Sunday, July 31, 2016

Taking Back The Power

it is 8:15 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I was really tired this morning having not slept last night.  I took a cab to the old age home.  it is super hot and supposed to get even hotter tomorrow.  I couldn't bare being at the bus stop for too long.  I went to see my friend with Alzheimer's but she was in a rare mood and quite hostile.  I asked her to turn around so she could look at me and she was quite offended and let out a round of loud no's.

 I went upstairs to see my dying friend.  she looked pretty good.  she looked somewhat angelic in a white shirt and white skirt.  she held onto my hand and allowed me to spoon feed her some jello.  she didn't want any food.  she never eats anything on my watch.  I took her outside for a split second and she let me know that she wanted to go back to bed.  I didn't call an orderly.  I assisted her getting out of the wheelchair and into her bed.  I said my goodbyes and went to visit a girlfriend.

I had a bit of lunch with my friend and went over my problem with my son verbatim ad nauseam.  I couldn't get it right in my brain.  I went home and wrote an email to my son.  I let him know that I appreciate his wanting independence and privacy but I did remind him that he lives in my house rent free.  I pointed out that he had no right to tell me who I can invite to visit me downstairs on my property.  I let him know that it was shameful of  him to take over the backyard area as his exclusively.  I acknowledged how nice the patio looked but reminded him that I also enjoyed entertaining friends downstairs and that I had spent a lot of time piddling in the flower beds and planting succulents.

he replied back that he had always come second after my family and friends.  he also said that I love to play the victim.  he claimed that no one had said that I couldn't use the backyard area and that was yet, another example of my playing the victim.  he did say that I should have asked permission to use his pool and that I had no right to take food out of his freezer to feed my niece and her family. I copped to both points and apologized.  he brought up once again, how I couldn't make it financially without his paying the full electric bill and cable bill.  he told me that he felt unwanted and if that was how I truly felt he would leave.

he totally diverted from the issue of paying rent.  talk bout playing the victim!  I countered with although he had not asked permission to place the pool in my backyard:I should have anyway, asked his permission to use the pool.  throw the dog a bone.  I commiserated with him and said how very burdensome to have felt unwanted and to have felt that he had not been the number one priority in my life.  someone need a vomit bag?  I did tell him that I loved him and it was for him to decide if he wanted to continue to live here.  I did stress the need of financial relief to help pay off the household bills in lieu of rent money.  I hope that I left him his dignity.  I did not make any threats or ultimatums.  the ball is in his court.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Long Hot Summer Part 2

it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I didn't sleep a wink last night.  I feel trapped.  I absolutely cannot stand my son and his wife anymore.  I want them to leave.  I have such animosity towards them that I'm sick.  I don't want to hear them downstairs nor do I want to see them leaving for their day.  I am not talking to them because I fear coming off as a raving maniac.  it takes all of my strength not to start ranting at them and telling them to get the hell out of my house for good.

they do not allow their kids to come upstairs into my house.  they will send them upstairs through the front entrance for matches, or hot water, or for my havdalah candle but they are no longer allowed to visit me or play inside my house.  I am being treated like the crazy old landlady who lives upstairs and the grandkids are being trained not to bother her.   yes, I'm the dotty old landlady who doesn't get paid rent.  I did tell my son that I was going to lock the door between the floors after he told me that my family was not allowed to visit me downstairs or use their pool.  I never said that my house was off limits to the grandchildren.

