Siege by Snow


We thought we were leaving this kind of weather behind when we left America for the Middle East, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. Then again, the last time a blizzard this size fell down on Jerusalem, it was the roaring ’20’s. Either way, this is my account of what it was like to be under siege by snow.

A little background: The entire upper administration of the school where I work was away in America for recruitment and interviewing applicants for next year, meaning I inherited the entire school (and all of the responsibility that goes along with it) for two weeks. To ease the amount of work and time I needed to put in, we told all of the girls that they had to find housing and meals for themselves outside of our neighborhood for Shabbos, to give both me and the madrichot Shabbos off. That all changed when we saw the weather report.

You have to understand, when the weather report predicts snow in Israel, the average person doesn’t believe it for a second, until they get to the supermarket and it looks like the apocalypse is about to hit. Picture it – nothing on the shelves, a line out the door, not a single empty shopping cart to be found…

“SNOW?” they’ll say incredulously; “Last year it snowed and by the time it hit the ground it started melting!”

So when the forecast was calling for snow from Thursday to Sunday, I knew we had to come up with a backup plan. The only automobiles that have snow tires in Israel are ambulances and firetrucks; buses and especially the average car certainly don’t qualify, which meant getting out of the neighborhood was most likely going to be out of the question, even if the forecast was wrong. Thank goodness I had the foresight (siyatta d’shamaya) to send the handyman to the supermarket on Tuesday for enough food for 50 people for three meals — which we ended up having to prepare ourselves. I even thought ahead to ask the cook to prepare enough kugels on Wednesday, with the plan to freeze them if we didn’t end up needing them.

Waking up on Thursday morning was like a dream. I woke up at around 6:30 and let Lucy outside, already appreciating the gorgeous undisturbed ground the snow was falling on. At 10 till 7, the first period teacher called me to say that he would be able to come in to teach if we were still having school. After getting a hold of the other first period teacher who also said she’d be able to come in, I decided we would open school so that the girls could eat breakfast and maybe have some class. The girls meandered in, excited about the snow, while I made hot chocolate. After first period, the rest of the classes were cancelled, and the girls busied themselves with snowball fights and snowman making contests.

IMG_0404

#whiteout

IMG_0405

and it was just the beginning…

We ran home to get Lucy and Simba, who really enjoyed playing in the snow! At first, Lucy was a little afraid, but warmed up to it a lot once she realized how much fun it was to dig and play.

IMG_0438

YAY! Snow!

IMG_0433

Lucy found a flower in the snow.

At this point, we knew that if the snow kept up (and even if it didn’t) it would be very unlikely that the girls would be able to go anywhere for Shabbos, so we told them to call their hosts and cancel their plans. We went home to rest for a few hours and then went back to school to start cooking.

IMG_0443

passed out after playing in the snow.

As the snow continued to fall, another staff member volunteered to make challah with the girls while Jonathan and I got started cooking. Thinking (in our naive American mentality) that people like the cleaner and the fix-it man would be able to get into school to straighten up, we didn’t think much about logistics as we went along with our business, making tray after tray of chicken, pots of rice, and green beans. We were making three meals for 50 girls at each meal, so we had our work cut out for us. We decided to make two giant pots of chicken soup (one for night and one for day), cholent, and lots of yummy sides. Satisfied with all we’d accomplished, we decided to call it a night and went home to rest for a day of work to follow. Meanwhile, the snow kept on falling.

Friday morning, I woke up to a phone call and a text message that the store wasn’t receiving any challah deliveries, and the challahs that the girls made the night before were sent home with them to the dorms for them to eat. This resulted in a lot of tears from me, frustration that we had no challah, flour, or eggs to make our own. I sent a text to all of our students and told them we needed them to save Shabbos, and a madricha pounded on the doors to get everyone out on a trip to the makolet, where they would pick up pitas, loaves of bread, and grape juice by the case to carry back (in a blizzard) so that we would have enough bread and grape juice. In a minute, went from crying tears of frustration and feeling like I would never be able to pull it together to crying tears of joy from how impressed I was from all of these girls. Within 20 minutes, the school was sparkly clean, the tables were set, and the food was put up on the hot plates. We went home in the falling snow to get ready for Shabbos, and the girls did the same.

IMG_0418

the calm before the blackout.

