Well, I obviously got home to Weybridge without any mishaps. It’s amazing that my real life kicked into overdrive and I literally didn’t have the time to blog.
Just to close my American adventures, after BooBoo left I did a lot of stuff. With a lot of people. I almost took BA up on their offer to change my flight and stay longer, but I had stuff in England.
I sure have more stuff to do than a lot of people.
Boo picked me up at T5; there wasn’t even a whisper of a problem coming through Immigration. And, thankfully, they didn’t want to search my bags. Why should they? I’m an upstanding Italiano, here legally. Most of the stuff was okay anyway, almost all of it. Maybe not the alcohol, extra strength Excedrin, fags, and Provolone cheese, but the rest was just fine.
We hardly cried at all; it was only a week.
Riding home from the airport, I had a Jeano moment. I realized it was Thursday. Actually, Boo asked “Who’s covering for you at Sam today?”
I said “Gee, is it Thursday? I think I forgot to ask for today off. I’d better ring Jeremy.”
Of course, it slipped my mind when I got home. All the stuff Boo smuggled in was waiting to greet me, and all the stuff I smuggled in needed to be found in my suitcases, amid all the stuff I bought that didn’t, technically, need smuggling but had to be shown to Boo in case I’d bought it after she left.
Plus the phones kept ringing with welcome home texts and calls. There was even one from Jeremy saying “Welcome back! I’m in Horsell today so I need you to do the cashing up.” Gulp.
So I ambled in a zombie-like trance up the High Street to the Bookshop. I told Brenda “Just keep feeding me coffee- lots of it – and we should both make it through the afternoon.” Divine was so excited I was back that she popped into Sam to see me. (I was in the middle of trying to figure out which coins were .50p’s and which ones were .20p’s. Hey, I was tired.) She hung around until we closed to walk me home. That was very providential; I might not have found my house otherwise.
Needless to say, I crashed early on Thursday night, especially as I had to be up for a meeting on Friday morning at the Senior Centre, jet-lag be damned.
So voila! I was back in my groove. Coffees, lunches, dinners, and meetings, meetings, meetings.
I went to Syn on Saturday, of course. I figured they missed me. (And I wanted to show off that stunning jacket I picked up at the Church of St. Nordstrum Rack in KofP. It got tons of compliments.) Maybe that’s why they offered me the honor of opening the ark doors. I said ‘yes’ and prepared to wow the crowd.
I was sitting with Estelle, who was to read the Haftorah portion. She had a terrible cold and decided we should switch parts. I freaked.
“You want me to read the Haftorah? You get to open the bloody doors and I get to read a long passage from the Torah with lots of hard words? On the bima? In Hebrew?”
“No, you can read it in English, since you didn’t practice.”
Thank Adonai for small favors. He didn’t speak to me as usual. Maybe He did, but I was mumbling “’Rahob?’, ‘Amorite?’, ‘Sihon?” Is ‘Shittim” pronounced ‘shit-em’? Can you say ‘Shit-em’ on the bima?” frantically to the people sitting near me.
The exciting, and very long, story of Joshua Son of Nun went okay, although Donald commented during the Oneg that it was obvious I’d just returned from the States. “You’re saying your O’s in American again” he told me. “That’s a to die for jacket. Did you get it at Nordstrum’s? (Okay, I made that part up.)
I got the most incredible news at Shul. (This is a good point to mention my 10-mile Midnight Walk on the 18th in aid of the Hospice. Don’t forget to sponsor me. Go to: www.justgiving.com/jeano-cohen and pledge a few ₤s.)
The incredible news is that the synagogue gave me ₤5000.00!
That’s like… a whole lot of bucks. Really. I’m not making this one up.
And dearest Cousin Bernie had published my JustGiving letter in the Haderech, so money is pouring in from people I don’t even know very well.
Otherwise, on the strictly social front, I had a fantastic dinner with Divine at Il Ponte, dinner with Brenda, Scrabble with Hazel, Film Club, Book Club and a jaunt to Denbies Wine Estate to a friend’s Art Exhibit. Of course we squeezed in a wine tasting, lunch and the purchase of a few bottles of Surrey Gold, their finest Pino.
There was a lecture I attended, I’m doing the write-up for the syn’s newletter, on ‘Co-existence between Arab and Jewish cultures – is it possible?’. The speaker was a well-known international lawyer who specializes in the legal issues arising from the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was thought-provoking and informative. I’m glad I joined the Israel Group at shul. I was in the States during the flotilla fiasco, but got hard news and editorial opinions from a lot of reliable and respected news sources, invaluable when dealing with uninformed and ignorant people.
JDavid has certainly kept me hopping since I got back, lest you think it’s all fun and meetings. We’re developing a sales flyer, and preparing a talk to be given at a professional conference. This week, we’re doing a business networking breakfast in Cobham.
I came back from this visit home conflicted.
The pressure was intense to return to Philly and … that’s the point; do what? Resume the life I had, create another new one? I don’t know. I got ‘home’ to Weybridge and slipped seamlessly back into this life. And I’m content, and challenged, and feel like I belong here.
I’ve been offered an honor at Erev Rosh Hashana service in September. It is a big deal. The letter said ‘it is our custom during the High Holy Days to honour those who contribute to the community’s life.’ I guess that in my own small way I make a difference here and I matter. And it feels right.
I dreamed about Jerry the other night. In one of those ‘skewed time and place’ scenarios, we were on a cruise, somewhere in the Caribbean. We were at the ship’s casino and I was working a one-armed bandit. (Jerry hated when I played the slots, not that it ever stopped me). I hit a jackpot and the money that started pouring out was ₤1.00 coins.
It must mean something.