Archive for October 18th, 2012


I have never been a good sleeper (my mother  a’h said that even as a small child, I never wanted to miss anything going on, and would stay up into the wee hours).  But as I age, my insomnia seems to be getting progressively worse.  I’ve tried  herbal and nutritional supplements, melatonin, Benadryl, Zzzquil and Nyquil (the latter works the best but I don’t want to take it on a regular basis because I’m a zombie the next morning, and it has a high alcohol content).  My doctor would not prescribe Ambien, and I found the sounds on a self-hypnosis relaxation tape to be annoying.  Even if I do manage to eventually fall asleep, I often awaken in the night and then remain awake for hours and hours.

Someone said my problem is “too much chatter” which totally makes sense to me.  My mind is always, always working and doesn’t know when to shut itself off.  As I stare up towards the ceiling or toss and turn, I am thinking of that day’s events, sights, sounds, smells; politics, relationships, Israel; health, the meaning of life; and from there I go off into some pretty crazy tangents.  Last night at 4 a.m. I knew I had hit bottom when I came up with the following halachic shayla (question of Jewish Law):

A right-handed person has a terrible accident and loses his  right leg, G-d forbid.  He  gets a natural-looking prosthesis.  Which shoe does he  put on first, the right or left?  (According to kabbala, one is supposed to put the right shoe on first – – but what if it’s not a real foot?)

I mean, come on!  Where the heck does my brain get this stuff, anyway????

(P.S.  If you know the answer to the shoe question, be sure to write in!)

When Fall Comes To New England

Folk singer Cheryl Wheeler wrote an extremely beautiful song that perfectly describes October in the White Mountains.  If you’d like to hear her sing it, here is the link:

When fall comes to New England 
The sun slants in so fine 
And the air's so clear you can almost hear
The grapes grow on the vine 

The nights are sharp with starlight 
And the days are cool and clean 
And in the blue sky overhead 
The northern geese fly south instead 
And leaves are Irish setter red 
When fall comes to New England 

When fall comes to New England 
And the wind blows off the sea 
Swallows fly in a perfect sky 
And the world was meant to be 

When the acorns line the walkways 
Then winter can't be far 
From yellow leaves a blue jay calls 
Grandmothers walk out in their shawls
And chipmunks run the old stone walls 
When fall comes to New England 

The frost is on the pumpkin 
The squash is off the vine 
And winter warnings race across the sky 
The squirrels are on to something 
And they're working overtime 
The foxes blink and stare and so do I 

'Cause when fall comes to New England 
Oh I can't turn away 
From fading light on flying wings 
And late good-byes a robin sings 
And then another thousand things 
When fall comes to New England
When fall comes to New England