaching and working in Paris come every year  to Wellfleet. 
Their daughter Tracy lives in London with her  family.
Linda Brimm teaches psychology interviewing survivors of the Holocaust.  I told her it was beshert that I spill coffee this morning so we can  find each other in Flying Fish._ Jakub remembered  that his grandmother and grandfather were in the underground  … His Grandfather never stopped talking  about the war and his imprisonment  (He was not Jewish, but many were imprisoned for any kind of logical thinking against the regime).
Now  the real day  begins  and I am ready  for my rest-  so many impressions,too much for my  small brain. Calusy (kisses) M.

Later, Jakub entertained us with romantic music in Glen and Maria’s  gallery-  we danced and enjoyed an impromptu evening-  that is the best kind.

Great visit!

- Nika Fleissig

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Life Begins at 90 #34 Scooter!

Today’s adventure is the best ever. It was a gloomy day so after eating, reading and playing bridge I went to the marina for a walk as usual.  Then I thought to try to find a pink top for my nice pants and found it in Eccentricity, the unusual store behind the Off Center store in town.

As I walk out I see a beautiful scooter parked next to my car and a nice young lady approaching it. I said, “This was always my dream and it is too late now.  Can you take a photo so I can show it to my family?” 

Jessica made nice pictures-- then bought our book and I found out that  her parents live on Briar Lane where we rented a cottage for 16 years before buying our  Mill Hill Rd  dream place.  Had I left the store one minute later I never would have met this nice young teacher - speaking of “beshert”!!!!!!

Hope Jessica will find time to bring her husband to my place.  I am blessed.  I see you all smiling! 

Calusy (Kisses in Polish) Mamusia

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Blog #32 Everyday - ADVENTURES!!


Daughter Alicia writes:  Each day without fail I get an email from my mother Nika about her adventures… She adores spending 4 months at her cottage on Cape Cod in the village of Wellfleet.  Amazing how many people she meets - maybe walking around the marina, perhaps swimming at one of the ponds, sometimes at the Senior Center.  This week in mid-July my brother Will Fleissig, his wife Wendy and their daughters Ariel and Mia are staying nearby in Wellfleet. What joy for my mother to see them each day, hear their stories, watch the girls dance and sing, and just feel like close family.  It is hard for us all being so spread out from coast to coast.
Unfortunately because my husband Itzhak was in the hospital earlier this month, we had to cancel our trip.  I was able to lead the baby naming ceremony of our daughter Tali and son-in-law Craig’s twin baby girls Gabriella and Amalia by Skype, but missed seeing our son Amir who flew in for the family gathering as well.  Itzhak is healing quite well at home, getting a lot of good care, has lost weight, and will continue to follow a well-defined nutrition program for diabetes.  

Here are a few excerpts from emails I received this past week alone! Pretty much unedited, so you get the flavor:

Subject: Fun Time
Hi   Such a nice  time -  being together  with 4 of  my Darlings-performing, singing  just having fun-  how long it does not matter.
Hope you had a good workout and please do something every day-  even  for 15 minutes.  
Much love  calusy  (kisses in Polish, pronounced tzawusi) Mamusia 

Marina,  Wellfleet, Massachusetts

 Uncle Tim’s Bridge, Wellfleet

Good morning  Monday July  20. Wellfleet Cape Cod
Tried  to swim together  with my children  but our timing was wrong.  So they went wave catching in the ocean  and I went to Great Pond all alone . 
I knew  someone will help me,  and so it happened I met a  nice  lady who
recognize me  - She had read the book and listened to our  talk.   She   got me down to the lake safely.
In the water met Joan and Ed Weaving
Had a  beautiful swim and walk in the water to exercise  and then Ed offered to get me back to my car. 
I found our book-  dedicated it to Weavings and hope
they will visit me  soon in my studio.
Perfect morning  - Hope you are enjoying whatever you are doing  and we see each other later to “Show and tell”.
Bless you and thank you for making “life begins at 90” real fun. 
Smiling  Baci  Nika

Nika at marina, Wellfleet next to plaque in memory of Alfred Fleissig
Plaque reads:
Alfred Fleissig 1906-1984
His love of Wellfleet and this harbor
has been passed down to the fourth generation.

