I haven’t really been able to type because of my left hand not working, and now I am subject to fits of pain so severe as to be utterly debilitating. So it’s been a while. I have gone a few places, and intend to go to more, so I haven’t given up. It just might be a long time between blog posts. So it goes…
This time we are in celebration of 34 years of wedded — something. Not bliss, certainly. But we have persevered, and we are still married. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been pretty. It has certainly been better the last few years for whatever reason, and so, even though four years ago I may have been ready to step out the door, and didn’t see our staying married to be something to celebrate, it is something of an achievement. So we celebrate that we’ve made it 34 years, and perhaps more importantly that at this time we hope to make it 34 more. Hashem permitting, of course.
Hardly worth mentioning, but when we got married, actually even before we were married, our entire acquaintance with one exception was so certain our marriage would fail that the most generous estimate was that we would last three years. So here’s to you, all my poor prognosticators who had so much faith in us and our choices. Our marriage has lasted longer than any of yours! I throw a raspberry out into cyberspace, and if any want to pick it up, then they are welcome to it. Silliness, but with a bit of satisfaction. Who is to say that all who thought so poorly of us helped keep us together, if only to avoid giving them the satisfaction? You never know.
In any event, The Husband and I decided, everything being equal and us not being very plump in the pocket, for a short trip to Eilat. In order to make it as stress-free as possible, we made no plans, making reservations at the last minute and with no specific plans other than to have fun.
We chose to leave by two o’clock today, but were ready earlier, and the kids (three of them in the house) were not patient so we left as soon as we could. We chose to go by way of Be’er Sheva, figuring we could pick up some supplies at a supermarket there, saving a little over what those same groceries would cost in Eilat. The traffic was so bad that we were glad to have left early. It took us half-an-hour just to cross Be’er Sheva, something that usually happens on Thursdays, but not so much on Mondays.
Along with things like tissues and bottled water, we also picked out a picnic lunch to eat in the car. It was already quite late for lunch, and we ate while driving. TH took over driving at this point. I have become quite proficient at driving with the joystick, but wasn’t up to trying to drive while eating, particularly on highways I am not that familiar with.
We were maybe half way across the crater south of Mitzpe Ramon when the pain seized me. It started in my left shoulder, and moved both up to my left ear and down my arm to the ends of my fingers. Of course the road is narrow, twisty, and uneven there, and no place to really pull over and take stock. So I kept my mouth shut. And kept my mouth shut. And kept my mouth shut some more. We were crossing through a military firing range (no stopping) when I simply couldn’t take it any more. I started to moan and then to cry. There were some high-pitched squeals and angry yelling. Nothing helped, he couldn’t just stop and I couldn’t take it any more.
I really don’t know how long it was (I have no doubt it felt like forever for both of us) but finally there was a bus stop and we pulled into it. I simply cannot describe what the pain is like. It is nerve pain, and I was out of my head with it. We were just about at the halfway point, it would take as long to go back home as to continue to Eilat. The biggest problem was if we continued to Eilat, I would have to endure as long a drive home. What if the driving was what had caused this bout of pain? Could I do that?
At that moment, though, I couldn’t take even starting the engine. We weren’t going anywhere.
Can I just pause a moment here to say ‘ouch?’
We were about half-an-hour from a good rest area — it’s called ‘101’ and is at the 101st kilometre from Eilat, or maybe it is from the beginning of the highway. After some time, and a few phone calls (couldn’t really reach anyone, couldn’t get any help, suggestions or advice), and a lot of prayers, we managed to continue to the rest area.
By the time we got there, the pain had faded to such an extent that there was no longer a question about continuing. My biggest regret was and is that I couldn’t get any photographs. The scenery was beautiful, the clouds were stunning. The way the light was broken up made the countryside look really special, and different. It was a truly lovely drive, and made me sorry for the people who think the desert is ‘boring’ with ‘nothing to look at.’ I find it so lovely and interesting. I didn’t used to, but I didn’t really know how to see the desert. I’d lived with a lot of water and greenery. It’s taken me time to adjust.
We got to our hotel just after the last of the light was gone. That’s where I am writing this. Unfortunately the wi-fi in the hotel is only available in the lobby, so this will not be sent tonight. So it goes…