I know we are in desperate need of borders but this is just so wrong.  I am being passive aggressive and I hate myself for it.  the children are behaving like changelings.   they are always at the Sephardi clan now and they are not the same children I cared for last month.  in my house, they played with lego or watched television and drew pictures.  they ran around at the playground.  they did not run through my house screaming like banshees. 

the kids escaped upstairs for a moment on Shabbat to see me outside.  they said they had permission to talk to me.  they begged me to come downstairs to join them on their picnic.  my grandson carried down a small stool for me to sit on.  all of my plastic chairs were removed from the downstairs area at the advent of the summer to make way for the fancy patio furniture.  as I have mentioned, there are only 4 chairs in the downstairs now.  my son recently brought a couple of my plastic chairs down for his drinking buddies on Friday evenings but they are set aside away from the glamorous patio area.

when my son came home from synagogue I went back upstairs.  my grandson begged me to join them for supper.  he ran downstairs to beg his father, my son, to allow me to come for Shabbat.  I decided to make an effort to make peace.  my daughter-in-law and I wished each other a 'Shabbat shalom' but it was all show.  neither one of us meant it.  the big kids had a table full of salads and my grandson eagerly explained that some of the salads were home made and the rest were bought from catering.  he told me that the food was delicious and then added that my food was also delicious.  such a diplomat and he's not yet 7!   my granddaughter insisted on sitting on my lap throughout the meal to her parents' disdain.  I couldn't persuade her to sit in her place.

in my home everyone has a fixed place.  but we are no longer in my home.  the grown up kids seemed very nervous around me.  as usual, no one spoke to me.  my son did mention how much he paid for the kids' outfits but that was the extent of the communication.   it was brutally hot downstairs because the kids had left the electric hotplate on and didn't plugged in a fan.  I was very uncomfortable.  they spent the afternoon in their pool.

I wanted to tell the daughter-in-law that she could put the electric hotplate on a timer but I kept quiet.  I had nothing to say to them, as usual.  at one point I got some sauce on my granddaughter's leg and  the daughter-in-law wiped it off.  once again, I came off as a crazy old lady eating her dinner with a kid on her lap.  my granddaughter was speaking to me in English and serving me salads.  she would never do that in my home but she desperately wanted to connect with me.  she hasn't been in my home in a month.  and they haven't been at my Shabbat table in a month, too.

I normally feed them early in the day so they aren't always hungry at dinner time.  they get fed real food.  I usually give them chicken cutlets or ravioli.  their mother gives them candy and treats right before dinner.  I know I sound like a typical mother-in-law but I really tried for 7 years to support her.  now I actually hate her.  I think I always did.  during the Shabbat meal, the kids were playing on the floor under the table.  they never did this at my home.  they were always in the playroom building lego.  I must have looked very disapproving.  I couldn't wait to leave.

my grandson begged me to sit on one of the patio chairs with him.  before I was banned from my own backyard, the kids and I sat every day at the patio table together.  we had our meals and treats there and even drew pictures there.  I always kept the area clean.  the only time I left a mess was that one Friday afternoon when my niece and family came to have a pool date.  I ran upstairs for a moment to give my daughter-in-law's cousin the necessary things she needed to fry the chicken cutlets in my kitchen.  I ran around finding her the correct bowls, and frying pans, and even gave her my spices.

I, of course, had the intention of going back downstairs to clear the patio table of the soya franks and French fries and pretzels that I had put out for all the kids.   the daughter-in-law was already cleaning up as I escorted my niece and kids to a taxi.  all hell broke out when my son got back.  did her cousin clean up my work space after she cooked?  no she did not.  and the daughter-in-law cooked the fish downstairs on the brand new electric burners that I bought for her.

I sat outside for a moment after the Shabbat meal with my grandson and son.  the daughter-in-law didn't come outside to join us.   I went back upstairs and then she came outside. I sat in my patio area upstairs and the young family sat at their fancy patio furniture together.  no one invited me to join them for lunch, third meal, or havdalah.  I sat by myself and thought about how much I am alone.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Taking A Break

it is 2:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just made some bulgur and red lentils for tonight's Shabbat meal.  I'm defrosting a package of ground turkey and will make a pot of meatballs for myself and the pooches.  I am planning on being alone for Shabbat, once again.  I ran out a little while ago and bought some whole wheat pitas for Shabbat at the local bakery.  I opted not to hit the supermarket.

 it is hot as blazers outside.   I will stay in for Shabbat.  I have a few fans running right now and all the windows are shut.  we have been having wonderful breezes at night but I think we are in the midst of yet, another desert heat wave.  it's truly unbearable.  I somehow managed to pull a shoulder muscle the other day by bending over to pick up a needle from the ground.  my back has more or less healed from this week's fall but this recent pull has me very limited, indeed.