We got home just in time for our power to go out, along with all of the power along our street. We live on the same street as Baer Miriam, but miraculously, the school still had power that held over Shabbos, but we had no hot water, no heat, and no lights. We piled on the blankets and invited the dogs into bed with us, and somehow stayed warm at home, but definitely took refuge at school, where the heat was pumping and it was very comfortably warm.

Shabbos afternoon, the power came back and stayed back, unlike for many other people in Jerusalem. After Shabbos, we found venturing outside was dangerous and made us feel like we were in a third-world country – cars were abandoned in the middle of the road, the streets went unplowed, trees fell in the middle of the roads, and nothing was done about it for days. Our neighborhood is on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and doesn’t lead to any major highways or hospitals, making it the last on the list to get plowed (by the three snow plows owned by the country). That, and very few people own snow shovels, making clearing your car out (not that we have a car, but wishful thinking) or clearing the sidewalks next to impossible. The city brought in army tanks and policemen to clear the roads, plow the streets, and direct traffic.

IMG_0420

Even now, the majority of the trees on our street are still on the sidewalks, making walking very cumbersome, even a month after the storm.

Israelis are notoriously bad drivers, and that makes driving in the snow here a dangerous activity as well. Jonathan and I needed to go out a few days after the storm (cabin fever had started to set in), so we walked to the commercial neighborhood next to ours, where we set up a cell-phone plan for Yael, Jonathan’s sister. We hitched a ride on the way back with someone from our neighborhood, and spun out into the snowbank as we slid over black ice. Car rides that would have taken 5 minutes took close to 2 hours or more as more people began to venture outside, and the owner of the supermarket in our neighborhood took it upon himself to sleep in his store rather than have to commute from his home. The roads got so bad (and Israelis drive so recklessly) that the city had to close the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway after 8PM for a few evenings to prevent people from driving on the ice.

IMG_0445

The snowfall started on the 9th of Tevet and fell through the 10th of Tevet, which is a minor fast day for the Jewish nation. The 10th of Tevet was when the walls of Jerusalem were breached, and the siege of the city was complete. No longer could anything be imported or exported from within its walls. We fast on the 10th of Tevet to remember that it was the beginning of our exile. This year, on the 10th of Tevet, we were also under siege. Nothing could come into Jerusalem, and nothing could leave. Nothing could even come to the makolets, and we didn’t even have heat or light in our homes, except for our Shabbos candles. It would take days for things to return to normal — cell phone towers were running interference for days, buses were suspended for almost a week, school was cancelled for 5 days, and we were confined to our little homes and neighborhoods within walking distance. For just a minute, we got an understanding of what it felt like to be under siege.

Where in snowfalls past, the snow would melt within a day or two of the storm, this snow held on for weeks, even as the sun beat down on it. Life slowly but surely started to get back to normal, the roads thawed during the day and re-iced over at night, and after a while, the normal routines resumed. But people (including the New York Times) continue to speak about the snowstorm of a century.

We’ll definitely remember it forever.

*(I just have to take this moment to give a shout-out to my amazing Husband and other half, Jonathan, who helped me hold it together during this very stressful and high-pressure time. I never would have been able to pull off the snow Shabbos, or the week of running a seminary, without his help, expertise, and everlasting love and support.)

 

Advertisements

Yom HaZikaron – A Day to Remember


Today was a very bittersweet day. Living in Israel is a paradox. It’s a country where there is a huge sense of faith in Hashem, in G-d, but also many people that run away from their Jewish identities. It’s a country where every young boy goes to the army as soon as he is old enough, and fights to protect our country from the enemies that surround it. Today was Yom Hazikaron, the Day of Remembrance.

In America, Memorial Day means a lot to a select few. In Israel, today means a lot to everyone. There is no one who doesn’t know someone who fell, or at the very least, someone who knows someone who fell. Today, I heard a very moving story that I am going to try to remember here.

A Rosh Yeshiva survivor of World War II had a teacher at his school who had a son serving in the army that fell during the first Lebanon War. After the Levaya, the Rosh Yeshiva turned to the bochurim (yeshiva students) in the van taking him back to school and said, “He was Kadosh.” He was holy. One of the other students in the van turned to him and questioned, “Rebbi, even the non-religious soldiers?” Without hesitation he responded, “They were ALL kadosh.” Then, without explaining himself he asked the driver of the cab to take him directly to the house where his colleague was sitting shiva, mourning for his son.

