Monday, July 6, 2009

Step Two...

I am sitting at the gate at El Al awaiting our boarding of the plane. This morning, after a semi-restful night, we packed ALL of our luggage onto the airport shuttle and headed to JFK. Along with 240 other people, we shlepped our stuff through one line after another: NBN, El Al, security, a goodbye ceremony and on and on. As I looked around, I saw so many people who, I assumed, were going through such similar emotions: Its VERY tough, but it will be very REWARDING. I am SO glad that we said our goodbyes in Chicago! Watching all those people here saying goodbye and THEN to go right to the's murder!

I am already an emotional wreck. I am already tearing up at the smallest thing. In 12 ours, IYH, we will achieve our goal that we planned out years ago...arriving home. Speaking of arriving home...I am THRILLED to report that my dad is going home today! We are grateful to HKB"H that we can leave knowing that he is going to be at home.

Assuming all goes well, my next post will be as a citizen of Israel!

Until now, I looked at everything as the "last of..." And as of today...I begin to look at everything as the "first of..." of everything.

Finally, it was SO nice to have a friend [Ebby (Fettman) Marell] surprise us at the airport. Not only that, but on our flight is Adam Segal and family (orig from Chicago) making aliya, Shira Ozery, our Shlichat Aliya in Chicago and Shelly Levin who originally introduced us to the property in Maale Adumin that we bought!

I can not wait...time to go...L'Hitraot to all!!!!

Step One...

I am writing from the Ramada Hotel at JFK Airport. It is about 5pm local time and it has been a wonderful day so far! Our day began very early...after Shacharit, we travelled with a "convoy" to the airport...the five of us...TEN pieces of luggage...carry-ons and "personal items" (laptop, etc). All of this and us piled into 3 cars (thanks Leo, Howie and Debbie!). It was almost comical to see all of this luggage! I recall seeing many times in various airports, large families travelling with what seemed like 100 suitcases and saying to myself, "Am I glad that that is not ME!" Well, this time it WAS me...a few luggage carts (wheels of course not working right on 2 of them) and a LOT of patience and our curbside check-in was done. Once IN New York, we used the shuttle and my nephew/niece to get us and our luggage to the hotel where we will spend the night in anticipation of one of the greatest adventures of our lives.

I received a phone call this afternoon from the newspaper called "B'Sheva." This is the magazine/paper arm of Arutz-7. I was interviewed about our impending Aliya. The interviewer told me that she had prepared all of her questions in English and was quite surprised that she was able to conduct the entire 15 minute interview in Ivrit. Truth is that since the paper is written IN Ivrit, I did not want something lost in translating from English to Ivrit, anyways. It was an interesting experience and I hope to meet the reporter at the airport on Tuesday when we land.

Speaking of Tuesday...that day is a day that I have thought of and played out in my mind for YEARS...and now it is merely hours away. My girls say that I will be easy to be spotted coming off the plane--I will be the one who will be a total emotional wreck! I hope not...I want to "live" in the moment! I will be using my new Flip video camera to record the experience and post it here once I get my act together after landing.

We just got notification today that our "lift" is arriving in Israel a bit faster than we TOMORROW!! So, once we are there, we will need to work fast to get it cleared. This means that we will not have much rest once we arrive. Besides all of the things we must do as new Olim once we arrive, we will also have to deal with the lift contents sooner than we thought. But that certainly beats having our stuff it in Cypress for 3 months as it did for a couple I know.

I am not sure exactly when I will post next but you can be assured that it will be either during or after the craziness at JFK pre-flight. Here is the link to watch our arrival LIVE in the comfort of your home. It can be seen at approximately 11:00pm (CHICAGO TIME) on Monday evening, July 6th:

No more countdown...we are DOING this...we are in the MIDDLE of the biggest change of our lives. No more "tick...tick...tick." Now it is time for the clock to stop. Now it is time for time to "stand still for a bit" so we can enjoy every single minute.