I didn't make it to my friend's video shoot because I couldn't get out of bed yesterday.   I couldn't raise my arm to change into clothes, either.  my costumes were a huge success.  I hope to be able to post some pix soon.   my friend had wanted me to come up with a gray coat depicted in the folk song she had recorded about the legendary 18th century huntsman, john peel.  her video is a comedic twist on the traditional fox hunt.  they already acquired a very adorable fuzzy gray fox hand puppet and I supplied the hats and 'coats' for the dogs.

I had a grey hound's-tooth hat that worked well and we added a feather.  it was my dad's hat.  I had kept it in my closet for the past 12 years after he passed.  I also took out his grey hounds- tooth gabardine robe and offered that too.  in the end, it needed far too much work to turn it into a proper hunting jacket costume.  I ran over to a friend's house and rummaged through her husband's wardrobe, to find a gray jacket.  no such luck.  he did offer me a tailored navy blue jacket with a black velvet collar.  it somehow, had a royal look about it and I immediately knew that it was the costume for john peel.

I was way too hyper to sleep that night.  I stayed up until around 5:00 a.m. considering my possibilities.  I ended up cutting off the pockets and cuffs of the gabardine robe to add a touch of hounds-tooth material to the navy blue blazer.  I also cut strips of black velvet from an old dress to sew onto the jacket, too.  I played around with all the bits and pieces of gabardine material for hours.   I woke up and got to work at around 9:30 a.m.

I still had another two dog hats to create which had to be different from the original 3 hats that I had already made.  I found a silver metal crown that had fallen off of a tsaduka box and I sold in onto the jacket's lapel.  it already had a 'dandy' look bout it.  I was never truly satisfied with my creation but my friend loved it and the young man playing john peel, asked if he could keep the jacket.

I got to make a costume and do a mitzvah at the same time.  my friends wanted me to find a young man to give the jacket and suit to.  mission accomplished!  most important, I got out of my house all week and I didn't have time to brood over the current situation at home.  I was appreciated too, for all my hard work and creativity.  I didn't feel like such a schlepper.  I would have loved to show the grandkids the dog's costumes, but it wasn't meant to be.

I saw the grandkids yesterday in the evening after my friend had already left with the hats.  one of the hats needed a new quill.  I made the repair quickly and my friend and I watched 'the umbrellas of Cherbourg'' in the computer room.   I then walked her over to the bus stop.  you could hear a lot of crying and a lot of screaming coming from the downstairs.  in the past, I would have intervened but not now.  I stopped off at my other friends' home and had a bit of supper.

when I got back I heard the kids downstairs.  I called down to my granddaughter.  she came running over to hug me.  they truly miss me.  my granddaughter was showering me with kisses as my grandson told me how he was starting first grade soon.  they both sat on my lap while I held onto them.  their 19 year old aunt, the bulldog, ordered them back inside.  I could have sworn that she called her sister, the daughter-in-law, to inform on me.  she pointed to her watch impatiently as if to instruct me on the importance of their being showered that moment.  after all, it was 8:00 p.m. on a summer night.  these kids haven't come back home all week before 11:00 p.m.

my daughter-in-law is in charge.  they are, after all, her kids.  she decides who gets to watch them.  I guess I am supposed to kiss her behind that she let me take care of them for the past seven years on a full time basis.  but now, I'm taking a break.  that is my new mantra.  I am taking time off from babysitting and cooking Shabbat meals.  I am taking time off from the drama and the disrespect and the chutzpah.   ultimately, the little kids will survive without me.  they have two parents and a set of grandparents and five aunts and three uncles.   I am alone here.  I am the odd woman out.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tell Me Why I Don't Like Monays

it is 5:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I took a spill down my front door steps on sunday at 3:00 a.m.  I was lucky not to have broken anything.  I brutally landed on the ground with my lower back taking the brunt of the marble stairs.  I had thrown around some soapy water to get rid of the dogs' pee in the hallway.  I stepped outside to mop the water off of the stairs.  I never felt myself slipping.