Beautiful day.  just perfect-   Children catching waves   I went for my usual walk around the marina. Wearing cheerful pants I had bought with you in Oregon. A lady came to me and said “Hi Nika, my husband read your book,  is sitting in the car  (fell off the ladder has a broken hand and fingers) and told me to talk to you. .
I remember falling off a ladder picking up a yellow shawl from the attic for a gallery opening many years ago. Fred was holding the ladder to help. Ended in the hospital with a broken wrist which was never properly put together  by a butcher-doctor.  We all do dumb things and have to pay for them dearly.
This lady  used to have  catering business in Connecticut and told me her daughter delivers a chocolate  bomb  desert to Wicked Oyster.  We should try it tonight.
I showed her Fredziu’s  plaque  and we  really  connected.
Now waiting for the children to see what the day will bring. 

Afternoon after 5:30  dinner  at Wicked Oyster--- elegant  gallery opening  across from Glenn….  then maybe  dancing at the pier if not too windy.  Wow-Love  Wellfleet!!!!!!!!  Calusy  Mamusia

Nika’s son Will, his wife Wendy, their daughters Ariel, Mia, and Matriarch Nika

I miss you -  talked about you at the opening of the new gallery  across from Glen.  Bettina and her husband.   They promised to visit me.   Saturday  new play opening.  Joanna will pick me up.  Life is interesting  if you do not close your doors!  
Much love  M

Alicia adds:  Please reread that last sentence.  Worth embroidering or making into a banner! 
-         Nika Kohn Fleissig

- Nika Fleissig

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Life Begins at 90:  Blog #33    Hamburger and a Beer…..

It all started with a Hamburger.  When we had dinner in Winslow Tavern yesterday my son Willy ordered a hamburger. Today, after swimming with the girls and Wendy and Willy helping me go up and down, 
I changed and suddenly felt a colossal yen to get a hamburger of my own.  While my family went to have ice cream in town I walked and remembered the Lighthouse Restaurant right on Main Street in town.
Nobody was inside…  I peeked – asked the nice waitress if she could persuade the cook to make me a double hamburger without anything artificial added to the purest beef.   Sat down, asked for Heineken light beer and waited.  It came as promised- and really, it tasted divine after all these years. 

My son Willy came over to share the beer with me and suddenly the waitress brought 1 more beer that a gentleman sitting with his son sent to me. What a kind thing to do.
Wendy and the girls came over and took a nice photo with the kind man – Jonathan McPartland - and started a conversation   - a most pleasant encounter.

Then walked with Willy to the car and a gentleman passed in the most unusual hat with red flower and cane -  very different from any such cane I ever saw.  Wendy came over, took our photo together and Mr. Sander Stern promised to send me the same cane when he returns home.

for some reason this came upside down and I cannot turn it around... so stand on your head!

Similar things happen to me almost every day, but this time my family witnessed it – which made it so much more believable.
Finally drove to pick up Ariel and Mia sitting on a bench and wondering what happened to all of us.

Tomorrow Will’s family leaves for Martha’s Vineyard and then home to San Francisco, and I will be left with delightful memories of their visit.

Maybe Wendy and Willy will add their story… I wonder how it all looked to them…. 


Rabbi Alicia Magal

928 204-1286

"A Jewel of a Shul"

Mission Statement:
The Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley is a welcoming, egalitarian, inclusive congregation dedicated to building a link from the past to the future by providing religious, educational, social and cultural experiences. We choose to remain unaffiliated in order to respect and serve the rich diversity of our members and visitors. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog 31: Family Gathering on Cape Cod, July 2015

Blog 31: Family Gathering, July 2015

Here we all are in Wellfleet in 2015, where our daughter Alicia got married to Itzhak Magal in 1974, and our granddaughter Tali and her husband Craig Fleishman had their wedding in 2010.  So many memories of family gatherings over decades, since Alicia and Willy were babies, and now we have grown to such a large family!     We have a family reunion of  4 generations created by me with Fred’s help.  Tali and Craig’s six-month old twins, Gabriella and Amalia, will get their Hebrew names, and traditional blessings, and we will celebrate all our birthdays together.  My 95th was in May, but since we are all together now in the summer, we will combine all these happy occasions. My son Will Fleissig, with his wife Wendy and their two daughters, Ariel -12- and Mia -10- are driving up for the day from Falmouth on the Cape.  My grandson Amir is flying in to be part of the celebration as well. We will all meet at the house nearby that Tali and Craig rented for this week.  Alicia and Itzhak cannot be here as planned, since Itzhak was taken to the hospital … they had to cancel their vacation.

