Thursday, April 24, 2014

Back from a Middle Eastern Adventure

Since I was last here, I've traveled thousands of miles and seen things I never thought I'd get to see. Israel was all I'd imagined it to be, and more.

I've missed you all. I'm so happy to be back and to get caught up with your great blogs. I will mail the postcards I promised you the next time I am in town, and the winner of my Middle Eastern giveaway is......Christine from Endless Ways. Christine, if you'll let me know where you want me to mail your olive wood carving from Bethlehem, I'll get it sent to you.

The folks over at Retirement and Good Living asked me to submit another piece, and today they've published a story I wrote of an encounter in Jerusalem that profoundly moved me. If you don't mind, it would make me so happy if you could go over and read it and then comment on it: The Soldiers.

I will be writing another post later about this trip, but in the meantime I will leave you with two pictures I took in Israel.

  This is from atop Masada, looking down onto the Dead Sea. And Pearl, yes, there is something different about the light in Israel. It was exquisite.



Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee


82 comments:

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    1. The Purple Assassin: I never fully realized just how beautiful it is there~

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  2. So glad you had such a wonderful time. The winner of your giveaway is very blessed! Those two photos are absolutely stunning. I particularly loved the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee one. Welcome back!

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    1. thisisme: Thank you, my friend! Those two I took with my phone, so I'm happy they turned out as well as they did~

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  3. I had a feeling it would be...

    Masada: what an incredibly moving story. Gives me chills, that kind of heroism...

    Glad you're back, Miz Shell. :-)

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: You know, when they showed us the ramp that still stands at Masada where the Romans finally breached the wall, I had a moment where I actually felt like I could see them coming up the wall- weird, I know, but those places do that to me. Good to be back~

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  4. Read your story on the other site. Holy Hannah. Making me cry at this time of day is not easy to do, but that story did it.

    So well written. You have a way with a story, bringing us with you. Thank you.

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    1. Pearl: Thank you for reading it~ there wasn't a dry eye within hearing distance when they embraced. And just an FYI- we found out later that Ezra's son, also a soldier, was killed several years ago.

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  5. Glad your back on US soil safe and sound. Looks like an incredible trip and I can't wait to read all about it, I'll be heading over to read your story soon, right now I have to get ready for work but I'll be back!! Great pics!

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    1. Saimi: Thank you! It was the trip of a lifetime~

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  6. I have those moments as well, Shelly, where I can see the people, hear them. Vivid imagination? Privy to the imprint that such tragedy/horror may have left? Don't know. Doesn't matter. :-)

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    1. Pearl: You're right- just thankful to have the experience.

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  7. Oh Shelly welcome back I cannot wait to read more stories like the one that I just read on the Retirement and Good Living site so well written but you made me cry. Hug B

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    1. Buttons: It was such a moving moment for all of us gathered around them. Thank you, friend!

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  8. Welcome home, Shelly-so glad it was a good trip. Glad to have you back, too. Heading over to read your post now.

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    1. The Chicken's Consigliere: It was terrific- but it's also great to be back home! Thank you~

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  9. Oh that sunrise...and such a place to capture the beauty.
    Congrats to the giveaway winner too.

    Welcome back to good ol' Texas

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    1. HOOTIN ANNI: After a second delay in New Jersey of over three hours, I almost kissed the ground when we landed in Houston at 3 AM. And the sunrises and sunsets there were spectacular!

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  10. How wonderful that you had this excursion! I am happy that you are safely home. Eager to get more of your adventure. Right now, I am following your link.

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    1. vanilla: As wonderful as it was, there's no place like home!

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  11. Hello and welcome back, dear Shelly! I regret to tell you that I have once again failed in my attempts to leave a comment on one of your published stories, The Soldier. I tried repeatedly and got an error message. I will post the comment here. If you know how to transfer it to the other page, copy and paste it there in my name with my blessing.

    My comment:

    Shades of Saving Private Ryan, Shelly. Nearly 90 years of age, bent and withered by time, nothing could stop that old soldier from "taking that hill" in honor of his fallen comrades. He harnessed a power known only to those who have engaged in combat and lived to tell about it. Thank you very much, dear friend Shelly, for sharing this touching story with us.

