I am supposed to be putting up signs on each room for the movers. They begin packing tomorrow. Instead, I am looking out my window at the branches on the ground and thinking about the "frozen mix" of weather expected midweek. Of course, my mind wanders.
Fifteen years ago we had mere days to find and buy a house somewhere in the vicinity of Mahwah. The voices around us said to find a house in the Clarkstown School District. We listened and in New City we landed. I can't count the number of times I have corrected my address from New York City to New City.
At the time, the boys were two, four and six (soon to be seven). The youngest two started their New York education at New City Jewish Center's preschool with wonderful teachers who nurtured the children in many ways. The oldest began at Woodglen. Soon we were convinced to send all of them to Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School. Since they were there, I began to teach there. From RGHDS, the boys moved onto Felix Festa and then to Clarkstown North. I stopped teaching when my husband's travelling schedule became constant. The two older boys are now studying at SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Buffalo. My husband stayed in the job for which we moved here for thirteen years. His next position was in Pennsylvania. After two years of commuting and another position in Pennsylvania, it is time to be a family again.
Moving is a mixed bag of emotions. I have so many dear and wonderful friends that I will miss in this area. This is one time I appreciate Facebook, email and cell phones so I can keep in touch, though I know life will take us all in different directions. I am also returning to friends I kept in touch with as we moved here from a slightly different area in Pennsylvania. We also return to family.
I loved becoming involved in Clarkstown. I will miss my involvement with Rockland Family Shelter (I am not yet used to the new name), Chabad of New City, Clarkstown North, North's PTA, school district committees, School Board issues and more. The people I met and worked with are amazing, dedicated, loving and caring people. Clarkstown is fortunate to have such folks.
Have my fifteen years here been picture perfect? No. There were times of frustration and disappointment in different areas.
There are differences in schools and in how students with different needs are treated. There are teachers and administrators who seem to have angel's wings and those who could use a lift. Sometimes the children soar and sometimes they suffer due to this. I wish the District the best of everything in the coming years. No district is perfect, though I hope Clarkstown looks closely at where it is going and how it should do so.
Since my mind is wandering and I am looking at the huge branches in my yard, I can't remember how many times we lost power throughout the years. Amazingly, we were not the last ones to regain power this time around. I thank those who have selflessly allowed us to charge our phones, get warm or store our food if they had generators or power. I wish all those who had power and generators were as generous. Perhaps Patch can help with this. Where we are moving, there is a special site where individual families can offer a place to sleep, to store food, to get warm, charge electronics, etc... New City is not huge and many could reach out to help those they may not know.
I must thank Town Hall as I have made many phone calls not knowing where to direct a question. I always knew the folks there would put me in the right direction. My husband was president of our Civic Association, so I often spoke to different Town departments. Everyone was courteous, even if they could not give me the desired outcome.
Thanks also to local businesses who supported many of the causes in which I was involved. I can't possibly name all of the businesses, though must mention a few. Pet Palace, where all of my children volunteered and where our dogs were from, was there anytime I asked for help; Doug and Roberta only knew the word yes. Doug's community involvement is amazing. Roberta Zahl of Dusty Rose gave so much time to the Rockland Family Shelter Designer Fashion Sale every year, I wondered when she slept! Chick Peace has not only good food, but generous owners who support the community.
While I volunteered many hours, there are those who put me to shame. If you have time, please consider searching out an organization in your area of interest and volunteer - even if it is only an hour here and there. There are wonderful support services in Clarkstown and they need your help.
Marilyn Hazan, you are a wonderful piano teacher and there are no words to describe the love of the craft you gave my children. Mr. Leonardatos, working with you opened my eyes to the potential of education. Mr. Reina, Mr. Magliano and the CD committee - what an incredible feat you achieved. You recorded and mastered on-site the first ever Clarkstown North Chamber Choir CD! It was an honor and a pleasure to work with all of you on that project. You are what education is all about. (Andrew, you are included in that group!) I can't wait to hear this year's CD. Rabbi and Chany Kotlarsky, I don't know how you do it all. Chabad is an amazing place. New City Jewish Center and Rabbi Berkman, you were my entry into New City. My core of friends are from NCJC and are those I met fifteen years ago. Rockland Family Shelter - Diane, Cindy, Jan, Carolyn, each and every staff person and volunteer - what you do is vital to our community. You are unsung heroes. Dr. Gregory, you are truly gifted in helping people feel better.
I can't even begin to mention my friends, as I can't possible write what each means to me. I also can't begin to mention my students who taught me so much. I wish I could put the name of every person who means something to me in this blog.
My fifteen years here have taught me much and I feel I receive more than I give. It will take a while to wake up in the morning and realize I am not in New City anymore.
Robin Traum, thank you for suggesting this forum. I am not sure if I wrote what I was supposed to, though I hope this will do.
I can't wait to have my family together again in one state.
Take care, New City. Be well and stay safe.
(For those who know me, I hope I caught all of the typos.)