On Thursday, July 9, I drove to the Bistro in South Wellfleet for a delicious breakfast (where Tali and Craig had their wedding reception in 2010), kissed Phillipe, the owner, and met his French Mama and Italian Papa visiting from France.  I got a special present – his Mama had just made fresh raspberry  jam - a treasure.  Also met Eliza and daughter 2 years old who dances around the kitchen entertaining the help.
An hour later my son Willy - who had just flown with his family from San Francisco - left Falmouth, their summer place, and joined Tali and me for breakfast.  I love such impromptu unplanned adventures.  

It is a warm day, Friday, July 10.  I was counting the days until my whole family will be together to celebrate 4 generations  Fred and I started  70 years ago. Unfortunately our beloved  Rabbi Alicia  - new grandmother - could not bless the 6 month old  twins Amalia  and Gabriella  and give them their Hebrew names in person.
Still it was lovely, and will be never forgotten, such a happy afternoon.  My son Will with his beautiful three ladies: wife Wendy, and daughters Ariel and Mia came around  2pm.  Grandson Amir had arrived one day earlier.   We talked and had some nice things to eat, and then decided to go swimming in Great Pond, which we love.
It is so much fun to see the little babies just trying the water.   Tali and Craig are great parents.  I walked and swam and loved to be surrounded by my growing family - a dream come true.
Nika, Tali, Amalia
Gabriella, Tali, Nika

Tali and Craig introduce the babies to Long Pond in Wellfleet

Gabriella and Amalia nearly 6 months old

Alicia adds:  yes, this was a big disappointment not to be there in person, but I was able to participate in the baby naming by skype.  Hard not to be holding the babies in person, but at least we could all see and hear each other.  So the babies are Gabriella Roux and Amalia Belle – and their Hebrew names are Gabriella Lea, and Amalia Bracha. Tali explained the meaning and lineage of their names, and I blessed them as their Savta (grandmother in Hebrew)-Rabbi.  As I write this now on July 12, Itzhak is much better and about to be discharged from the hospital.
Skype screenshot of family gathered for baby naming
Alicia at bottom right taking picture of the computer screen;
from left - Amir, Will, Craig holding Gabriella, Tali holding Amalia, Mia, Wendy, Nika, Ariel

When we returned, everybody helped to prepare a dinner  -  what a happy time  of joking and telling stories.
Finally we all sat around the table, singing Hebrew songs and Friday evening Shabbat prayers.  Food was delicious and then I thanked them and thought of leaving the happy group. Willy said “We are not through with you.  Please sit.”
Surprise of my life when Willy pulled out a big envelope and announced – this was supposed to reach you in Sedona for your 95th birthday.
Somehow it traveled back and forth several time and got returned to Willy.  He kept it for this special evening -  what a delight.  I thought it was lost, and now Ariel and Mia were reading to me their lovely wishes. Willy and Wendy have outdone themselves-  real works  of art.

Everyone there could write about this reunion and baby naming from their own perspective.  I invite them to read this and add their own memories about what was important and memorable… Then I can add them in a future updated blog.

But truly this was a highlight for us all, a point of touching each other’s lives with joy.

- Nika Fleissig

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blog #30 Life is Always an Adventure

In previous blogs I covered all kinds of happy and sad memories which were triggered by some happening at the moment. I now had a few days that made me feel like staying home, so I went across the street to Verizon to ask some help from the friendly manager Brenda to teach me a few more things I can find in my new smart phone. Also, my daughter Alicia showed me new possibilities such as actually reading books on my phone! Advantages -- much lighter to hold than a heavy book, and I can adjust the size of the letters.  

