Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Hard Day's Work

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just got back from work.  I am subbing for a few days at the yeshiva.  yesterday, I had my granddaughter with me for an hour until 3:00 p.m. and then we went to pick up my grandson from his school.  it was about a 15 minute walk.  my granddaughter managed to fall twice and skim her knees.  I carried her for a few minutes until my back began to ache.

my son didn't explain where to pick up my grandson.  he was at an after school activity program.  I, of course, went to the school.  when I didn't see any children there I felt a bit panicked.  luckily, the school maintenance guy was still there and he directed me to the building across the street.  my grandson was waiting in the yard with a few other children and he looked very happy and relaxed.  he had had pizza and coke for lunch and was learning how to build serious Lego.

we took a cab home because I cannot schlepp his backpack.  I don't understand why they have to take these heavy bags to school every day.  most of the kids travel by car or school bus.  I am probably the only grandparent who comes there by bus.  sometimes we get a lift home right to the door.  my son came back around 7:00 p.m. and did homework with my grandson.  he wanted me to bathe the kids here and watch them until he came back from a torah class at 9:30 p.m.  he was able to enlist one of their young aunts to babysit over at their apartment so I was let off the hook.

as usual, I passed out during the night in front of the television and woke up at 1:00 a.m.  this is a recent development in my sleeping pattern.  it seems to happen a lot lately.  I also have been having dreams of being terminally ill.  this also seems to be a reoccurring pattern in my dream cycle.  the husband of a dear acquaintance of mine passed away this week.  I used to work with him many years ago at a chabad outreach center.

I stopped by to see his widow before the funeral.  I don't go to night time funerals.  we chatted for about an hour and a half and I went home.  I felt broken all day long.  her husband had beat bone cancer and had been clean for about 14 years.  it came back this time with a vengeance.  his bone marrow transplant didn't help nor did the stem cells he had saved 11 years earlier.  I saw him before sukkot and he looked fine.  his wife had fallen and broken her hip the day he had returned from his transplant and he had to travel with her and return to the tel aviv area once again.  he told me, ''you got to laugh"..

I got to work today at around 10:00 a.m.  the manager of the yeshiva was making French toast for the guys.  all of the gas range was being used.  I looked around to see what I could do.  all the pots and pans from yesterday's lunch and supper were in the sink.  they are usually already washed.  I decided to start the washing up when the sewage started backing up from under the sink.  at the same time, a pipe was heavily leaking outside the kitchen.  while the manager played with the pipe under the sink,  I mopped all of the dirty water out of the kitchen.  this took about a half an hour.

by the time I finished the pots and pans, an hour had gone by and I hadn't even started cooking. the food processor wasn't working so I grated some veggies by hand to make tuna patties.  I struggled for a while with the regular can openers to open the industrial sixed can goods.  I butchered a can of olives and literally left some very jagged edges.  it took forever to make up and fry up some 80 tuna patties. the gas kept on turning off.   it was a strange morning.  luckily, I only mildly nicked my finger on one of the jagged cans.

at lunch time, the electric hotplate wasn't working.  I usually put all the food for lunch on the platter and the guys serve themselves.  I kept everything warm in the kitchen until the manager fixed the outlet.  I couldn't really do anything for half an hour while he played with the electricity.

I washed up the rest of the kitchen utensils and counters.  I made a meatloaf for dinner but I was too tired to grate any veggies to add to it.  I had already grated squash, carrots and onions to the tuna to make patties.  I couldn't peel another vegetable.  I sautéed carrots and onions to add to the bulgur.  I put the meatloaf into the toaster oven and proceeded to make a tomato and onion salad.  I went to see how the meatloaf was doing an hour later, and it was still raw.  the toaster oven hadn't lit up.  I was beside myself.  the dining room was flooded.  the plumber was no where to be found.  I was exhausted and wanted to go home.

the meatloaf was more or less ready when the plumber arrived.  I didn't think I had made enough food for the 20 students.  I couldn't use the sink while the plumber was working.  as soon as he left, I quickly threw in 20 eggs to boil and cut up a lot of zucchini and cooked them in a mild tomato sauce.  the delivery for the Shabbat food came about then.  i had to put the produce away and then I saw that one of the freezers had mal functioned and all of the chicken cutlets had defrosted.  I scrambled to find room in two of the refrigerators.  I left the yeshiva at 5:30 p.m.  I was there for 71/2 hours.  I am embarrassed to bill them but I spent the entire time working.

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