His colleague was shocked at the arrival of the Rosh Yeshiva, who was never known for spending any extra time out of his Torah learning, and said to him, “Thank you for coming, but it is time for you to return to Yeshiva.”

His superior turned to him and relayed the following story:
“You don’t know this about me, but I had a son who was taken out of my arms and executed. He was five years old, and I was not able to do anything to save him. Later, I traded my five-year old son’s shoes for food, but I could never eat it. I gave it away to someone else. When my son was taken, I knew he was a tzadik (righteous) but he went singularly; he didn’t save anyone else in the process. Your son was also taken from you, but he did so saving the lives of all of the Jewish people that live in the Land of Israel, making him a tzadik in his own right. I know that in shamayim (heaven) right now, my son is welcoming your Shlomo to a heavenly minyan, where your son is the Shaliach Tzibur (the leader of the group) in heavenly prayer. I never got to sit shiva properly for my own son, so please let me sit here with you for a little while longer.”

The Rebbe (teacher) replied, “Rebbi (my teacher), I didn’t think it was possible to be comforted, but you just comforted me.”

Two sirens sound on Yom Hazikaron, one in the evening and one in the morning. The sirens evoke emotions that are larger than life, bringing in images of soldiers knocking loudly on doors to deliver news that no one wants to receive; wails of mothers burying their sons, and an intense silence falls over the country: the silence of laughter that will never be heard again; the silence of a wedding that will never occur and children and grandchildren that will never be born.

The director of my school said that while the national response to these sirens is to stand in a moment of silence, she doesn’t think that it’s a very Jewish response. She said that a much more Jewish response would be to stand up and to pray to G-d on behalf of the fallen soldiers, to say tehillim for their souls to help them elevate higher and higher; that our prayer should enable them to daven in their own heavenly minyan.

People often criticize the religious population in Israel for being unwilling and ungrateful to the soldiers of the land of Israel, but this powerful story shows that the opposite is true – we ALL owe our lives to them. We owe our safety to them. Our ability to daven at the Kotel to them. But we also owe it to Hashem, our Father in Heaven, who made it possible for them to strengthen this country to be able to defend itself from it’s foes. Without this understanding; without soldiers in the army and soldiers learning Torah, the Jewish state loses all of it’s Judaism – it becomes a secular state with a mainly Jewish population, the antithesis of anything Jewish. that is the essence of Yom Hazikaron, which always falls during a time of mourning for the Jewish people. It’s not a coincidence that the date is during sefira, the counting of the Omer, when we are challenged with working on our character traits specifically concerning “ben adam l’chavero,” between a man and his friend. During this time it is essential that we recognize the kedusha, the holiness, of each and every one of the soldiers defending Am Yisrael (the Jewish people), and also that we realize that ultimately, everything is in Hashem’s hands.

Mangoes in Israel


Since we’re on a limited budget here in Israel, our food choices are sometimes affected. This, however, does not stop us from stocking up on something that in America, costs way more than it does in Israel. No, I’m not talking about rice, or fish, or meat. I’m talking about G-d’s candy. I’m talking about fruit.

The fruit in Israel, specifically mangoes, which are my all-time FAVORITE fruits, are AMAZING here. The first time I bit into one was like the first time I ate a mango — it redefined what the fruits are supposed to taste like. Since I’m allergic to almost all other fruits (I can only partake in them cooked), and I want to eat them here, I’ve been making a lot of fruit-filled desserts. During the holiday, I made a delicious Apple Crisp using my mom’s recipe not once, not twice, but three times. Each time the baking dish was licked clean by all of our friends guests Jonathan me.

Sorry for the caveat — I definitely have fruit on the mind today, and I know I promised an update on my etrog jelly, but we’re having a little bit of trouble getting it to set up. It tastes delicious, but I think I over-soaked the pectin from the but I am having some trouble with my etrog jelly. Unfortunately, it isn’t setting up like it’s supposed to — I guess I over-soaked the pectin out of it! So I’m off to the health-food store to try to find some powdered pectin!

I’m meeting Jonathan there, so we’re probably going to get some falafel for dinner while we’re out — I’ll try to update again later!

While I’m here, I want to give you the chance to ask me some questions so that I can answer them on my blog. Anything you want to know about what it’s like to live in Israel? What it’s like to be an Orthodox Jew? Feel free to post a comment if there’s something you’d like to know.