Well, I could not play bridge all day online, and painting requires too much concentration. I just felt like reading a book without going to the library.
All of us widows have one thing in common - too much time.  Most friends if you live past 90 have left this world.  “Never give up,”  I said to myself.
So I clicked the  Amazon Kindle icon, and tried to find something cheerful to read. I found a funny title:  “Old Girls in Low Cotton,” written by Helen  Childress. I laughed  all the time and admired her style.
The second book, “The Girl in room 14”  by Carol Drinkwater, made me think of a good few years ago when I became a widow at 65.  Once upon a time in my grandmother’s time 65 was really old, but not anymore. For me 65 was a new beginning. 

The advantage of that age: we are independent. Our children are grown up, on their own, busy with their children.  So we then ask ourselves what to do with the rest of our life.

My husband, Alfred Fleissig and I had enjoyed 10 winter seasons in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  San Miguel de Allende is, and was, a paradise for painters. I never learned more or did better work than during those 10 years taking classes at Bellas Artes.  I learned enough Spanish to survive in Mexico, and loved every minute we spent there, with good friends we made.  

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 1981.
Alfred is standing, 4th from the left.  Nika is standing on right, in green dress.
Alicia is kneeling in center.
Unfortunately, there is no hospital.  Americans who retired there had to be flown to Houston, Texas, if they got sick.  A great disadvantage of the village for anyone with a heart condition is that it sits at an altitude of 8000 ft.   Fred, at 77 years of age, could no longer breathe well at that altitude, and I realized that we had to get out quickly.  I managed to swap our townhouse with an apartment in West Palm Beach, Florida, at sea level, where my husband would be healthier.
I hated the change and cried my eyes out, walking along the ocean so that nobody can see me. But for Fred it was a good change moving to Florida. He was happy there and could breathe more easily, and enjoyed the balmy weather.

After only eight months my husband of 38 years died at the age of 78, and I thought  the “tunnel closed up” -  no future for me.

I ran away for 3 weeks, and cried all over Europe. It was raining everywhere I went, so I traveled to Israel hoping for better weather.  I had a year of mourning… and truly mourned - not only him, but also my own family who had all been killed in the War - for the first time.  I never had had time before when I was busy adjusting to a new life in America and bringing up children.  But after my husband died, I suddenly felt alone. I just walked, and thought, and wondered, what next?

You have to believe that there are miracles and surprises.  It happened to me.
Upon my return home, I became friends with a Polish man, Andrew Kaspzrak, whom my husband and I had met briefly before. He lived in the same apartment complex in West Palm Beach.  We were on the 21st floor, and his apartment was on the 15th floor. Andrew had offered to pick up my mail, and delivered it to me when I returned home. He was the same age as I, 65.  He had left Poland a few years earlier, escaped from the Communist system in Poland, was granted asylum, and started a new life in US.  He had a genius for manufacturing and marketing clothes, furs, and other items, and was somehow able to make money and have a fancy car, even under the Communist restrictive economy.  But he hated the restrictions, and found a way to leave Poland. Andrew was separated from his wife, and living on his own.  His son followed him, supposedly taking part of the boat races, brought with him a new Mercedes car his father had left behind, and also settled in West Palm Beach. 

Slowly Andrew and I helped each other to start a new life at 65. I had to learn to play tennis since Andrew loved the sport. Since my right arm has no strength I learned to play "vicious tennis" with my left arm!  We started traveling all over the world to all the places we had missed because of the Second World War.  Our teenage and young adult years had been taken from us, and now, in our mid- 60’s,  70’s,  and into our 80’s, we were free to enjoy life like kids. We went on cruises, traveled in trains across Europe, and even found our way to the North Pole for my 80th birthday in May of 2000!   

Andrew and Nika in Iquitos, Peru
 Nika traveled to Peru despite a broken arm. 
See the cast on her right arm


Nika and Andrew at the Ice Palace Igloo Hotel
at the North Pole, 2000

Now, in 2015, after being alone  for 10 years, (Andrew died at age 85) I am reading a book  about the French Riviera. I recall being on a train to Cannes in France, and across from us a nice lady listening to our plans said, “Why don’t you try something new…not as busy and full of tourists as Cannes or the rest of Riviera: the name is Menton.”

We had never heard of it but we did it.  Everything was delightful in that place.  Always stay open to try new adventures - why not? I never forgot the great new part of the Riviera to enjoy.  Carol Drinkwater describes in her book all the places I remember, and so I am smiling as I read her book.

