It’s been rather quiet on this blog this past week (besides the Mitt Romney thread which has garnered unexpected attention) for which my apologies. It’s not that peace has suddenly broken out in the Middle East, but I’m just too distracted to care right now.
The assorted branches of my family had a few minor adventures this week, all quite amusing in hindsight, but rather frustrating and distracting, not to mention time-consuming at the time.
We start on Sunday, which was Tisha Be’Av, when my parents’ TV burst into (almost) flames. OK, let’s backtrack just a bit. First they suffered a power cut, right in the middle of a fast day and one of the hottest days of the year. When the power came back on, they found that the TV didn’t work. (They only wanted to catch up on the news).
“Don’t worry Mum” I said. “Our TV isn’t working either. The cables are down, they’ve probably got a power cut too”.
“No, it’s not the cable company. It’s just that there’s a bright white light shining across the TV screen”. Various bright sparks in the family suggested it was a sign that the Mashiach was coming, but my brother had a more practical solution. “The tube’s gone”.
“But try unplugging and re-plugging the TV in, just to see”. Well, that’s what Mum did, and the next thing that happened was a sizzle and then clouds of smoke pouring out of the TV.
Kappara* on the TV.
(*Kappara meaning “atonement” – i.e. let the material value be an atonement, a punishment, instead of something more serious).
We move to Monday, when hubby called me from a friend’s house nearby to say his car wouldn’t start. When I offered to come and jump start his car with the jump leads he said, “It’s not the battery. It’s my starter motor”. Half an hour and 150 shekels later, with the car towed to the garage, he discovered that indeed it was a flat battery…
Kappara on the 150 shekels.
On to Tuesday, my sister and brother-in-law were getting a new (second-hand car), and trading in their old one. But first they were off to the brit of their niece’s new baby. And the car wouldn’t start. There was no time to try jump leads or calling a mechanic. It was a matter of “Get me to the shul on time” :-). So they got a ride to the brit with a relative.
When they got home, my dad got out his faithful jump leads and helped to start their car. They took themselves straight to a car battery garage and asked for “the cheapest used battery you have – enough to get us from here to Tel Aviv to trade in the car”. 100 shekels later – mission accomplished. One new car. One old traded-in car.
And Kappara on the 100 shekels.
Meanwhile, still on Tuesday, while my son, his wife and 3 tiny girls arrived to visit, my neighbour comes knocking on my door. “Your solar water heater is leaking all over the roof”. I thought our hot water wasn’t working properly for a while now. I called the plumbers, they climbed up on the roof and diagnosed “Your solar water heater has burst”. Duh. I could have told them that. They closed off the tap to stop any more water loss, but that meant we had no hot water at home. This is not as bad as you might think, since our “cold” water is not exactly cold at this time of year. Pleasantly luke-warm is a more accurate description.
Kappara on the solar heater.
And so to Wednesday. The plumbers were supposed to come with the new heater “some time during the day”. As long as the roof is accessible I didn’t even need to be at home. So I went to work (more of which to follow). By 5 p.m. the plumbers still hadn’t arrived so I called them.
“Your heater stands on a platform on the roof and the easiest access is through the top floor apartment. But your neighbour has guests and he told me to come after 6 pm.”. At 6 on the dot the plumbers turned up – and the neighbour wouldn’t allow them “to take that dirty water heater through our apartment”. So I had to pay an extra 300 shekels for the plumbers to climb up and down ladders on the roof. But we’ve now got a brand new solar heater and unlimited hot water thanks to the sun.
So Kappara on the 300 shekels.
Meanwhile I had been at work on Wednesday. Let me clarify – I was AT work but didn’t actually DO any work. This minor mishap didn’t involve any money (kappara) this time, but it did involve nerves. My nerves to be precise.
At my place of work we just had a new server installed, and in the process of transferring our data to it, the last 18 months of my work disappeared. That was when my nerves finally ran out and I actually burst into tears from frustration and panic. I’ve been told there’s a backup but until it’s all installed I’m stalled.
Well, Kappara on the work.
Hm. I forgot to mention my freezer. My almost ex-freezer. It’s in its dying days and keeps icing up. I can’t really complain since it’s 29½ years old. We bought it on the day our first son (2nd child) was born which was the last day of our 3 years of olim (new immigrant) rights. Any immigrants among you will remember those days I’m sure. On hubby’s urging I actually tried calling in a fridge technician. The conversation went something like this:
“I have a 29 year old freezer and it’s icing up”.
Tech: “tikni chadash” (“buy a new one”).
“Perhaps it just needs some gas?”
Tech: “tikni chadash”
“Does a permanent puddle on the top of the freezer have any significance?”
Tech: “Giveret, the insulation has gone. Tikni chadash”.
Kappara on my poor old freezer.
So back to wedding plans. Today hubby and I and the happy young couple headed off to the Wild and Woolly West Bank to look at small flats for renting. It’s making this whole wedding thing suddenly a lot more real. Gulp…
The band has been booked. Next stop (next week) – wedding dresses! We’re getting there… Until then, the Middle East can take an occasional back seat.