The very first bit of advice I received last October when I brought my very elderly father home to Shiloh from New York was:
"Take time off for yourself."That was from a close friend, someone I've known longer than most of those in Israel. She's a geriatric social worker. Since, unfortunately, my husband is only working part-time, he's the alternate care-giver. I've been able to get out at least once a week, usually some sort of meeting in Jerusalem or shopping. Sometimes, like yesterday, the shopping was in the discount supermarket, Rami Levy, in Sha'ar Binyamin, just north of Jerusalem. Honestly, the prices in our local supermarket aren't bad, but it's fun to shop someplace else. The one thing which is always cheaper in the discount stores is good coffee. I use standard Israeli Elite Turkish coffee in my filter/drip coffeemaker. I also use the same in a percolator on Passover. I love good, strong coffee. Since I restrict it to morning, I consider it very healthy, and recent research confirms it. Yesterday I bought fancy Mocha, too. The price wasn't all that much higher.
My daughter picked me up on her way home from Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus. She has a sort of staff position there through her legal work with the Israeli Movement for Quality in Government. I could have bought more stuff, because I was able to give my purchases to a neighbor who was going home. My husband took the stuff from her car afterwards.
The only big downside of my father's living with us is that I've hardly seen my grandchildren this year. Since I hadn't made any plans for yesterday, I told my daughter that I'd like to visit, and I did. I spent a lot of time with the five year old and saw the others, too.
I'm pleased that they have retained enough familiarity with English that I could continue speaking it to them. If I have to use Hebrew, it'll be hard for them to accept my speaking English. We all want them to comprehend basic English trusting that if ever really necessary, they'll be capable of communicating in English.
One of my cousins is coming here in August with some of her clan for her eldest grandchild's Bar Mitzvah. She has a granddaughter exactly in between the ages of my two granddaughters. The girls met two years ago when my entire clan was in New York for a family wedding. We're all looking forward to the grand event and seeing the kids become friends, not just distant cousins.