During the first wave of Covid with the help of a real estate agent we did not know and the agent’s sister who oversaw the painting and unanticipated but necessary renovations, we purchased a small apartment in Jerusalem. During the course of nearly two years, three trips were cancelled when Israel closed its borders. At last, we have arrived. Our little one bedroom apartment is better than we could have anticipated. Perhaps one day we will make Aliyah.  We want our children and grandchildren, our siblings and friends to stay in the apartment when they are in Israel. There are two beds, a sleeper couch, a table and chairs and the whole of this country.

Things that make me laugh or cry for the sheer joy of it being here:

  • the first late night stroll following the blue lights imbedded in the path to the tayelet;
  • the spectacular view of the old city, a nine minute walk from our apartment;
  • the flowers beginning to bud everywhere;
  • green birds in the tree outside our window;
  • the strong smell of cleaning fluid on Friday mornings as the young man mops the hallways and stairways of the apartment;
  • the makolet with its display of fresh flowers, umbrellas, schnitzel and stuffed grape leaves;
  • the 78 bus that seems to go everywhere;
  • the girl in the supermarket who heard us speaking English and took our number to add to WhatsApp for English speakers in our neighbourhood;
  • the pastry shop at the base of the street where our upstairs neighbour Boaz is the baker;
  • the sharp espresso every morning;
  • rain and wind, sunlight;
  • the tall man in the blue suit or the tan suit with matching hats;
  • the traffic circle with ornamental shrub shapes of a donkey and a horse with a wagon and a wheelbarrow;
  • the speed of the clouds that change the temperature from moment to moment;
  • the fragrance of soup from someone across the way;
  • the  pizza shop;
  • the overpriced rice and mushroom stuffed crusts for sale in the place on the corner opened Thursdays and Fridays only;
  • the  stone buildings;
  • the quiet and the noise;
  • the music and the dance of life in the land.
Article by Author/s
Annie Gotlieb
Anna (Annie) Gotlieb retired a year ago from a lengthy career as head of public relations for an agency in Rockland County, New York and editor of the magazine published by that agency. She is the author of three books: Between the Lines, C.I.S.; In Other Words, Targum Press and Full Circle. The first two are collections of vignettes, the third is a novel. During the last four months, while waiting for a vaccine or a miracle, she writes every day. Annie is a wife, a mother and a grandmother.

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