After a bone-dry October and November, the winter rains have finally started in earnest. It’s been raining more or less straight for the past week. The prayerful types, who were on the point of declaring a national day of fasting, have instead declared prayers of thanksgiving. I wasn’t paying that much attention; maybe the fast actually happened, in which case the believers have had their beliefs confirmed while the skeptics…probably weren’t paying that much attention.

It’s finally gotten cold, too, so water from the tap is like ice. No solar heat now, of course. For dish-washing and showering, we turn on the boiler. It’s not supposed to be left on continuously, so for hand-washing, we just grin and bear it. Sometimes I heat a little water in the kettle. The washing machine heats its own water, but the dryer takes 800 years (and there’s nothing wrong with the vent; it says right there on the cycle chart, “80-120 minutes”). Thanks goodness I have a dryer at all.

All this doesn’t bother me as much as it did last year because I’m used to it and can plan for it. I also have a bit of perspective from the past nine months of beautiful weather. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself not to arrive in Israel in December.


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