Why did I feel that I would like to tell my friends about it? Because I want to say strongly never to think  life is over!!  Surprises are waiting around the corner if you are willing to take a chance!  Now past 90 it is so pleasant to have such fond memories!!!!!   

Now I have adventures with my daughter here in Sedona, meeting new friends, younger people, and being invited to places I never thought to be able to see before.   I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of my family, including my baby great-daughters, just now 4 months old, this summer on Cape Cod.  A real family celebration! 

Good luck to all of you reading!  Take a chance and have an adventure!

- Nika Fleissig

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

#29 MOTHER'S WEEK in Oregon

Life Begins at Ninety Blog #29, Mother’s WEEK in Oregon!

It all happened because I was late returning my book to the library branch near my home in the Village of Oak Creek near Sedona.  
Suddenly I see dangling feet... A man was sitting on the back of a truck in the parking lot taking pictures.  So I asked him if he could take a picture of me from my own phone camera.  As he did that, his adorable wife Zoe showed up... They went with me to return my book and then walked back to my place to see my paintings.  After seeing the paintings and my book lying on the table, he said, “I am Bill Willetts from Oregon.  When I return home I will swap my book for yours, and send you the book my mother wrote when she was 95, like you are about to be.”  I learned that she came as the youngest daughter of a large family from Italy through Ellis Island, and was interviewed about her immigrant experience as part of the Ellis Island museum. 

In a week we got a lovely package containing a book, a chocolate bar and a mug with a picture and logo of Five Pines on them, as well as printed information about the lodge he had built.  We thanked him, and received an unexpected surprise: an invitation to be their guest for 3 days.  Monday – Wednesday May 4-6, checking out on Thursday morning, May 7.  The cabins are fully booked Thursday – Sunday, so the beginning of the week was good for them and good for us too. Never did I dream that I could ask Alicia to skip a Friday evening service, but she agreed that we would go, and not rush back.  There would be a lay-led service on Friday at the Sedona synagogue, and we would take our time with an extra day to come home.

Alicia began to read the book, and loved it.  The print was too small for me, so Alicia read parts out loud to me about the fascinating story of Bill’s mother’s life.

So we planned Mother’s Week... Why just one day?  Like a Polish wedding or birthday… lasts all week!

We had to take two small planes from Phoenix via San Francisco to reach this small airport at Redmond, Oregon. 
Nika on the plane reading a book downloaded into her android phone
Then Alicia rented a fiery red Dodge Journey, perfect name for this trip.  Just couldn’t find any place to plug in the GPS so she had to navigate the old fashioned way – with a little, inaccurate tourist map, and asking directions. We arrived at what looked like an enchanted pine forest…vertical lines of hundreds of tree trunks reaching to the sky. 

There is a lodge, and a conference center,  a spa called Shibui, run by Bill’s wife Zoe, and many cabins with different designs..ours was the Caboose Cabin, with an extra alcove for Alicia’s bed. 

Alicia adds: Nika couldn’t understand what animal was leaving all those thousands of droppings under the trees…. I laughed and told her they were pine cones!!!

Alicia drove us to the nearby town of Sisters, all of several blocks long, with cute little houses turned into galleries, stores, and restaurants. 

In the Conference Center, everything was dedicated to Bill‘s mother Elda, with inspiring quotes about forgiveness from his mother written on large wooden plaques.  The family pictures were framed and displayed in the central entryway, making this public space homey and personal.

Zoe and Bill have been married for many years, since she was 16 and he 18... Their parents had been against their getting married so early, but she got pregnant and against everyone’s advice they did get married and kept the child, and created a life and large family together.  Now they have grandchildren already in college! What a strong, loving, family life they created!

This Five Pines Lodge was built only 8 years ago after many years of Bill’s having businesses in sales and design.  Read the book to find out more...  
It is called “The Sugar’s at the Bottom of the Cup.”  The lodge is located in Sisters, Oregon, named after the Three Sisters Mountains nearby. If you want to smell the best, cleanest air ever, we highly recommend you go there and enjoy this fairy tale spot.  People return year after year… We read some of their reflections in a journal in the cottage with entries from families who visited again and again..