I spent yesterday in bed. my back was aching.  I finished making the dog costumes for my friend's video.  it is basically some maroon contact paper and some metal fringe on top of a plastic bib.  it is not my finest work.  I made little 'royal' hats for the dogs too.  I am not a master costumer.

my son invited me to come downstairs on Friday night to join them for Shabbat dinner.   he wanted to end this 'thing'.  I didn't go downstairs  and I guess I escalated the 'situation'.   I wasn't sure anymore what this 'thing' was.  I remember exploding at my son when he told me that I used their things: family pool, patio table and chairs, etc. like they were my own.  I also remember throwing him out of my house when he told me that my family was banned from coming downstairs to the backyard.

I haven't made Shabbat meals for three weeks and I don't intend to start again any time soon.  they have been married for over seven years and they can make their own meals from now on.  I made myself some rice and turkey patties for Friday night's dinner.  the dogs and I enjoyed the food.  I also enjoyed my space and  my quiet.  I got to finish a maeve binchey novel and start and finish another one.  I got to sleep a lot and enjoy my Shabbat.  the kids were running amuck downstairs and making a lot of noise.

they never got away with making so much noise when I was watching them.  I'm surprised that the neighbors didn't complain.  perhaps everyone had their air conditioner units blasting and didn't hear the kids.  I actually went downstairs to the backyard on Saturday morning to see the kids.  my grandson came running over.  he wanted to know why I ate alone the night before.  my granddaughter had a runny, gooky green nose and I got up to give her some tissue paper.  it was really scorching downstairs so I returned to my apartment upstairs and got ready for lunch.  I went to my friends for lunch and passed my son on the street in front of the synagogue.

I wished him a Shabbat shalom but he didn't look up at me.  I guess he was more 'spirited' the night before when he invited me to come and eat with them.   in all honesty, I am still disgusted by their piggish and abusive behavior towards me.  I do not remember ever having a conversation with them on a Shabbat or holiday.  they always talk to themselves while I tend to their kids.  the bottom line is that I'm thoroughly fed up with them living here for free.  my son didn't even give me a few shekels from his tithe from work this month.

I can't wait to present them with the next water bill.  that ought to go over well with these selfish brats.  I don't even miss the grandkids.  I am enjoying my freedom.  freedom from babysitting, and cooking Shabbat food.  they can't use the grandkids as currency against me now.  I am in no hurry to be with their kids.  I am hoping that they will get the message that I am staying out of their lives and just want to be left alone.  maybe they will move away.  one can only hope.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy Hour

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from my friends in the neighborhood.  we decided to have a happy hour today.  my friend's husband ran down to the supermarket in his motor cart to buy a bottle of vodka.  my friend was in the mood for screwdrivers.  her husband bought some Smirnoff and we immediately felt happy.  it was the first time all week that I felt good and relaxed.

I went off to the old age home this morning.  it was my turn to help feed our elderly friend at lunch time.  she only ate her jello and I couldn't coax her into eating anything else.  what's the point anyway, right?  after she was put back to bed I went downstairs to visit another friend who has Alzheimer's.  last week she was hostile and totally inside her own head.  she didn't want to engage me and sat there babbling.

today she was visibly happy and excited.  she had gotten a haircut and was feeling marvelous.  I complemented her on her new do and she was so proud and cheerful.  I didn't stay long because I went to visit a new acquaintance there who went totally blind in only two days.  I brought her some plums from the top floor dining room.  she had been taken upstairs to visit our elderly friend.  she and my other friend with the dementia are the only English speakers on that floor.

