Rolling with the punches


 ‘Purim’ is the most joyous holiday in the Jewish calendar beginning at sundown tonight and continuing until sundown tomorrow night. It commemorates the saving of the Jews in Persia as told in the book of Esther. It is all about drinking, feasting, and merry-making; everybody dresses up and parades in the street and I am told it is something to see. What I also really hope to see is the imminent arrival of my replacement solar charger.

I am at the home of Kathy and Relly Penn, the parents of the cheerful and easygoing Alon (one of the dear students that Jen and I met in Mikhmoret), and the place where my charger is being sent. They have welcomed me with open arms and have had me for dinner since arriving. We have enjoyed delicious asparagus soup with bread, cheese and their own amazing homemade olives. Kathy is originally from Australia and she and Relly met when he was a tour guide many years ago. Relly is now a farmer and returned later in the evening from a two day meeting in Jordan to collaborate the idea of using barn owls to control field mice with other Jordanian and Palestinian farmers. They are super nice people and have invited me to stay for as long as I want. I will stay for Purim, but then, solar charger in hand or not, I will be on my way (as my dad always said – leave when you’re still welcome to stay).


 I have accepted the sad reality that my Achilles’ tendons have defected. Despite careful hiking, the swelling remains and the throbbing has returned. I have tempered my tendency to push past it as over-stressing Achilles’ tendonitis causes potentially casting and surgery. Not to be whiny, but not a great situation for a self-employed, sole income earner, with a fledgeling blueberry farm.


I know just the place to pitch my tent for more catering to my boring temperamental tendons; Zeelon beach on the Sea of Galilee where Jen and I had such a restful time. I will see some more sites, rest, read, write, and ponder the intricacies of the universe. And maybe, just maybe, the swelling will calm the blankety-blank down. It was Jen that said, who knew that my Achilles’ heel really was my Achilles’ heel. (Check out her blog for our exciting alligator adventure!)

It was also my plan, while in the Middle East, to go to Egypt and see the pyramids. I figured, how can I be so close and not see them. But it turns out that the high risk of being kidnapped and getting my head lopped off is a strong deterrent. All current travel advisories in the free world report extreme and unpredictable terrorist activities in the Sinai, specifically in the area of the southern Israeli/Egyptian border (which is exactly where I would be crossing) and strongly advise against all travel to this ‘red zone’ area. So I have decided, being the smart, independent woman that I am, to take a miss on the pyramids and not to overburden the guardians that protect me. Besides, I could end up in a real pickle if my protective sentinels were sleeping off a Purim hangover.


8 responses »

  1. Arlene, Ted and I are thoroughly enjoying your missiles. I do hope you will take care of these legs and feet. You will need them in the summer. so glad you have found Trail Angels to walk along side of you ( metaphorically).


  2. Arlene, I am very much enjoying your blog. I cannot imagine the inner strength you have to endure these challenges and come out with such a positive outlook. Looking forward to visiting you and your blueberries this summer!

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