Well, I AM having a blast! Despite the fact it rained on Friday, which we were so busy I didn’t really notice as the crowd just kept coming. Good friends came by to say “Hi”, and they brought their most adorable “Vikings in Training”. I chopped cucumbers for the Israeli salad. In retrospect, I might have been a bad choice. I had been frustrated earlier in the day and by the time Erin came to check on me she just kind of stared at the cucumber minces. “Um, are we doing them extra fine this year?” “No, are they too small? I’m really enjoying this!” “Um, well, they are pretty small”. I kind of think she was deciding if they discernible as cucumber. So I started chopping them bigger and it does go much quicker. From there I proceeded to do food plate prep. Now this is a ton of fun for me. The team member standing out front who does a super job of pulling in the crowd is the “Force of Nature”. The “Force of Nature” greatly enjoys yelling at me and asking “Why is this not ready, they have been waiting too long”. The first year this routine started I had to ask another Israeli what I could yell back at him. Things have progressed nicely and having worked on learning Hebrew I now have more than one choice of things I can yell back at him. Why yes, I do greatly enjoy myself! Besides, I really do like to make the plates of food look pretty. Which is probably why I so enjoyed decorating the craft booth. Bless her heart, Deb trusted me to decorate the craft booth, she supplied me with some awesome decorations, a ladder, some awesome nylon string rope, and turned me loose. I think it came out pretty!
So today was the Parade of Flags. I am VERY excited. I get to be one of the two people from the Israeli group and Jeannie and I will be in the Parade. I get to carry the Israeli Flag! I am almost beside myself with excitement. The morning starts out with Deb and I replacing the white table clothes on the work tables, and then we need to get one under the now non-functional Frozen coffee machine. That sucker is HEAVY! We decide to put the folded up cloth under one leg at a time. And that’s when the train came off the tracks. I inadvertently hit the dispenser arm, and it dispensed some of the left over coffee we couldn’t get drained out. On me, and my white Israel Spirit committee t-shirt. We persevered. And I managed to lay open a part of my palm. It would NOT quit bleeding. I knew it hurt, I didn’t know I was cut till I looked down and there was a fair amount of blood. I just couldn’t get it to quit with pressure. Deb finally called the EMT squad that resides at the festival. They show up, greeeeaaaat. It’s the EMT I was joking with in the kitchen the day before. He came in for trash bags and was probably looking at my JPFO baseball cap. I jokingly said “Oh, you’re too early, I’ve only been chopping for 3 minutes”. So at this point I’m refusing medical attention, I don’t need it, I’m fine. Except it won’t quit bleeding and Deb can’t spare me to do non-food things. It HAS to quit for me to be of any use. They clean it up and put super glue on it as I’ve flat refused stitches. I ADORE durabond. That stuff lasted all day, I changed gloves many time, chopped more cucumbers, fried felafel, and pretty much did anything needed and I was just fine. Durabond rocks. But don’t break the dispenser pen till just as you are ready to apply it. By the time the Parade of Flags has rolled around Deb & I have traded T-shirts because no one including me wants me representing Israel looking like the coffee monster wearing it instead of drinking it. I follow Jeannie’s lead, she is a veteran of the Parade of flags, and she generously allows me to carry the flag, she carries the banner identifying us as Israel. We get our flag and get in the alphabetical line up. Israel comes behind Ireland! I’m so excited, I ask the darling fellow representing Ireland if he will take a picture of me, Jeannie and the flag. He obliges with two.
We then had the most interesting discussion on Ireland and Israel. He was a bit impressed I had traveled in Ireland alone during “the troubles”. He said he sure wouldn’t want to go to Israel now, I said I’d go back in a heartbeat under the right circumstances. He seems astonished so many Americans don’t understand Israel is defending herself, nor do the know that Christians as well as Jews and even other Muslims are being slaughtered by a group the state department has not declared terrorists. Probably too busy looking for conservative gun owners I guess. The parade finally commences. The feeling of carrying the Israeli flag is unbelievable and indescribable. I don’t know if it’s because I was there not long ago, the emotional tie, or what. But I almost cried. That doesn’t happen. Then each group gets up on stage and welcomes the crowd. Jeannie did the honors so beautifully. I was just so happy to hold the flag. I had been concerned, as had others that there could be trouble for us. That was originally part of the reason I asked Deb to let me go with Jeannie. Jeannie is a very nice lady, I like her a lot. If there was trouble, I’m not. But to my great delight the crowd applauded loudly and long for Israel. I finished up the day by chopping more cucumbers and eating a felafel sandwich. I know, it’s kind of astonishing they still trust me with sharp implements isn’t it?
What a fabulous day! And one more to go! Tomorrow the Tikvah dancers preform and they end their performance with community dancing!! Yippeee ki yayyy! I’m really lousy at it, they let me anyway! And I love them for it!!