I went back upstairs to say goodbye to my elderly friend.  everyone was resting now.  no one left to visit until 4:00 p.m.  I walked over to visit my good gal pal and she made me some lunch.  I'm helping her make a small costume for her 3 dogs for a music video that she will be filming soon.  I didn't stay long.  I felt dizzy and she was tired and needed to rest before her evening rehearsal for a dramatic performance next month.  yes, she is in a play and I'm not.  I no longer have the patience to act or to do costumes.  the costume for the dogs is basically adding some very shiny material on to a bib.  no big deal.  I'm glad to be able to help out.

the kids are still not speaking to me.  on my way to the bus stop I heard childrens' voices so I walked over to the gan.  I waved to my granddaughter and she waved back after a moment of staring at me again.  I told her that I loved her but she didn't tell me that she loved me too.  this is a daily routine of mine and the grandkids.  I am really mad at her parents for alienating her against me.

last year I didn't babysit for them because I was working in the kitchen at the yeshiva.  there was none of this trauma/drama and they were even younger.  I keep thinking of an email to send them but my friend told me to take it easy right now.  I am trying my best to ignore the situation and to stay out of the house as much as I can.  I'm thinking about going back to the seniors' center to volunteer.  we'll see.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


it is 9:30 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m.  and let the dogs out.  I thought the heat wave broke last night as there was finally air circulating through out the house.  it was actually windy and chairs were flying.  well, it's hot once again now.  I sat outside with the gardener as he took his coffee break and we got caught up.  he instructed me to tell my son that the downstairs is littered with filth and destroying the garden.  I chose not to tell him about the current situation. 

my son came out with my grandchildren and gave the gardener a warm hello.  he instructed the kids to hug their grandmother.  this is the first time that I've seen them since last Friday.  the children just stared at me.  only my grandson came close to me.  he just stared at me.  my granddaughter didn't come over.  they look a bit traumatized.  maybe I'm wrong.  maybe they were just too busy to say hello to their grandmother.  after all, they are 4 1/2 and 6 1/2 now.  surely, they are too grown up now to take notice of me.  I told them both that I am still their grandmother.  they clung to their father and went off.

there have been a lot of changes this past week.  for one; no one came upstairs to use the bathroom.  how did they ever manage with only one toilet downstairs?  for years, my son and grandchildren have been running upstairs in the morning to urinate.  no one spoke to me the entire week.  the grandchildren always run upstairs to get a toy or a treat or to pet the dogs.  most important, no one asked me to babysit.  I guess they tapped into new resources of child care.  for the first time in over a year they went out for Shabbat meals and I didn't have to take care of the kids all day. 

I stayed home on Friday night and had a tuna sandwich for supper.  I didn't feel like cooking.  luckily, I had a bag of pitas in the house and a bottle of grape juice.  I had a good novel to read and I enjoyed the quiet.  after the kids came home from work I saw my grandson in the pool.  I was very tempted to wave hello from my balcony.  I chose not too wave.  a moment later my son was also in the pool so I came back into my house.  I saw the kids in front of the house leaving with one of the aunts on Thursday.  I wanted to run outside and say hello but I didn't.

I am sure that the grandkids feel abandoned by me but I refuse to blame myself.  their parents are angry with me and choose to use their kids as currency with which to punish me.  I have had a whole week to contemplate the situation.  yes, I had agita most of the week but i am finally feeling stabilized.  I see the whole picture.  I see my role as enabler.  I refuse to come off as an invalid or weak person anymore.  I will let this scenario play itself out.   I will try to find my center.  I am through playing savior.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Long Hot Summer 2016

it is 7:30  a.m. in the hoy city of zefat.  I got up to let the dogs out.  I feel awful.  it's super hot and I feel dizzy.   I am supposed to go downtown to help pack up my elderly friend's belongings.  I was told that we would  dispose of her clothes today.  most of them are stained and old.  I volunteered to help store the boxes when she was transferred to the top floor of the old age facility but was told  that it wouldn't be necessary.  now they have changed their minds and they will be schlepping  boxes to my house.

