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Drizzles Can Become Showers

Turning the Corner

Today, my husband and I took our grandsons to the park so their Mommy and Daddy could have a break (and my husband and I could enjoy the cutie-pies). It was a beautiful, sunny day with gorgeous blue sky, but very hot and dry, so we headed out in the mid to late afternoon, after the heat of the day.

As the kids rode their bikes in the residential area and we followed behind them, I thought of how it hasn’t rained here in Southern California much for the past two years. We are in the midst of a drought. Something so mundane as rain is so huge for us. While some of us (especially East Coasters like me) may have grown up taking rain for granted, we no longer do that.

These days we kind of have to ration our water. As dictated by the Department of Water and Power. Yep.


There’s a limit to how much water we can use to sprinkle on our grass. Also, we have to limit the length of our showers, and how often we run our electric dishwashers and washing machines. (think: full load before using).

No longer do we see a green lawn and get impressed. These days we look down upon people who have the gall to have a gorgeous green lawn (not so nice of us, but hey, we’re human).

When a little drizzle of rain happens here in LA, we get really excited, because we have so little water coming through rain these days. And it’s a big problem.

So a little thing – rain – has become a big thing to appreciate and long for.

As my husband and I were walking about a half block behind the kids and chatting, I thought of the simplicity and purity of this activity. Nothing fancy. A walk to the park. We had packed a few shovels for the sand, some balls, a mitt, and a big beach ball that needed to be blown up. And a few other playthings that they chose.

As simple and mundane as a trip to the park is, it’s such a necessary and joyful part of childhood. It’s huge.

From the choosing which things to take to the park to sharing what they did take, to waiting patiently at the end of each block, to staying within mine and my husband’s views, they practiced discipline.

When we got to the park, there was an ice cream truck and we bought them a colorful Ices cone. So much fun for them and refreshing in the heat.

They played ball with each other and took turns with the one mitt that they could find in the house. Cooperation. Fresh air. Exercise. Good old fashioned fun.

The kids giggled and laughed as they threw the ball back and forth, and I thought about how little kids need to make them happy. And as we walked home, there was a slight breeze, I thought of how we just pray for the little things to be good in our lives.

Some of these little things include ours and our children’s health, along with their good characters and happy dispositions.

As much as we can put in lots of effort to raise good kids, the ultimate result is not up to us. We have to hope and pray for the best.


And when we get that – pure, unadulterated, uncomplicated fun (and maybe even a little rain??), we are very….happy!

Let’s hope and pray that we learn to view the little things in our lives as big and important, and enjoy them all for the beauty they bring. Every drop of rain counts! We here in California should know!

What little things have meant a lot to you in your lives? Please share below something “small” that brings pleasure.


Relatable Themes in “The Shabbos List”


These days with social media videos, blogs, articles, you-tubes and memes coming our way, we have the advantage of  receiving lots of support from others. We also get information about current events, opinions and passions of other people. The downside is that sometimes we can become desensitized to important values, ideas and suffering of others, simply because we are on media overload. But occasionally, in spite of the avalanche of material coming our way, a particular missive affects us in such a profound way that we are surprised. It sits with us, stays with us, and we just can’t get our minds off of it. We relate to its theme. We get it, and we instinctively want to share it with all our friends.

This morning when I watched a taped play performance called, “The Shabbos List,” written by Lisa K. Winkler, I was riveted to the screen and related to the themes brought out by the story. “The Shabbos List” is about a Jewish family whose son goes to Israel on a BirthRight trip for two weeks vacation, and returns as an Orthodox practicing Jew, with full religious convictions. His family, who is not religious, has a hard time accepting their son’s metamorphasis, and his many new and strange restrictions. The story is about the conflict that ensues. Inner conflicts of the various characters are explored as each work through their own issues as mirrored through their son.

Lisa Winkler, writer, blogger, journalist,  mom, grandmother, cyclist, knitter, is a friend of mine, which is why I took the time to watch it.  I’m so glad I did. The play moved me and would likely touch others like me who are moms, grandmothers, sisters and brothers, Jewish or non-Jewish.  I think all who grasp the complexity of raising children to adulthood and watching the generation below us mature in the ways that they do  will appreciate the universal message in this story. Our job is to raise our children to the best of our abilities, with all our resources. Good genes, good schools, good friends, good influences are all part of the picture. But at the end of the day, all the helicoptering that we do doesn’t help; our children do not do everything we want them to do, or turn out as  carbon copies of us. Nor do we want them to be.

I identified with the parents, and empathized with the younger generation.  As parents we have visions and dreams for our children, whether we realize it consciously or not. These dreams may reflect what they carry through in their lives, or may not, but what about those kids who do follow their parents’ dreams and then regret it?

Happily, that wasn’t the situation in Lisa’s play, which made it a perfect play for me. One with an upbeat and positive tone, while exploring some real imperfections in attitude that we, as parents may sometimes have.

The play ran for three days in mid-July in Manhattan, and since I live on the West Coast, I missed it. Luckily, I was able to see the video viewing, and look forward to the show eventually coming out to LA or other cities. It would be a special experience for me to see this play live on stage with the same or new actors. The actors did a great job with their roles, with the help of a really good script.

Lisa, a first time playwright, may have found her calling. This is a story that should be seen.

For more information, contact Lisa at her Cycling Grandma Blog.

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