silver linings of polio and other travel tidbits

While searching for some travel items on Amazon, look what I found! I typed in “travel accessories”, in case you want to try it. I’d be curious to see if you come up with similar items.

Product Details

Simran SM-60 Universal Power Strip 3 Outlets for 110V-250V Worldwide Travel with Surge/Overload Protection by Simran

(Okay, that makes sense, but not for my needs. Let’s continue.)

Rick Steves Travel Gear Clothesline by Rick Steves

(Again, okay. I’m skipping the photos, since you get the picture:). It’s a rope.)

iPad Mini 5-in-1 Accessories Bundle Rotating Case for Business and Travel, Green by Gearonic

Product Details

Classic Accessories Fairway Travel 4-sided Golf Car Enclosure (Fits most two-person golf cars) by Classic Accessories (Jan 12, 2009)

(Hmmm. What else is there?)

CTA Digital PS Vita Travel EVA Protective Case with 4x Game Storage Pockets by CTA Digital (Mar 5, 2012)


humangear Gotoob Travel Bottles 3-Pack Medium 2 Ounce by humangear

(Boooring. Wait–I need that.)

Product Details

Pinterest by Pinterest, Inc (Aug 15, 2012)

  • $0.00
  • Available instantly on your connected Android device
  • Get inspiration from DIY, Travel, Food and other categories.
  • Apps for Android: See all 5 items

I think I’ll stop here. I’m not pinterested. (Sorry.)

I did order a few things for myself in preparation for my travels next week.

I made the reservations back in August, but it’s really hard to wrap my head around it that I’m actually taking off. Now, how to pack for over 2 months with one suitcase and lots of different weather possibilities? Australia was a breeze compared to this.

Israel is a complex country, in case you hadn’t heard. (I’m not going to discuss politics now. Enough people are doing an awful job of it without me joining in.)

Even the weather is complex. It can be gorgeous in the winter; it can also snow. We pray for rain in the winter. I will be there for long enough to have to really mean it. So I have my waterproof boots and shoes (yes, the 7 1/2 in the Land’s End actually is the right size, thankfully). I have layers. Enough to make an archaeological dig.

But I think I’ll skip the golf cart enclosure, although perhaps, if it rains enough, I may regret my decision.

Oh–the title?

Of course, you may have read about a polio outbreak in Syria and in Israel last month. I did, too, but I didn’t actually process that it may refer to me. Even though the Israeli healthcare system (the US should really take better notes) has taken care of it pretty well, it still could be lingering in certain areas. And should I take a risk or not?

I called my doctor and asked should I get a booster shot for polio? Does my blood work show if I am immune? Do you have on record that I had polio as a child? Please make sure to tell the doctor that fact–am I more susceptible because of it, like chickenpox/shingles, or does it create immunity?

Well, in the realm of the added unexpected, the nurse called back to say that the doctor said I was immune because of having it as a child.


Who ever thought that would come in handy some day?


training into the unknown

That’s a pun, in case you didn’t recognize it.

We’re on the train now down to DC in order to get to meet the new baby and to be there in time to enjoy Sandy from a safe vantage point, God willing. I was reminded how our son, the new abba, became a bar mitzvah during a hurricane.

In July.

So this is fitting, I guess.

What fits is that this is a large show from the heavens of how amazing this baby is going to be.

I guess I will never be accused of not looking for the good in situations.

Babies are so fascinating. Everything about them—all of what we humans do to welcome a new one into our world. And with the expectation that we will be doing all these things for (and to) the baby, we need to be there to support the family.


ISHI canceled his class for tomorrow night and we made reservations for the train for today and we extended our hotel plans and we packed essential clothing, lots and lots of rain gear, and lots of food. I’m sure that ISHI packed a few flashlights, so I didn’t bother.

Even with the last few big powerful storms, our kids did not lose power since they are in pretty close proximity to the POTUS, so I guess that’s another benefit.

The train is really crowded. We’re sitting in the club car. I had brought a travel pillow for sleeping, since I didn’t get enough sleep last night, so it’s not going to be used here.

Or maybe it will.

I’m awed by our powerlessness and I’m humbled by the reality that we’re not in charge.

This baby is.

practicing gratitude

We have to practice because we just can’t get it right, can we?

Yes, the weather outside is frightful. Yes, I’m sick of tunnel vision from so much snow. Yes, my shoulders hurt from hurling heavy snow over a mountain of other snow. Yes, I’m avoiding driving because I don’t trust other drivers. Yes, I do have to do a milllllion errands and they’ll all get lumped together tomorrow. Yes I’m worried about the next storm coming and yes, I’m worried about a lot of people’s mental health.

Maybe more of that in a moment.

But for now, let’s practice saying “Aren’t we glad we don’t live in Egypt?”

Aren’t we glad we don’t live in Australia?

Aren’t we glad we don’t live in the Sudan?  Or probably anywhere else in Africa? (There may be pockets of sanity; I’m not aware of them at the moment.)

Aren’t we glad we don’t live in Saudi Arabia? Iran? Yemen?

Aren’t we glad we don’t live in Chicago (although I really really love visiting there.  In the summer.)?

Aren’t we glad we don’t live in [okay now fill in the blank for your own choice.]

There. Don’t you feel better, having practiced a little schadenfreuden gratitude?

I think I’ll relish the moment and talk about mental illness and shidduchim at another time.  That’s wise, considering my tunnel vision and all.