I rarely have days where I can stay home and just focus on my house…other than Friday, when I am focusing on preparing for the Sabbath. That centers around food mostly, and cleaning the well-used areas. It doesn’t normally allow for something as simple as cleaning out your closet or conquering that which clutter has long ago vanquished.

Since being sick this summer, I’ve fallen to every cold, every cough, every whatever that I encounter. This time, I started to give in and decided to fight back a bit. I’m home…but I’m accomplishing something. I’ve emptied and refolded and organized everything in my closet and now I’m tackling my husband’s closet.

I long to have hours to write and yet, now that I have them, I long for something more practical, more focused. So, for now, I mix my day with home and work…much as I mix most of my life. I check Facebook and the news sites to see what is happening. Have they caught the terrorist who killed two and injured many others last Friday in Tel Aviv? Have there been any other attacks?


The skies are darkening by the minute – we are in for yet another winter storm. It is the season I love most in Israel and I’m enjoying the sweaters, the rain, the feeling that the land is being fed and enriched and already starting to grow after the hot, dry months.

It took me many years to actually begin enjoying housework, to not hate washing dishes and see it as a waste of time. I still hate laundry 🙂

I’m itching to start another novel…and thinking about the other one that I’ve completed and done nothing with. Someone called me recently, telling me that I was wasting my talent and that I should go door to door in New York to find a publisher or an agent. But I’m not in New York, I explained. I’m here in Israel.

So, I take today as one where I think only a little. I work less than I should, using being tired and sick as an excuse I clean my house more than I usually have time for on a Thursday when I’m running from meeting to meeting and trying to close out a long list of things I have to do before calling it a week…and I wonder about the novel dancing around in my head…if I should start it…put ideas into words and words onto the magical computer screen which will make it into a story.

No, this post isn’t about being a soldier’s mother…or anyone’s mother, for that matter. It’s just about a person who longs to fulfill a dream. I’ve been granted so many in my life, do I dare to dream of another?

I dreamed, from the time I was just 13 years old of coming home to Israel…and here I am. I dreamed of marrying a man…and met him and did. I dreamed of having children…3 like my parents, perhaps even 4…and was blessed with 5. At some point, I began dreaming of watching my children marry…and three have…and of grandchildren…and have been so blessed with Yosef, Michal and Aharon.

And as I dream, I put the soup up to cook, chop vegetables to be roasted and more to be added to the soup. I throw in a batch of brownies because Aliza is going to a friend’s house for Shabbat and will take them along.

I unload the dishwasher and put the next and last load in, the garbage is out but there’s always always more to do…and I dream again of a story that is waiting to be written…and maybe, just maybe, an agent who will sell it.


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Paula R. Stern is the co-founder of Retraining4Israel (www.retraining4israel.com), a new organization working to help olim make aliyah successful. Paula made aliyah over 30 years ago with her husband and their three children. She lives in Maale Adumim and is often referred to as “A Soldier’s Mother”. She is now a happy wife, mother of five (including two sabras), and grandmother, happily sharing her voice and opinions with others. She is also a senior tech writer and lead training instructor at WritePoint Ltd. (www.writepoint.com). Please visit her new website: www.israelheartbeat.com