Chodesh Tov! (Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, is today and tomorrow — it’s a minor festival in Judaism, and it means no housekeeping, no sewing, and definitely no laundry — all things I’m happy to not have a reason to do :-))

Firmly Planted


When I was little, I thought Tu B’Shevat was the coolest holiday EVER. I had a book called “The Birthday of the Trees” and I would read it all the time — it was about a little girl who wanted to make a birthday party for the trees. She even baked a cake.

Today, I appreciate the holiday even more. Today was the day the world began.

I know that sounds really counter-intuitive. I know I shared my vision for a new year already; I know that there can’t be more than one new year per year. But in Judaism, there are three — Rosh Hashana, Tu B’Shevat, and Pesach.

Today is Tu B’Shevat. The fifteenth of Shevat, the new year for the fruit of the trees.

We can learn a lot from Trees; we are really very similar to them in many ways. And in the ways that we aren’t, we should really strive to be more alike.

Trees have their roots planted firmly in the ground. As saplings, they grow in two directions; as their roots stretch and twist and swell from nourishment deeper and deeper in the ground, trees grow branches and leaves. They defy gravity while sinking into it at the same exact time.

A cross-section of human bone looks just like a cross-section of a tree. It has rings on the inside, rings to help nutrients penetrate to the core – to sink inside something that looks and feels so solid.

People too, defy gravity from the moment they are born, but still can’t overcome it. Our feet must be firmly planted at all times or we will lose our footing; even jumping from a high enough plateau; it will always bring us back to earth.

We are conditioned to reach for the skies, to ponder their depths and to look for answers. To use our limbs to reach out and up and grow — to stand on our tipy-toes to see what the world looks like from a slightly higher altitude.

On Tu B’Shevat, today, we can learn from trees. We can reach and reach and reach, higher and higher until we might topple over from standing so high. We can enjoy the fruits of our labors and the fruits that just appear because the rains fall just enough to give us G-d’s candy. We can harvest and reap and sow until our backs hurt and then just stand in the plowed fields stretching and reaching toward heaven.

Today is the birthday of the fruit of the trees. The start of the world and the beginning of a lesson that has been going on for centuries. A lesson about balancing earth and heaven, our heads and our hearts; how to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and still reach up, searching for more.

 

Can’t Touch This


Since I work at a Jewish organization, I get put in situations like this on almost a daily basis. These were hilarious, and I couldn’t help but want to share it on this forum.

As I explained in Un-Orthodox, my husband and I are both Orthodox Jews. This in and of itself lends itself to hilarious situations (see: why I won’t eat that lettuce and “the bob-and-weave” at an engagement party), working at a Jewish org where I am the only orthodox person means that I get asked questions. Those uncomfortable questions that don’t always have a simple answer.

For example, a friend of mine came to visit me during lunch last week, and our 80-year-old intern (I’m not kidding. Trust me, I wish I was) came into the office and I introduced him. She has dark skin and is very exotic looking, so when he offered his hand and she told him that she didn’t shake hands with men, he looked at me like we both had 4 heads and they were all growing tentacles.

“She’s Orthodox,” I explained, “She doesn’t shake hands with men.”
“What language?” the 80-year-old intern asked.
“English. She’s Jewish. Orthodox,” I repeated.
“OH! Orthodox. Did you know that I’m related to the Ba’al Shem Tov?”

Today, one of my colleagues had a meeting today with a group of Jewish people, one of whom just celebrated her orthodox son’s engagement. She went on and on in the kitchen (where else?) about the relationship, the short engagement, and wait — the fact that her son has never, ever TOUCHED his bride-to-be.

Everyone gasped collectively and the volume went through the roof–

“Like they’ve never held hands?”
“He didn’t kiss her when she said yes?!”
“They’ve never even high-fived!?”

I could go on for hours, really. Since my office is right next to the kitchen, I got to hear the entire discourse, and as soon as it was over, I knew exactly what was coming.

My co-worker sauntered into my office and started with a caveat, “I hope this isn’t too much of a personal question, but –”
“I know exactly what you are going to ask,” I replied, my cheeks probably red enough to give away my answer.

As I convinced her that yes, there are people who really ONLY touch their husbands/wives/immediate family members in the Orthodox Community, and shunned her previous thought that that was such an “Ultra-Orthodox” thing to do, I told her that there were really normal, living, eating, breathing people who waited until they were married to touch for the first time. And yes, their marriages are normal. Yes, they have sex, and yes, they really do love each other. And they know they love each other before their wedding day.

