Photo Credit: Jewish Press

It had been a long and dreary summer with no chance to recharge our batteries. Corona had begun to recede, but the English weather, combined with the never-ending change of rules and regulations, had made us desperate for change of scenery.

There were absolutely no holiday houses for a family of twelve in the whole of Great Britain to be found! Any decent home had been booked and those odd few remaining, cost a minimum of £4,000 ($3,000) a week. This amount was so outlandish, that it seemed we would have to stay home in cramped conditions, enduring another 5 weeks of Corona restrictions.


The prospect was bleak indeed.

Some sheer miracle occurred when I was venting my frustration to a friend. She told me she knew someone who was looking to rent her home in Silver Island, a new development area in the countryside, to a heimishe family. The connection was made. I called Shoshy, who was eager to lease her home to me, as I was an old neighbour of hers, for two weeks, at a total cost of £3,000. Considering the outrageous prices elsewhere, and our desperate need to get away, we decided to view it before closing the deal.

We were delighted with the airy rooms, the spacious hallways, the large kitchen, magnificent master bedroom with its own bathroom and porch. We were hooked. In our mind’s eye, we could envision the kids frolicking around in the beautiful landscaped garden and imagine ourselves sitting in garden chairs watching them.

We closed the deal, grateful to be able to share our find with our offspring who were desperate to hear of our holiday plans. The excitement began mounting. With a hop in their step, they gathered their belongings. Spontaneous singing erupted, as they scampered around the home, searching for sunhats, backpacks, sunglasses, bathing suits and other paraphernalia necessary for the vacation.

Before we knew it, D-day had arrived. What a load of bags, boxes, suitcases, toys, games, books, could be found, jam-packed in the trunk of the car. The kids were shrieking in excitement as they clutched their own personal backpacks for the journey, filled with goodies of all shapes and sizes.

The Waze was set and hey, presto it was real. We were off, about to spend a long awaited two weeks of holiday with our family!

The journey passed in a haze of chatter accompanied by munching, crunching and gazing out the window, each child guessing where we were at that particular moment in time. Once the Voice announced “You will be reaching your destination on your left,” I’m sure the whole neighbourhood could hear the yelps of joy that erupted.

With a flurry of excitement, all were eager to help unpack and find their own beds, private space for their precious possessions, and then head to the family lounge and kitchen. What fun to assist in a new place! At this point, all were filled with boundless energy and happy singing and cheering reverberated throughout the expansive rooms.

My married daughter, Faigy, would have loved to join with her husband and delicious, rambunctious toddler, Raisy. However, we only had one extra bed. Were she to come, my daughter, Chevy, who was 21, would have had to give up her room and double up with two of her younger siblings.

I knew that Faigy needed a break, as she had just moved apartments, with all the stress that entails, but I didn’t feel Faigy’s needs warranted Chevy, giving up her chance for privacy for the next two weeks, that would enable her to switch off and regain her strength for the coming academic year.

I felt pulled in all directions.

My dilemma was resolved when Faigy informed me that they had decided to come from Thursday to Sunday.

Friday dawned bright and sunny. We were eager to get started out on our trip to the beach. As we were leaving, I called out to the last one inside, to remove the key from the lock and place it in the letter box so that Faigy would be able to enter on her return from her walk with her husband.

The door was slammed shut before the key was removed and we realised we were stuck. My key was in the house in my handbag, my husband’s, was on the kitchen table, Chani’s was in the bedroom and the last remaining one was now left inside the front door!

I started muttering tehillim under my breath, and began sweating profusely. We were locked out of our vacation home and clueless where to go from here.

My husband got out of the car and suddenly I see him turning the knob of the garage door and hey, presto, the handle turns and the door magically swings inward! Wow, the cheers that erupted spontaneously were euphoric. The relief was palpable. My husband entered the house and emerged triumphantly, waving the key in his left hand.

Obviously, when the owners left, they didn’t shut the door securely, anyone could have broken into the property, yet we were blissfully unaware of the fact that we had been exposed to any wannabe intruders.

This incident provided us with a heart-warming feeling, no matter what occurs, our loving Father in heaven is always there, holding our hands and supporting us through life’s ups and downs.


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