To Jerusalem

God's Holy City became my home, God's Chosen People became my friends, God's Holy Places became my experiences.

Thank you Jerusalem for welcoming me, For sharing your secrets with me, For enriching my life.

Ancient walls and buildings, New experiences. Ancient tradition, New understanding.

No words to express, How you have enriched me. Will I come back? I want to.



Leaving Soon

Four days until we leave!!! See you all soon. It's amazing what you can accumulate in 23 months. After unpacking from our Egypt trip, it was time to pack for our trip home, not an easy chore. We have been busy deciding what to mail home, what to sell, what to give away, what to take with us, and what to put out into the trash. Putting out into the trash is the equivalent of giving away. The dumpsters are out in the street for all to use and we have found that if we put a bag or box of anything, of worth in any way, out beside the dumpster, it will disappear in minutes. The funny thing is we never see anyone out there but when we come back next time, it's gone. There is a Palestine community near by and they often come down our street, also there are poor Jewish people who may have taken it. At any rate, we know that some one in need has picked it up.

My friends in the silver class sent me off with hand made gifts and made me promise that I will come back (at least try to), I was so touched. I will miss Merriam, our teacher, and the friends I have made in the silver class very much

Some times I want to go home so bad that I can hardly stand it and other times I feel sad that I will leave this fascinating place. I am thankful for being able to have had this wonderful experience, I will carry fond memories with me the rest of my days..

I don't know if I will get another email off before we go, but incase I don't, you will probability not hear from us until we get home. We should be home in Marietta some time during the week after Christmas. 


Trip to Egypt

We left our apartment at 6:30: am, enough time to hike to the bus and get there by 7. We had walked a half block when a taxi came by and couldn't resist hailing it. The taxi got us to the bus early, so we had our choice of seats, in the front.

Driving south, with the Dead sea on our left and the bare hills of the wilderness on our right, we encountered places where the wadis had washed mud and rocks across the road. The bus would bounce and rock it's way slowly across the slippery mess. We crossed the Suez Canal by tunnel and when we came out on the African side we saw a beautiful sunset (picture 5326).

Our (five star) Hotel in Cairo was a five minute walk to The Pyramids and we could see them from our balcony. Yes, the school was able to up grade and the hotels we stayed in were five star. Our sleeper compartments on the train were first class. No complaints about the food or accommodations!! Because of September 11, tourism has dropped off and the better hotels are willing to match the prices of less expensive hotels. After Cairo and a train ride, our next stop was in Aswan, this hotel is on an island in the Nile river and we reached it by boat. Our balcony looked out over the river with the wilderness mountains beyond. Aswan is very pretty and I wish we could have stayed longer. After Aswan was Luxor, this hotel also looked out over the Nile but was in town.

In all of these places we visited antiquity sites, temples and castles and tomes. We saw museums, poor sections of town and affluent parts of town. Shopping in the towns was fun but the merchants at the tourist sites were a nascence. The little children were cute (dirty and barefooted but with smiling eyes), they would come up to us with their hands out, some would say "Bin Laden is bad, America is good!" in hopes of getting on our good side.

Sunset in Africa

Don and I 

Don in a tomb in one of the pyramids 

 Down a Cairo street to see a church 


If you want to know specifics about where these places are you will have to ask Don, he keeps it all straight better than I do. I took some pictures with my little Elph camera but am waiting until we get to the US to have them developed.

Only 12 days until we leave for the good old US of A.


Party Night

Jody, (our land lady) is involved in a group who raise money for crippled children. Shirley, (Jody's mother and also our neighbor) invited us as her guest to attend their 16th annual benefit dinner. What a great evening! Five course meal, fascinating entertainment and a great live band with singers. The band played a mix of American and Israelite music and everyone danced. What fun, these people know how to throw a great party and also how to enjoy that party. It's been so long since Don and I have been able to dress up and go to a party like this, we danced and had a wonderful time.

Tonight is a dinner party at the school for graduating students and since Don is the only one graduating, the party is for him!! Sounds like another fun night, we can sleep on the tour bus to Egypt tomorrow.



Tomorrow we leave for our 7 day trip to Egypt. We must leave early and drag our suitcases about a mile to where we will catch the tour bus at 7am. The trip to Cairo will be by bus, long day. Normally the student study tours stay in 3 star hotels (OK, all of you who have stayed in a 3 star hotel in Egypt can stop snickering now), but because of the down turn in tourism, we will be able to up grade to 4 and 5 star hotels. I told Doctor Wright that I'll take all the stars I can get. Traveling between Cairo and Luxor will be on sleeper trains, this experience should be a story in its self. Today is laundry and packing for Cairo day.


Brain Surgery

The mouse got knocked on to the floor and received brain damage. It would no longer move the arrow around on the computer screen, we were having to use the little green button in the middle of the keyboard. After I wined and complained, Don got hold of a tiny Phillips screw driver and did brain surgery on the little rodent. The operation was a success!!! Now that the mouse is again pushing the arrow around and I don't have to use that little #%^&*#%^ green button, I'll catch up on my emails.



What did you do for Thanksgiving? We went to Thanksgiving dinner at the school. After dinner we all went to the president (of the school)'s home for desserts, it was a very nice evening.

