The Toilet Paper Epiphany

Over the next few weeks, our main focus will be Passover preparations. As we start to clean and purchase food that is specifically kosher for Passover, we will start to decrease purchases of the foods we cannot have. During the two weeks leading up to Passover, there is always that dilemma of “to buy or not to buy.” Some how you always run out of a major staple just far enough ahead that you consider buying it to make it to the holiday. However, you may buy a smaller size so that there is some chance that it will be done in time. It is a time of tough decisions.

With our departure from Israel a mere three months away, the dilemmas that we face during Passover preparations are prevalent in all the decisions that we make. The reality of our moving hit most recently when I opened up the package of toilet paper sitting in our bathroom. Normally we buy the largest package of toilet paper which contains some 30 rolls. As I opened the package, I realized that we can’t buy another one of these packages because it’s too much toilet paper. If we need more than what we have at the moment, I will have to buy one of the smallest packages available so that we don’t have too much left over. It is a bit weird to measure your life in toilet paper rolls, but there are lots of ways to measure time.

a7290000187938525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes – how do you measure,
measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes – how do you
measure a year in the life?


Shortly after the toilet paper epiphany, the same idea struck me when I stopped at the grocery store near work to pick up some laundry detergent. I have to buy sensitive Tide because of Adina and in the grocery stores that I frequent, they only sell it in 6 kg packages. Not only is that a lot of detergent, but that is a lot of detergent to carry home without a car. The store near TRY sells them in 1.25 kg packages, and to save myself the aggravation, I bought two so now we have 2.5 kg of laundry detergent. What’s the big deal? If my calculations are correct, that may be the last time I buy laundry detergent in Israel. It may be silly, but it makes me sad.

As we move into April, I have started to make mental lists of things that need to be sold or shipped when we pack up at the end of June. To be honest, I already started an excel spreadsheet to keep track of things, and we had a discussion with our landlord about some of the furniture and appliances she might like to purchase if she decides to continue renting out the apartment. We have started to think about what we want to sell, how much we want to sell it for, etc. It may seem weird, but the opening of the last package of toilet paper seems to have kick started the final leg of our adventure. This is the tough part that is filled with endings. When we were talking about this last week, I started singing Closing Time which I mentioned in one of my first blog posts. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…

While other people don’t have toilet paper and ketchup to remind them that we are leaving soon, it feels like more and more people are coming to the realization that we are returning home and that it is pretty soon. Our leaving is becoming more concrete to our friends and community as well as us. It is a very emotional time.

Not all of our epiphanies are accompanied by sadness, however. Last night, we Face Timed into our niece’s birthday party. As we said goodbye I realized that after the next party for our nephew next week, we may not need to Face Time or Skype into any more family functions. It may be that at the next one, for our youngest nephew, we will be there in person to celebrate. Then a few days later, we will all be together for Adina’s first birthday. Boy how time flies…

Until next time…

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2 Responses to The Toilet Paper Epiphany

  1. agamzon says:

    I agree – it feels like now that we’ve just figured out how everything works and that we’re in a groove, we have to move on. Just like when we left the US, it will definitely be bittersweet to return. It’s what I hoped for, but it doesn’t make moving any easier. ~Adam

  2. TROY SCHINKEL says:

    It’s crazy how fast this journey has come (almost) full circle.

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