Alicia:  On Wednesday, our second full day at the Five Pines Lodge, Nika decided to rest in the cabin so I went exploring to find the Head of the Metolius River, suggested as a remarkable destination for anyone visiting the area.  I drove among miles of pine trees, parked – the only car in the whole parking lot – and started walking down the path.  The only companion I had was a lively chipmunk. I did reach the spot where one has a view of the flowing river, but the air was very cold, and the sky was grey, so I turned around and quickly headed back.

The highlight of our trip, however, was not the meanderings downtown, nor the exploration of the Head of the Metolius River,  but the dinner at the Open Door Restaurant inside the Clearwater Gallery in Sisters. In the evening, they put tables into the gallery space and instantly it becomes a restaurant. 

Alicia: Bill knew of my mother’s love of art, and so picked this fine dining venue in the midst of paintings and sculptures for a family gathering to which we were invited.

We hugged Bill and Zoe, and then were introduced to their son Greg, and his sons Sean and Gabriel.  We also got up and walked around the small gallery, and met all the other diners.  At one large table were people who hold a regular Italian conversation group, so we practiced speaking Italian with them.  Other diners exchanged email addresses with us.  Very friendly, warm atmosphere!

We exchanged gifts with Bill and Zoe, and felt like extended family. We hope to meet the rest of the family in the future.

After our three days in this fairy tale like place, we made a detour to Bend, Oregon, on Thursday morning, where Alicia found (after a few stops to ask) the Old Mill District, which in our minds would be a kind of promenade along the Dechutes River with tables and cafes and cute local shops.... No such thing.  It was indeed an old brick mill with smokestacks turned into an outdoor mall with Chico’s and all the usual franchise shops... And... it was bitter cold and windy. So, never mind, we just went, much earlier than expected, back to the Redmond Airport to drop off the car, and wait for the shuttle from the Comfort Suites Inn to pick us up. We had both agreed that it would be too rushed to return back home after those 3 days... Rather we decided to stay at a hotel for one more night before flying back to Sedona the next morning, Friday. Kind of time to decompress.

We got to this hotel expecting nothing but a clean room. We open the window curtains, and Oh My God...there was a rushing, turbulent, torrent of water right under our window.  Alicia yelled out, “Mom, the river, finally!!!”  Actually it is an irrigation channel for watering fields downstream, but for us, hey, this was The River!!!

After shuttling us to a quaint restaurant nearby with tasty sandwiches, we rested, and then decided to utilize the pool. Had a swim, and then didn’t want to dress again or go out for dinner. 

So… had a picnic feast in our room: Champagne and mango juice (try it!), and microwaved chicken pot pies from the choices at the front desk kiosk. 

Great, restful sleep, and then after breakfast provided by the hotel, they took us in their shuttle to the local Redmond Airport.  and... believe it or not, there was NO ONE THERE... I mean empty!!! I guess the rest of the locals knew to come only 10 minutes before the flight. 

The whole of Friday, May 8, it took us 12 hours to return to Sedona... two short flights, but a lot of waiting in between, and the two hour long shuttle ride back to Sedona, made comfortable by Ed of Red Rock Transportation.

Today, Sunday, May 10, is Mother's Day, and Alicia brought daisies (you know I hate roses), and we sat down together to write this blog about our Mother’s Week. I dictate, and she types and ads her own comments.

I always need to have something to look forward to…. and now that this Oregon adventure is passed, I’m looking forward to my 95th birthday on May 27, and then going to Cape Cod by June 1 for my 70th summer in Wellfleet, where our children and grandchildren spent part of their vacation… and now also our great-grandchildren will join the fun.  We will celebrate my birthday, and the naming of Tali and Craig’s babies, whose American names are Gabriella Roux and Amalia Belle, this summer in July.

Alicia: It is a custom to give babies their Hebrew name with a ceremony in which the parents and other relatives welcome the babies into the Covenant of Judaism through their significant Hebrew lineage names, linking them to earlier generations. As both a rabbi and a grandmother, I’m looking forward to both roles in this moving Baby Naming and blessing ceremony!

I wish for every mother in the world to experience such fun with her own children and create adventures... So start walking to your local library!

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