In the middle of my short vacation with my family I suddenly remembered that I’d been writing a letter for my dad in Hebrew to explain their move to the Netanya city offices. Right in the middle of being in a different place and setting, the realization that I’d written the letter but never sent it to him sent a shock through me.
Two weeks and counting. I was hoping I hadn’t left it until too late, so I dashed an email off to him to say I’d send it by week’s end.
I tried calling, too, and we chatted about this and that. Mom didn’t want to talk to me on the phone, though.
“I have nothing to say to you,” she said quite tersely.
It didn’t hurt exactly, but rather allowed me to get my head back into my vacation.
We travelled north and stayed in Sde Nechemia, accompanied by our youngest son. This was a last hurrah before we drop him off at his new army (hesder) yeshiva. He inducted us into the art of swimming in the plentiful springs that dot the Golan, the water so cold it curls your toes.
We went rafting and I was more adventurous than usual, stopping on the bank to swing from a “Tarzan” rope and plunge rather ungracefully into the icy water. (It’s good we didn’t bring our cameras!)
We hiked the Banias, skated in Metula’s Park Canada, ate amazing meals in local restaurants, and ended the trip with a dip in the Kinneret.
The stop at Green Beach (no relation) reminded me of our last time there in August 2014, the day a cease fire was announced in Operation Protective Edge. The same heady, burning wind, the same muddy shore, the refreshing coolness of getting out of the water soaked and chilled.
This time we had conversations about life’s inevitable forward motion. Our 18-year-old realizes he’s entering a new phase in life, one that is not as easily put on hold to wander the country, jumping in out-of-the-way water sources. I won’t mention here the many times he skipped high school classes to hike the southern waterways with friends. He didn’t tell me about those antics until after the fact.
Now it’s over. We’re back in the comfort of our own home with all the unenviable tasks involved in running a house. But even if we can’t physically be in two places at once, we can rely on our memories to be both here and there—as if we were our own private individual movie theatre where we can screen the scenes of our lives over and over as often as we want. I imagine Mom does this, too, except that her movie reel has been randomly spliced with most of the film after her childhood sadly missing. That’s not to say we shouldn’t live in the now; we can, however, make it more colourful by remembering the family fun (and love) that keeps us whole.
Seeing as it’s my birthday this week, I made some delicious, packable treats to take with us on vacation. These don’t really taste like the Babe Ruth bars we ate as kids, but they sure are good!
Babe Ruth Bars
They might not look like much, but these bars are delicious, and include two of my favorite ingredients, chocolate and peanut butter. You really can’t go wrong. And did I mention that these were easy to make?
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
5 cups cornflakes
¾ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup almonds
In a large pot, combine peanut butter, syrup and sugars and cook over low heat until sugars have melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand until cornflakes are coated evenly. To make bars, press mixture into a tray lined with baking paper. Freeze to aid in cutting into neat squares. To make round-shaped treats, place half the mixture on a sheet of baking paper and roll tightly. Wrap roll in foil, twisting ends, and freeze to aid in cutting. Repeat with remaining mixture. And if they fall apart, as mine did, don't worry. They're still tasty.