My cousins finally made it here for a visit! To be honest, it is not their fault that it took so long. I have been delaying the invitation, hoping for the day that my house is guest worthy and I'm not too tired to make guest worthy food. My cousins and I grew up 6000 miles apart, and I wanted to be sure they enjoy coming to my house!
Making aliyah does strange things, like taking these cousins who are your blood relatives but you hardly ever got to know in the earlier years of your life, and puts them within driving distance of your new home (of course, the flip side of that is that many other relatives are now 6000 miles away. But while we were in the States, we spent many years living between 900 and 1500 miles from our families. So although 6000 miles is further, but I think I have seen my younger sister MORE often since making aliyah than I did in the 3+ yrs prior to that. And she lives in the NY area. Go figure.).
So, Purim day, we tried to spiff up our house, the weather was gorgeous, our Rakafot are in bloom, cascading down the rocky area in front of our house, our lemon tree is still full with lemons (not sure we will manage to use them all), and I think I made guest-worthy food (to find out more about THAT, you'll have to check out my other blog here, although I haven't written up our Purim menu yet)!
And 2 of my cousins with various delegations from their families, came to visit! How amazing to have relatives who live within 1/2 an hour of my home. Now that we are all grown up, we can get to know each other in a way that is different if we had been cousins who played together throughout our childhood. Most of our conversations are in Hebrew (my second language, their first), although from time to time they try out their English on us. Usually they are forgiving of my mistakes...
This visit really made our family's day. It's good to feel like we belong.