I really do not have the space for this.  I don't have the energy to bring them upstairs, either.  I may call them soon to let them know that I do not feel well enough to come downtown.  it turns out that  my friend's daughter-in-law made a list of clothing items that she wants us to store for her.   everything that she gave her mother-n-law, apparently is on the list.  I saved some things of my parents after they passed.  I was able to donate most of my father's clothes to charity but kept a hat and a robe and a sweater.

I still wear my mom's bras , head scarves and nightgowns.  it's odd because my mom was tiny and I'm large.  this daughter-in-law lives in the U.S and for the last 30 years never came to Israel to visit her mother-in-law.  I know I shouldn't judge but it does strike me as odd.  I should really start throwing out boxes of baby clothes that I've been saving for my daughter-in-law.  she doesn't even know that they are still in my closet.  she doesn't really know that I am still alive for that matter, either.

we haven't run into each other nor have any of us spoken since Friday afternoon.  I think they are also angry with me for all my trespasses.  or maybe they are simply functioning as a family and do not require my help.  this is a good thing.  my son hasn't barged in once this week to use my bathroom.  the grandchildren have stayed downstairs.  this is the most time that has elapsed since I've seen them.  it is rough for me but a necessity.  without my help they are forced to take care of their own children or find other solutions.  too bad I've been sick all week.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summertime Blues

it is 12:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I haven't spoken to my son since Friday afternoon.  I am sick to my stomach.  I ache.  I went to sleep right after I lit my Shabbat candles on Friday evening.  I slept from 8:00 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.   I don't know if I was sick or just traumatized.  I was freezing.  I slept under a comforter.  I got up and made Kiddush for myself at 2:00 a.m. and then ate a tuna sandwich.  I then went back to sleep until around 7:00 a.m.

after I took to my bed the kids were making a lot of noise.  the bedroom is right above the garden area.  it turned out that the married sister and family also came for the shabbaton.  so there were 3 couples and seven kids downstairs.  I finally passed out and heard my son calling me.  I guess it was time for Kiddush.  I didn't answer.  a little while later the daughter-in-law knocked on the door and asked if I wanted to come downstairs.  I answered from bed that I did not want to and said thank you.  I slept the rest of the night.

I made myself a cup of tea and ate a bit of fruit at 8:00 a.m.  I wanted to drink a rum breeze.  I felt really ill and queasy.  I couldn't read because my head was spinning.  I didn't know if I had had too much sun the day before or if I was just sick to death of my son's chutzpah.  I let the dogs out and saw my daughter-in-law's female cousin and sister.  they said good morning but I could barely answer.  I was furious that more of the clan was downstairs.  after all, I had been told on Friday afternoon that I was not allowed to invite my family to use the pool.

I was also told that I had made myself a little too comfortable with their setup downstairs.  I am not allowed to host my friends and family in my own garden area without their permission.  it's their pool, their table and 4 chairs and their swing set.  I pay the real estate tax, the house insurance, the water bill and the gardener and they live downstairs for free.  what is wrong with this picture?

I put up a wooden gate to prevent the dogs from going downstairs to disturb their guests and kids but someone kept on taking it down.  I ended up leaving my dogs on the balcony all morning.  I went to the Sephardi synagogue to meet my friends and had lunch with them.  I didn't feel well.  it was really hot and I had turned off the fans in the evening because I was cold.  I came back and saw even more members of the clan downstairs.  it was beach party bingo downstairs.  I was so upset.  I drank a rum breeze and I went to sleep.  my granddaughter slipped onto my balcony to call down to everyone and my son ordered her to go downstairs.

