After the Rain

I've been silent for a while, contemplating my own personal storm that was shaking up my little world when I began to see pictures yesterday of a real storm, one that has displaced so many people, the storm down in Houston, Texas.  Seeing that level of devastation puts my own storm into a much more … Continue reading After the Rain

After the Ground Shifts

Alaska has a lot of earthquakes.  Not everyone knows this, but Anchorage, Alaska, my current hometown, was leveled in the 60's by the largest recorded earthquake ever to hit North America.  It was a 9.2 in magnitude and hit on a friday evening in 1964, Good Friday for most people.  It destroyed most of Anchorage … Continue reading After the Ground Shifts

The View Of Virginia From Alaska

The Sabbath still ends pretty late up here.  Havdalah was at 11:35 last night and we weren't done until later.  There were a lot of visitors this weekend and things ran a little late.  By chance, we opted to drive home after havdalah, to sleep in our own beds instead of the RV.  I came … Continue reading The View Of Virginia From Alaska

Parshas Eikev – Turning Our Eyes to a New Land

This week's parsha continues the theme of Moses preparing the Jews to enter the land of Egypt.  He wants them to be ready for the challenges that they will face and he uses a mixture of encouragement and also some reminders of their past failings.  He's essentially been the father of this people, bringing them … Continue reading Parshas Eikev – Turning Our Eyes to a New Land

Caribou and Kosher Camping

**That is a picture I took of Denali, just 2 days ago.** My daughter and I hiked up, up the mountain, our legs burning as we climbed.  Both of us were in skirts and my sheitel (wig that some Orthodox married women cover their hair with) was soaked through, but we were grinning.  My husband … Continue reading Caribou and Kosher Camping

Finding One’s Place in the Jewish World

One of the things most critical to the success of any convert is finding a community where you can fit in and have the support needed to keep growing and observing.  It's so critical that most reputable Orthodox Beis Dins (Rabbinical Courts) simply won't convert you unless and until you have found that community and … Continue reading Finding One’s Place in the Jewish World

Patience, Patience, and a little More Patience

I am not a patient person by nature.  Even at a young age, I was gifted with a strong will to push forward.  The characters in books and movies I admired were adventurers who pressed forward, not people who patiently waited for their fates to find them.  As a daughter of midwestern farmers, sprouted from … Continue reading Patience, Patience, and a little More Patience

What Is Mourning?

We're deep into the 9 Days now, a period of mourning for the loss of the Temple in Jerusalem as well as all the other losses the Jewish people have endured.  There are laws about what we should refrain from doing during this period, from not listening to music, to not washing clothes, eating meat, … Continue reading What Is Mourning?

40 Years as a Stubborn Optimist

Today is my 40th birthday.  40 years ago, as family legend goes, my father was busy putting up a windmill on our farm with a few other men helping him.  My mother, rather pregnant, but not near her due date, came out to bring them some ice tea on that hot July day and casually … Continue reading 40 Years as a Stubborn Optimist

The Fireweed Blooms as the Three Weeks Continue

The Three Weeks is a period of mourning.  You name it and if it was really awful and needed to happen to the Jews, it most likely happened during this period of time, culminating in the destruction of the temple on the 9th of Av.  So, along with observant Jews throughout the world, we mourn. … Continue reading The Fireweed Blooms as the Three Weeks Continue