June 2008 – The Final Countdown

June was a busy month filled with doctor and dentist appointments, obtaining 3 months worth of prescriptions, new eye glasses for everyone, packing, ending jobs and school, more packing and parting with possessions. Especially difficult for Michael was…
Michaels 1988 Ford

  • Friday, June 6th: Michael’s last day of work at Medquist.
  • Sold Michael’s beloved 1988 Ford F-250 pickup truck the following week! This was traumatic for him because he had ordered this truck direct from the factory and expected to keep it FOREVER! We were told that you can’t bring a vehicle that is older than 4 years without a signed agreement from an Israeli mechanic stating that he will be responsible for maintenance and repairs – and is able to obtain the parts. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it costs to ship a vehicle, so the big green truck had to go.
    Michaels 1988 Ford

    Michael was consoled by the fact that William (the guy who bought the truck) looked like a bubba who would appreciate and take care of it 😀

  • Friday, June 13th: Yisrael’s last day of school at Fuchs Mizrachi. Unfortunately he had to miss a few birthday parties that afternoon/weekend because his allergy symptoms flared up – and I didn’t have time to shop for gifts and take him to the parties he received last-minute invitations to.
  • Tuesday, June 17th: My last day of work at AmTrust Bank. I had planned to leave on the 12th but I.T. had caused serious delays in the implementation of RoboHelp 7, causing the 26th to be a more optimal last day. And Michael felt I should work until the last minute to give us the extra income. However, by the 17th I was burning the candle at both ends and some fires started in the middle (i.e., approaching dysfuntionality). Yes, me – superwoman failing to carry the world on my shoulders! It became apparent that even if I had the stamina, the rest of the company wasn’t going to get their end of the work completed – and since I was the only person in the department without a severance package (because I was honest with them about moving – I’ll explain another time), I lost motivation.
  • Wednesday, June 18th: We started our final packing tasks early in the morning and worked through the night! Advice: Start packing at least 6 months before Aliyah – a little bit at a time, maybe even just 5 or 6 boxes per week. We used lots of Space Saver bags for bedding, linens and clothes (the kind you vacuum down – can’t wait to see what our clothes look like upon arrival).
  • Thursday, June 19th: Corlett Movers came to pack up our lift at 8 am sharp. As they finished loading the first lift (3.5″ x 7″ x 7.5″ wooden crate), they announced that they would have to start a second one because the dish packs that one of the packers had been working on for a while hadn’t been placed in yet. At that point we were both pretty exhausted (and dysfunctional) and began handing them all sorts of things to load that we may never use in Israel.
  • Sunday – Tuesday, June 22nd – 24th: Moving Sale. We were tested as it was very difficult to remain composed while “friends” and neighbors offered us a small percentage of the replacement value of some household furnishings. We felt betrayed by people we thought cared about us – we felt if they were supportive of our decision to make Aliyah, they should have offered us reasonable prices for our furniture, appliances, etc. especially since most were less than 4 years old.

July 31st Addition
My moving sale comment has offended a former neighbor and for this I apologize – and feel the need to clarify by way of this addition.

Our 3-day moving sale was upsetting because many people who we considered to be friends were offering us pennies on the dollar for items – I’m not referring to the usual garage sale kitchen and clothing items that everyone would expect to pay a dollar or less for. I’m talking about expensive items that were in good to excellent condition. For example, we were offered:

  • $20 for this play yard that cost us over $300 in materials to build. The worst part was that this man came to me and told me that my husband had accepted his offer – I told him “no way!” Later that day it sold to a Christian family for $115. – they were enthusiastic and supportive of our plans to make Aliyah.
  • $1 for a $65 electric skillet, almost new and in the original box (used 3 or 4 times). It sold to a Christian woman for $30.
  • $25 for a 22 cu. ft. refrigerator we had purchased for $450 (on sale) 9 months earlier. It sold to a Jewish woman who lives outside the Milton neighborhood for $300. She also bought the 2-year old $850 washer and dryer for $450 and then gave me a $100 gift to help with our Aliyah. Thank you Ami!

In the midst of chaos (without assistance from a neighbor who agreed to help in exchange for something she wanted – and took the day before) a woman told me what was in her pile and we agreed on a total. As her husband was loading up their wagon (and I was dealing with another customer), I noticed she had hidden more expensive items under the pillows. (I was exhausted and didn’t challenge them, I figured it was between them and God at that point). This was not an isolated incident as other people gave me the impression they had paid my husband before walking off with things that I later discovered they hadn’t paid for.

Someone even mentioned that they were waiting to see what we didn’t sell and would be putting out on the curb for them to take. We felt that not only were they trying to take advantage of us, but they were making a statement that they did not support us in our decision to follow what we know is a very important Torah commandment (i.e., Aliyah is not optional for the religious Jew).

It was wonderful to receive encouragement from Christians – who not only bought items at our moving sale and on CraigsList, but told us they thought what we were doing was awesome and expressed their desire to help us by giving monetary gifts. It was very disappointing that our own frum neighbors didn’t feel the same way.

THANK YOU! To The Baum Family (Peter, Paula, Carol & Rachie), Bill Firestone, and Andy Fenster for all your help with the moving sale!
(If you helped and I forgot to mention your name, please accept my apologies and let me know so I can add your name!)

  • Wednesday – Friday, June 25th – 27th: Clean up the aftermath of the moving sale. Pack and cook for our trip to visit relatives all over the country.

Looking back, it was an exhausting and highly stressful month that would have gone more smoothly if I had stopped working at my job 4 to 6 weeks prior to Aliyah.


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