I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Monday, September 26, 2011

            Calling in the New Year 

 This week brings me to a journey.
      I'm off to the Boston area to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays (better known as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur)  with my family. 

      Rosh Hashanah, for those not familiar, is the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement and requires a 24 hour fast- no food, no drink, not even water. Seriously. They mean business.

       For almost 30 years I traveled first to Michigan, then when the fam moved, to Massachusetts twice within two weeks. Sounds crazy, right? 
       While I was teaching, I had to fly back to Georgia for the 10 days between the holidays. (Who knew the school system wouldn't view economizing on flying as a legitimate use of personal days!) Yeah, they did give us three personal days per year- which I promptly had to use for the High Holidays in September- but they drew the line at taking a week of extra days just for convenience.

       When I retired six years ago, I decided I would  go and stay for the whole two weeks; no more double flights for the holidays. My mom was thrilled; not sure if my sister and family were as thrilled, but they were/are tolerant. LOL

       The two weeks have provided a different sort of journey as well. It pulls me out of my everyday environment with all my "stuff" around, both physical and emotional,  and places me elsewhere with just  whatever I can bring. That means thinking through what writing I want to work on, which books to read,  and which beading projects to work on. After I've culled through all of it, I have to see what will fit into one suitcase, keeping in mind I also need two weeks of clothing including "nice outfits" for synagogue (which I will attend four times).                                                            

       Thinking about which clothes, books, and projects to bring is not the only thinking that goes on. We are told as children- and it's a theme of the holidays- that the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time to think about and 'fess up to any wrongdoings from the year (okay, they're technically called "sins" which is fine for grownups but a little over the top, in my opinion, for kids) and then make amends. No, it's not a 12-step kind of program, but the goal's the same. Admit to your mistakes, then apologize to the wronged person and make amends in any way necessary. That's legal. And not committing another "sin!"

 So here's my official pronouncement.....
to you and you, oh and you over there too.... if I've said anything or done something that upset you or angered you, or hurt your feelings, I sincerely apologize for it. As for the amends part, we'll have to  work that out when I get back into town!

      Wishing all my Jewish friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances a Shanah Tovah, a happy and healthy new year, and an easy fast. Not sure if I'll get out a post in the next 2 weeks, but check back just in case.


  1. Shanah Tovah, to you, too. See you in a few weeks.

  2. Great post, Gail! Happy New Year and safe travels!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing about these holidays and your experiences- it sounds like a great time spent with those you love and a time for finding clarity and starting fresh.