I woke up in the evening and finished my novel.  I ate another tuna sandwich and waited for Shabbat to end.  I made havdalah for myself and went to my computer.  when I let the dogs outside I found my wooden gate broken into 2 pieces.  someone smashed it.  someone had also taken my sponger stick and broom.  everyone had left.  I guess the daughter-in-law went to work early this morning.  I don't have to take care of the kids today.  and the way I feel right now I won't be babysitting any time soon nor will I be making shabbatons again.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Just When You Think It's Safe

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I am sitting here in wet clothes while I type.  I jumped into the pool to cool off but now I'm pretty hot.  I am furious with my son and his wife.  I had a really nice birthday this year.  the kids took me out to a good Chinese restaurant and wined and dined me.  actually, I had a rum and coke.  it must have cost a small fortune.  the next day I spent a real fortune on fruits and cheeses and cake and rum breezes to entertain a couple of gal pals.  we dipped in the pool and then had a lovely brunch.

the daughter-in-law bought me shirts from the clothes store where she works.  none of them fit and I had to go out the other night wearing an oversized white peasant blouse to dinner.  it's bad enough that I gained so much weight but I felt like a whale in that blouse.  last night I wore another one of her blouses to make a condolence call to a neighbor.  I looked like an ultra orthodox lady and was very uncomfortable.  a younger lady engaged me in a conversation because I looked like a rebison.

the daughter-in-law is insane when it comes to her floors.  heaven protect us if we spill a drop of water after she has washed the floors.  if she does the housecleaning on Wednesday that means the kids shower upstairs in my house and use my bathroom after they come out of the pool until Friday when she comes home from work.  in my house, the kids are allowed to trash the place.  I warned my friends that the daughter-in-law doesn't let anyone go into her house after the pool.  we all climbed the stairs to use my bathroom after we dunked.  the daughter-in-law grilled me later that night if I had used the downstairs apartment.

this weekend the kids are making a shabbaton with the daughter-in-law's cousins.  I noticed this morning that the house was empty.  it seemed like everyone had gone off to somewhere.  I called my son to inquire where everyone was.  he informed me that the daughter-in-law had gone off to Tiberius.  I assumed that she had gone with the cousins and that the downstairs  pool area was fair game.

my niece and family are in from India.  I had invited her to make a pool date with me and my grandchildren.  she called to ask if the kids could come over to visit and use the pool around noon time.  I ran downstairs to the supermarket to buy treats and drinks that have the politically correct kosher certificate.   just after they arrived the daughter-in-law's cousins returned.  it was a bit awkward.  my family are Ashkenazi chabadniks and the cousins are traditional Sephardim.  it wasn't a good mix.

I brought out lots of drink and nash for all the kids.  the chabadniks wanted the Sephardim to wait until they finished being in the pool because of modesty issues.  I can't get into them now.  it's almost Shabbat.  all I know is that I didn't let my family use the bathroom downstairs after the pool.  I didn't let the kids in the house at all.  my niece did use the bathroom to change her clothes before the pool, which I thought would be okay.  I even warned the cousins not to enter the house wet.  they didn't take me seriously.

my daughter-in-law returned home to find my family in the pool.  the outside table was trashed with remnants of French fries and pretzels and apple juice because I had run upstairs to help her cousin out.  the cousin was frying chicken cutlets in my kitchen because they don't have gas downstairs.  I had every intention of cleaning up when I got back downstairs.  in the meanwhile my son came home and I knew I was in for it, once again.

how dare I use the pool like it's mine?.  I guess that applies to the table and chairs they bought, too.  and the backyard in general, now that they have created a summer wonderland.  and then I was told that my family had trashed their house even though the kids had never set foot in the house.  I lost it on my son, once again.  I told him to leave my house and I let them know I wouldn't be joining them for Shabbat.  he threatened to move out.  imagine that!  to be continued.....