My co-worker didn’t ask me why, but since I experience situations like this more-and-more freqently, maybe I should articulate why I won’t shake your hand/hug you/kiss you/square dance with you even if you are one of my closest friends.

Similar to Islam, Orthodox Jews do not touch members of the opposite sex they are not related to. Not because men or women have cooties, and not because we’re afraid that we might get automatically “turned-on” from a high-five. The reason is simple – that physical relations are holy – and holy things need to be kept separate. This concept plays a huge role in many of the facets of Orthodox Judaism; but shomer negiah is one that is often downplayed, ignored, and looked-down upon.

In today’s world, so much of what we do is public. We all have Facebook (except me!), we all update our twitter feeds and linkedin profiles, and we are all online, all the time. Even my diary is public and you’re allowed to read it, and I don’t even know who you are! Judaism, in general, is a religion that says that’s okay — great, even, as long as there’s an amount of self-respect that is preserved.

Keeping touch private makes it feel special, knowing that my husband won’t hug my friends or even shake hands with the women he works with (who I will never meet) makes me feel like I am more important than them. Which is allowed, because I am his wife. It keeps our most personal relationships private, adding a layer to our love that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

And it makes our relationship feel holy, for sure.

New Year, New…Shoes?


So, it’s official – it’s a new year. 5772.

Ever since I can remember, Rosh Hashanah has always been one of my all-time favorite holidays. Something about the warm, sweet challah dipped in honey, the sweet honey or Jewish Apple cake dotted with sour raisins, the smell of brisket roasting in the oven…

For some reason, all of my holiday associations center around food.

Rosh Hashanah always meant the beginning of something. The beginning of the school year, the beginning of fall, the beginning of a beginning. This year, I celebrated with an entire new family, but missing one of my family members as well.

It was really beautiful, and made me really look forward to hosting our own Rosh Hashanah seudah at our house. I can picture the tablecloth, the centerpiece. I can see the simanim we would giggle over before stuffing our tummies full of yummy food. I can see the meal going on for hours.

Looking back at the past year, I almost can’t believe how much has changed. How much I grew. How much Jonathan grew. We went from taking walks and drinking Starbucks Hot Chocolate to packing lunches (for each other) and paying renters insurance. And I really couldn’t be happier.

A lot of things are changing; Jonathan got a new job working for Campbell’s soup, which he loves. I’m in school and working, and I’m starting to find time to breathe. We’re talking about travelling, about buying a house. We’re dreaming together. And I’ll take the beginning of a life of dreams anytime. L’Shana Tova, all.

Okay, Cupid?


Tu B’Av Sameach!

Appropriately, I’m also going to take this opportunity to wish my dear friends, C&A, a HUGE Mazel Tov on their engagement! It’s not official until it’s on the web, folks!

We certainly  have a lot to celebrate! Last night was the start of one of the happiest days of the year, Tu B’Av (the 15th of Av), which commemorates six miracles. One of these was the end of a plague that accompanied the Israelites in the desert as a result of their building the Golden Calf, which condemned all of the Jews in the desert to death (gloomy, right?). So anyway, that year, the last 15,000 people mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared themselves to die, and the day of doom (Tisha B’Av or the 9th of Av) came and went without anyone biting the dust. So, they had a typical Jewish reaction — they argued about the date. They thought maybe they were wrong, and that tomorrow was actually the 9th of Av, and then the next day, and then the next…conveniently, the Jewish calendar is based on Lunar cycles, and once the full moon came (on the 15th of Av) they knew that meant the decree had been lifted, and their sins had been forgiven! YAY!

With a little extra dose of divine intervention, G-d also gave Moses the opportunity to speak to Him once again (the highest form of prophecy), making the 15th of Av forever a day to celebrate relationships.

Some years later, when one tribe of the Jewish people realized they were about to die off (once again), some brave women took the future of humanity into their own hands and married men of what once was a forbidden tribe to marry into on the holy day of Tu B’Av, thus confirming what the wise Jewish people already knew – the 15th of Av was a day to celebrate relationships of all kind.

Some people count Tu B’Av as the Jewish Valentine’s Day – which is interesting, because while on the surface they are both days to celebrate love, they are two totally opposite types of love.