    I can tell that your trip to Israel was one of the greatest adventures and learning experiences of your lifetime. I am very happy you had this opportunity and glad you are returning to us, your many friends in the blog world.

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    1. Shady: Thank you, friend! I'm so sorry it didn't work- you always have such insightful comments. I'm going to see if I can paste it in. I can't wait to see what's been going on in the Shady Dell since I've been gone- lots of toe-tapping, I'm sure!

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  12. Welcome home Shelly! I loved your story. It is such a gift when people share deep understandings like this; the preciousness of life, the debt of gratitude for those who make ultimate sacrifices. You make me see the world and people in a bigger, more profound way.

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    1. Jenny: Life truly is precious, and it's brought home to me even deeper after hearing stories like this. It's so good to read your comment and visit your wonderful blog place again, my friend!

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  13. I have thought about going there, but I seem to be traveling less and less.

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    1. esboston: I kind of figured if we didn't go now, we'd never do it, so I'm glad we did. It's never too late, though~

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  14. I have so enjoyed seeing parts of your trip on Facebook...thanks so much for sharing with us...especially us poor cold ..very very cold people in central Minnesota where it seems to never ever get warm!!!

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    1. Christine: Oh, I hope you all are having some warmer weather now- it was simply spectacular the whole time we were in Israel. And congrats on winning my giveaway! Message me where you want me to send it~

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  15. oh...and welcome home. I prayed you would have a safe trip!

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    1. Christine: Much appreciated- thank you!

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  16. I'm so glad you're back safe and sound, and that you had a wonderful trip! I've been over to read your story; I'm just glad you were there and recorded the moment for the rest of us. Well done.

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    1. jenny_o: Thank you so much! There really is no place like homw~

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  17. Glad you're back and the trip was all you'd hoped it would be. I'll make a point of checking out your post at Retirement and Good Living. I've always wanted to visit Masada and look forward to hearing about your adventures.

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    1. Stephen: I would love to go back to Masada and spend much more time there. My mind just kind of overflowed, thinking of all that had happened there. Really an amazing place!

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  18. I've been keeping up with your FB posts. Can't wait for the details.

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    1. Linda: Thanks! I hope to have another post on it next week.

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  19. Welcome back. I love your photos.

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  20. Dearest Shelly;
    OMG; I must have missed your new post in my dashboard! Welcome back and happy for your wonderful trip♡♡♡ And congratulations on your lucky winner♪ Great two pictures from your trip. I'm all ears what you have experienced☆☆☆
    ps. Thank you so much for your comment, otherwise I might have no way knowing your back on the blog. (I have slight trouble with dashboard)

    Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. orchid Miyako: Thank you, my dear friend! I met some people from Japan on our tour, and thought of you. It was a wonderful trip, but we were glad to be home!

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  21. Oh wow this must have been the trip of a lifetime! Those are spectacular photos. So glad to have you back :)

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    1. Optimistic: It was amazing! Hope to go again someday. But, there's no place like home.

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  22. What a blessing and an opportunity you've had! I'm sure that I can speak for all your blog friends/readers and say, "Thank you in advance for sharing your adventure with us."

    I'm heading over to read your story now.

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    1. ...and congrats to Christine for winning the prize. :)

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    2. Anita: Thank you! It was an incredible trip- it's still hard to believe we've been there and back.

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    3. Anita: And I do have a postcard for you- hopefully I'll get to mail them all this weekend-

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  23. Beautiful shots, and I'm glad you had fun! Will head over to read story . . .

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    1. Dawn: Thank you! It was stunningly gorgeous there. I hope I get to go back some day~

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  24. Glad you're back! Israel is a beautiful place. I love the two pictures you shared! I'll stop by and read your article.

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    1. Sherry: It is amazing! And thank you~

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  25. What a wonderful experience for you.. Glad you got home safely...we hear so many stories about the fighting and bombing over there.. I loved seeing all the pics you took on your FB page. Your memories will live on as you look back on these pics.

