How to go from all this emo back to the mundane of blogging knitting and teen life?
Heatherly was nice enough to ask me some questions for the Interview Meme. I love this one, because no matter how many times you do it, the questions are never the same. If you want to join in, drop me a comment.
So, here are the Yenta's Qs and my As:
- oh i have missed your blogging! must be hard with all the traveling! not to mention crazy people trying to blow you up! or do you used to that? this is not an official question.:-)
The traveling is pretty easy to recuperate from. People trying to blow me up--well, that's really not an issue; I live in a pretty safe area of the world, all things considered, and of the country, for that matter. (It's not like this is Sederot.)
- my son dreams of being in the IDF, how do mothers in israel prepare their children and themselves for enlisting and the inevitable conflicts that arise?
I was lucky. My son is slightly disabled (completely deaf in one ear) so I knew from early on that he would never be a combat soldier. We spent his entire childhood teaching him, contrary to Israeli popular mythology, that combat units weren't the best thing since sliced bread. We regaled him with stories of his paternal grandfather, who was a machinist on the Manhattan Project, and had him think about who did more damage to the enemy -- his grandfather or a foot soldier. That doesn't mean that he didn't develop rifle envy, what with a lot of his friends going into combat units; he solved that by getting a part-time job doing guard duty and armed escort work, so he has a rifle of his own. The one big conflict is what would happen if Israel stages another land giveaway as they did in the summer of 2005, giving away Gaza in exchanged for thousands of Kassam rockets, to be delivered daily over the course of years. What will he do, and how will we help him through that? No clue. We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.
BTW, there's a whole program for foreigners. In fact, when we took The Oldest Teen in on Induction Day, we were speaking English as we approached the fenced-off area where recruits were standing. A group of English speaking boys called him over and told him, "You have to go inside and surrender your passport." We all started panicking a minute: he was supposed to bring his passport? No one told us that! He said he didn't have a passport with him, he had his national ID card. "Oh, you're not an American?" the boys asked. "I am, but also Israeli," said Teen. "Oh, then forget what we said; we thought you were here to volunteer in the overseas program."
- i know you can grow your own cotton but where do you buy yarn in israel?
Well, this year I won't be growing cotton because the time period when I usually started was eaten up taking care of my mom and then taking care of her estate. And next year I won't grow anything because of shmitta, so it's a good thing there are now decent yarn stores in Israel. It used to be, back when I moved here 17 years ago, you could buy all the yarn you wanted -- as long as what you wanted was fuschia acrylic. Now there are two yarn stores I frequent (when I'm not on a yarn diet): Badei Shani in Jerusalem (Martef HaIr, next to HaMashbir, across from the midrachov) and Gourmet Yarn in Raanana.
- is there a yarn or product you can't get in Israel but are dying to try?
I haven't been to Gourmet Yarn in a while, between being busy and being on a yarn diet. Pretty much everything I'd want to try she's got, or is willing to get. One thing I'd like to try, though, and which I didn't find when I was in NY last month, is Tofutsies sock yarn (and all the other cool new sock yarns that aren't 75/25).
- what is your favourite thing(s) about living in israel?
Oooh, tough question. I love the pace of life here, I love the freedom my kids have to go where they want, when they want. I love that here I never have to explain why I'm taking time for a religious life. (Go explain to the average American employer that you're taking off half an hour for afternoon prayers.)
- we are just about to enter life with teenagers, any advice?
Fasten your seatbelts. No, seriously--if you've raised them right until now, they'll be fine, with a minor bump or scrape here or there. There's a Yiddish saying--from seven to seventy, a person's essential character remains unchanged.
When my kids were little, we had a reputation for being very strict. Now that the youngest is 15, we have a reputation for being very lenient. I rarely tel my kids no, but not because I'm indulgent--because they already know what they can do and what they can't, and very rarely ask to do something I wouldn't allow.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW MEME
1. Leave a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Now that I've broken the ice, maybe I can finish up that post about knitting in the hospice, or knitting since, or saying kaddish...