Valentine’s Day is a day that celebrates a  lusty, love-at-first sight kind of love that literally hits you like an arrow and then wears off as soon as Cupid sees fit. That kind of love doesn’t exist in Judaism, a religion that believes that there is no such thing as love at first sight or romance, instead subbing in the term passion for both of these things. Judaism believes that for one thing to be true, it has to be true in every single situation, so there can be no such thing as love at first sight because the world would literally be in chaos as people fell in love with their parents, siblings (ew, gross!), restaurants, foods, ect. The passion that Judaism recognizes in love is the same kind of passion that is present in every situation, meaning that whenever something is new and good it is like the initial joy at breaching the hill of a roller coaster — it’s a unique, exhilirating feeling when it happens, but it is also fleeting. This is true for everything — when I first started my job, I thought I would be here forever – I loved it! Trying a new food? I went a little leek crazy last week after realizing I was just cleaning them improperly (I know – sand is not good for digestion) and wanted to include them in every meal. Turns out there’s only so much leek soup one person can handle.

We can say the same for relationships. At the start of a new friendship, two people can’t learn enough about each other; can’t get enough of each other either and as soon as the novelty wears off, you start to notice those little quirks that may drive you up the wall; depending on how much you’ve invested into that relationship, you may choose to continue it or not. And we all know about “puppy love,” the love in the earliest stages of a love-relationship that’s a mixture of passion, infatuation, curiosity, and desire.

Obviously, this exhilaration is necessary for the survival of any relationship or people wouldn’t feel the urge to build new ones; if it didn’t have a purpose people would have developed a medical remedy to the feel-good warm and fuzzies that blind our judgement so severely with those gosh-darn rose-colored glasses.

That being said, Tu B’Av does have something to do with that initial passion, but that is precisely what makes the holiday so interesting. Love, in Judaism, isn’t viewed as a perpetual romantic comedy. It’s recognized that it’s not all pretty, and it’s recognized that there’s a lot of whirlwind (good and bad) associated with it.

In fact, under the chuppah, the couple is given a blessing that they should experience six different types of love, “mirth, song, delight (rejoicing), love (harmony), peace, and companionship.” These types of love are illustrated as a roller coaster, the initial flight up (mirth), the moment of extacy when the car goes over the hill (song), the descent down (delight), the moment at the bottom of the hill (harmony), and then the ascent can begin again with peace and companionship. Love has to be representative of the whole picture, and can’t be viewed only as that moment of extacy or initial infatuation.

So many people, when relationships start to get comfortable, say that the romance is gone — that they don’t feel the “spark” that made them so sure once the relationship began. The spark is important, for sure, but it’s not the whole love experience. Love is an undercurrent of every aspect of life, from the mundane Sunday morning to the passionate fire of Friday night — without the mundane, the passion cannot exist.

Most religious couples don’t meet the way that Jonathan and I did, nor do they meet at such a young age. I’d like to say that we are lucky enough to have experienced a lot of that initial passion and excitement, more so than other people, but that wouldn’t be completely true. In those moments, we felt (and still feel) a little out of control of our feelings. We’re run totally by hormones, and (trust me!) that is not always the healthiest way to conduct a relationship. Fire is a dangerous tool to have on the bridge of a ship; it can burn down the entire ocean.

I don’t know when we realized that this was going to be the forever kind of love, but I think that we both realized early on that fiery passion isn’t the kind of love that’s easily sustained. Instead, it’s the safe kind of sweatpants on a Sunday love, the trips to the supermarket love, the kind of love that makes you feel you have two feet planted firmly on the ground but you could fall back and have someone catch you kind of love that we wanted to water and nurture to watch it grow.

This brings me back to the idea of Tu B’Av. Like I said earlier, Tu B’Av is a holiday that celebrates all types of relationships. All stages of relationships. And it, like many other Jewish holidays/concepts, helps us to realize so much about the world that we live in.

I love roller coasters. Jonathan and I were supposed to go to Six Flags yesterday, but we got rained out. I love roller coasters because I love the feeling of being out of control, but safely buckled in. I love the feeling of going up a hill right after being whirled around a corner, that slow and steady uphill that promises the fast, stomach churning descent is right over the bend.

But you know what I love more? I love feeling safe, with both feet on the ground, once the ride is over. And that’s the real kind of love – the kind of love that promises to take you on trips and adventures and to make you feel like you’re out of control…but at the end of the day, stands next to you, both feet on the ground.

C&A, B&D, J, and every other person in a relationship or looking for a relationship on the blogosphere: you should fully experience the full picture of love every day for the rest of your lives.