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    1. Crystal Mary: I am filled with wonderful memories, and already I want to go back. Thank you, mate!

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  26. Beautiful pictures of Israel. Waiting for the post!

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  27. Stunning photos and welcome back! Looking forward to hearing more about your Middle East adventures :-) xx

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    1. jazzygal: Thank you, and I saw your great comment on the story. Thank you for that, too!

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  28. Wow, what striking pictures. The first one brought to mind the bloody history of Masada, and the second one the miracle of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

    Sounds like you had a memorable trip. I'm glad. My husband and I can't wait to go to Israel one day. It's on the bucket list. :-)

    I commented on your piece over at Retirement and Good Living. I quite enjoyed it.

    Be well, my friend, and it's nice to have you back!

    ~Janette

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    1. Janette: It was amazing! I do so hope you two get to go. Well worth it! And thank you for the great comment on the story- much appreciated, my friend!

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  29. I was so happy to see your post in my inbox! I can't wait to hear about your trip, and am heading over to read your piece now. Welcome home, friend.

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    1. Amy: So good to hear from you! I loved our trip, but there's no place like home. Ahhhh- good to be back!

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  30. Definitely somewhere I'd like to go. Your trip sounds like it was amazing, and judging from your photos, it truly was.

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    1. karen: Oh, it was more than I'd ever imagined! I do hope you get to go!

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  31. What a touching moment on the hill climb! You are a wonderful writer, lady!!
    Can hardly wait to hear more about and see more of your trip. :)

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    1. Rita: Thank you! It was the trip of a lifetime!

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  32. Thank you for the story and the photos, bot of which were so moving.

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    1. Linda: Thank you! So appreciate your comment!

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  33. I'm sorry I didn't visit you sooner. I'm trying to catch up on my favorite bloggers (you, you, and, oh, yes, you). I went to your article, which is lovely, and wrote a comment. A box kept coming up that said the CAPTCHA cookie was unreadable. I tried. I tried three times and got the box every time. They don't like me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie: I'm so sorry you had so much trouble- I HATE those captcha things. I so appreciate you persevering and leaving such a nice comment. Missed you while I was gone!

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  34. Dear Shelly, like Janie, I was unable to leave my comment and so I've pasted it in here:
    Dear Shelly, this story brought tears to my eyes and reverence to my heart. It's one of those stories that are like the burning bush in Exodus. That is, we need to figuratively take off our sandals as we read of the courage, graciousness, compassion, and human endurance of others. Thank you for sharing this and for writing the story with such simplicity. That's the best way to honor Eitan, Ezra, and the elderly man who took one hand from his walker to shake the hand of another soldier and then embraced him. Peace.

    And also, thank you for including these two photographs. Having never been to Israel, I can picture myself there now. Peace.

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    1. Dee: Thank you so much, my friend, for persevering with it when the captcha thing was so frustrating. I see your great comment on that site now. I will always remember those soldiers, and people everywhere who sacrifice unquestioningly for their fellow man

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  35. Looks like you had a wonderful trip!

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    1. Bossy Betty: I'm already wanting to go back!

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  36. How wonderful, Shelly! Both the trip and the publication! I can hardly wait to hear more about your adventures!

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    1. Dr. Kathy: I'm having to edit myself because I could write at least 100 stories about that trip~

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  37. That is a lovely publication, Shelly. I just now went to read it.

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    1. Lorna: That it is- and thank you!

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  38. Missed you too. Stunning pictures. I'm on my way to check it out.

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    1. Theresa: It was more beautiful than I'd ever imagined!

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  39. Beautiful photos Shelly.
    Masada! I'm currently sitting in sunny and warm southern California, but the thought of being at that amazing place and feeling what happened there, gives me the chills (or chicken skin) as my granny used to call it. She always told us that our skin would let us know when we were witnessing greatness, or standing on somebody's hallowed ground. I think granny was spot on and to this day, when I get chicken skin, I pay attention.

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    1. Pat: I can't describe fully what I felt at Masada, but at points there I felt like I was seeing things as they happened, it was so vivid.

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