Don and I are sorting out what we want to take home and what we want to leave and have found "homes" for most of the appliances we bought here. There is no point in taking them home as they run on a different current than in the US. My neighbor Darla bought most of them. Don has bunches of books and must decide which ones he wants to keep, books are heavy and he has to decide which ones aren't worth the cost of taking. Only four weeks until we leave.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful day.


Various Happenings

I had been out shopping and stopped to rest and have a Coke. I was sitting at a sidewalk table watching the people go by when I heard a scraping noise. Running toward me, at top speed, came a dog dragging a leash and at the end of the leash was a black plastic chair. Bonk, scrape, bounce, the chair did not slow him down in the least. Behind him a woman was running and shouting something that I couldn't understand and behind her a man was running too. I sat there a while finishing my Coke, hoping that the group (dog, women, man) would come back. They didn't show up while I was there..........I wonder if they ever caught the dog????

Eli has started digging again at the Gihon Spring. Since Don hasn't a lot to do (the semester is all but over), we went down to the spring and were helping Eli. Don was washing shards and I was putting numbers on them. This is an Arab area and the Arab children were curious and wanting to help. We weren't letting them help, so they started playing a "marble" game with little round pieces of candy. One generous little boy pulled a round candy out of his pocket and offered it to me. I said "Thank you, I'll eat it after my lunch". I lied. No telling where that candy been before it got to my hands, when the boys left, I threw it away.

The day spent helping the ladies (and two men) make necklaces, was great success. Some of them only have use of one hand and yet they struggled with one hand and finished their necklace. Others had sight problems, we would show them where the hole in the bead was and they did the rest. I was very proud of them all, they worked so hard and were so proud of what they had accomplished. By the way, the men did a great job, their wives will be happy with their present.



40 More

40 days and 40 nights

..........until we leave...........not very long! It has gotten cool here, especially at night, I love the cooler weather.

Darla volunteers at a center for people who need extra help, some elderly and some younger but all have health problems. She spends one morning a week with them doing craft and art projects. We spent several days last week finding beads and all the makings for necklaces and assembling the "kits". Monday I will go with Darla to help and hopefully each lady will take home a beautiful new necklace that they made themselves.

Looking forward to seeing you all........



There are a lot of stray cats in Jerusalem, sometimes when we walk by a dumpster cats come springing out and run off. I'm sure they come back to their meal a soon as we are gone. There is a mother cat and her two kittens that have been living in the garden in front of our building. Darla and I drop scraps down to them from time to time. This morning I went out on the balcony, the three little faces were looking up at me, so cute. They know that when they look up and see Darla or me, bits of food may fall from the sky. I went into the kitchen and got some slices of baloney, cut them into little pieces and dropped them. Woops, one of the pieces was caught by the breeze and landed on the balcony below me. The neighbors below are going to find one little piece of baloney on their balcony, if the ants don't carry it off first, I wonder if they will know where it came from. I told Don that I would like to smuggle one of the kittens home, he just moaned.


Return Plans

Don asked me to let you know what our itinerary is for going home. We will fly from Tel Aviv to Paris on December 19th and spend the night in Paris. On the 20th we will fly from Paris to New York and then from New York to Pittsburgh. I know that is a lot of changing planes (they will probably lose our luggage) but the price was right doing it this way. We will spend Christmas with Mark (our son) and his family, then drive our car and truck back to Marietta, getting home around New Years.

I am feeling better about going to Egypt. Unless we have a clear reason not to go, we will take the trip. I had wanted to go, but I think I had a panic attack because of all of the madness that has been going on. I know that if we should not go, God will make that clear to both of us.



I'm asking friends and family to remember us in your prayers. My prayer is that God will either show Don clearly that we should not go to Egypt in December or, that God will give me peace about going. The school has a field trip to Egypt the first week in December and we are signed up to go.

Thank you.......



Last night we were on Police patrol and served at a Succoth celebration, it was outside and for children and teens. The girls danced in a big circle together and the boys did also. The Torah or the Israelite flag was held up in the center of each circle of dancers. It was a wonderful and happy occasion, I'm so glad that Don and I had the opportunity to be there.

Our neighbors, Oz and Darla invited us to their home Friday evening for the Shabbat meal. We walked into their home to see a beautifully set table, and had a lovely evening. Oz read the prayers in English ( for our benefit) and they were beautiful. As I sat there eating this lovely meal and I could see the lights of Jerusalem, I felt amazed that we are here and having such special experiences.



I needed to put my thoughts into words............

Life Is A Trade Off

Too few tools, supplies or space, to much time. Creativity must be set aside. Unexpressed creativity is piled high and added to each day. The pile is falling down on me. Some can be saved but much will be lost. I weep for the loss but rejoice at the gain. I am paying a price for my experience, life is a trade off.




Today is our anniversary, 41 years!! How time flies when you are having fun.

Yesterday I went with Don and his Archeology class on a field study. We left the house at 7:30 am and hiked to get the bus at 8:00. Some of the Archeology sites we visited were places we haven't been to and some were places we have seen before. This trip was interesting because the professor, instead of giving out a bunch of dry facts, told the events like a story, I could see the places and events as he talked. It was 6:30 pm and dark when we got back to Jerusalem and we had to drag our tired selves back home. Fortunately there was an open restaurant along the way so we were able to stop for dinner. Long day, tired, we both crashed when we got home.

From Tel Lachish we watched the sun set, it was beautiful............. I'll down load the pictures into the computer and if they are good I'll send you one.