When I got off the plane at at Newark Airport in New Jersey, I thought to myself, "whoa, the air conditioning is really strong here", only to realize that I was outdoors, and that cool, crisp feeling was in fact, the weather. As Mazi and I chattered in the car on the way to her house, I could not help but notice the fall foliage the Northeastern USA is known for. The trees were beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red; it was spectacular scenery to start my trip with.
The old country is indeed beautiful.
It was a great trip. I spent quality time with my mother and siblings, watched my nephews run the whole tefilah (prayer service) for their bar-mitzvah and bonded with my niece over some shopping at Macy*s. I shopped Target, Walmart, Nike, Joyce Leslie, Kohl's, Macy*s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco,and Art Brown (for the beloved pen afficionado in my life). I saw my Venezuelan nephew and spent a day traipsing all over Manhattan. I laughed with old friends, my "people", picking up right where we left off three years ago. I ate at restaurants, walked, walked and walked more. I bumped into Ben the mailman, who not only remembered my name, but my girl's names as well.
By Wednesday, I started to think about returning home. Home to where my children were. Home to Isaac.
By Thursday, I was sick of shopping.
By Sunday, I was counting down the hours to get on that plane.
I think that ultimately you can go home again. At least for a brief time. I love that place and it will always be the home of my past, the home I was born in, the home that helped shape the person I am today.
But now I live in a place that I chose. And you know what?
It's good to be home.
(Special thanks to Mazi and Sarah who insisted I make myself comfortable in their beautiful homes. Which I totally did, and is partially the reason I gained two pounds on this trip).
My husband and I made Aliyah in September, 07. We came with three daughters, ages 10, 12 and 14. Aliyah is not an easy adjustment for all us at our advanced ages, but we are happy to be here in the land of the Jewish people and are rising to the challenge of learning to be real Israelis (!).