September 6, 2012

Hungry? I was.

I had a really special visit with my family in Erie. Mom and I spent time with her sister and my cousins at their summer cottage on Lake Erie, watched the sunset after grilling burgers and reminisced about the long long ago. I spent mornings (and afternoons) chatting with my father over coffee about life and love and finances and politics. I visited with a few childhood friends and caught up on the changes that life has brought us- boyfriends, babies, and a penchant for alliteration (apparently).

It was truly refreshing. And fattening. Honestly, I think I've gained like 10 lbs since landing on US soil. If you'll remember, this doesn't come as huge surprise- food is my favorite part of being American (well, its my favorite part of living, I guess). My entire trip has been oriented around how to procure my favorite meals. Erie was the most artery-clogging, soul-rejuvenating menu of all. Steak and fresh sweet corn, deviled eggs, hamburger stroganoff, John's Pizza, eggs goldenrod, standing rib roast and mashed potatoes (Christmas on Labor Day!), ribs (the day before Labor Day), donuts, burgers...ugh, theres more but instead of telling you I'll just show you. 

Dad puts on his game face for Christmas dinner 

Aebleskiver (swedish pancakes, a Christmas morning tradition)

Eggs goldenrod (aka hard boiled egg heaven)

Jill's Maine-themed experimental brunch- popovers, jam, and millions of other treats

Yum. To all of it.
 It's a good thing that I'll begin sweating this all off as soon as I step off the plane and smack into the wall of Tel Aviv humidity that awaits me next week.

September 2, 2012

My friend Clay

I have a Canadian friend named Clay from my time Tel Aviv University.
We both lived in the dorms last fall, and he was also in my program.
Clay showed up in random places, all the time.

Once, I got on a bus I'd never taken before in Tel Aviv. 
Clay got on at the stop after me.

Another time, I turned down a street in Tel Aviv I'd never been on before.
Clay walked by.

One time I was giving my friend Joel a piggy back ride over some puddles after a rainstorm.
I heard someone chuckling behind us...Clay, duh. He told us he'd just saved an old lady in the street.

Yesterday I was in my parents' house in Pennsylvania sorting through old clothes.
Truth. Clay rang the doorbell. 

So, here is a collection of photos from this year where Clay is doing what Clay does best- 
hangin' around.

Okay, Clay isn't in this one, but this was his housewarming gift- a broken vase and flowers he found on the street. Vintage Clay.

Clay is on the left with the long hair.

On the right kinda behind the plaid umbrella.

Top right, grey shirt, black sunglasses- cool as a cucumber.

Note the rays given off by his heavenly aura (which can only be seen by smartphones and pure souls, like babies and puppies).

Dear Clayton-

Thank you for stopping by! It was great to see you. I still don't understand how you found my parents' house. Kol hakavod. Well played. I hope you have fun at the 24-hour Wal-Mart.


September 1, 2012

Home is wherever I'm with you.

A few days ago I rented a car (Budget rental = balagan)
 and made the nine-hour drive to my parents' house in Pennsylvania.
It was nothing but me, blue skies, and the open road...

...oh, and the radio playing Taylor Swift's new song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" 
three times an hour- you do the math.

Being home with my parents is like coming up for air. I'm used to being away from home, but there's something imperceptibly harder about being on a different continent from them. I can't fully express the feeling of peace I get from being with them. Lunches with Mom, mornings with Dad, steaks on the grill...

life is good.

Dad asked me the other day what I missed most about America. 
"Besides you? Target."


Besides fawning over my parents and shopping at my favorite discount stores,
I've been enjoying catching up with old friends. 
Holly is one of my best friends from high school, and when I left for Israel she was VERY pregnant. 
Now she's a mom, and my mind is officially blown.

Her son, Kieran, is incredible, and we (of course) loved each other immediately.

I know, he does't look thrilled about me, but just trust me on this one. We had some laughs.

Lately I catch myself referring to many places as 'home'...Erie, Boston, Tel Aviv. Is this self-delusion? A lie? Or is it, rather, an acknowledgement that a place becomes home because there are people in that place who you love and who love you right back. It's hard for me (someone who feels things very deeply) to say goodbyes. It always has been. But moving around the world has made me realize just how blessed I am to have so many different people counted among those I call family. And my family is always growing. 

Okay, I'll leave you with a little gem from my parent's living room. 
A reward for reading to the end of the post. 
Don't adjust your screen. 
This is real.