“This place is gorgeous!” my sister Rivky gushed into the phone.
“You have to talk louder! I can’t hear you!” I yelled back. With my kids and my sister’s kids all under the same roof, the noise was deafening.
“I’ll text you,” she said as she hung up.
A minute later my phone pinged. Rivky had sent me five pictures of a bungalow colony, taken from various angles. She was right. It was beautiful. I felt a rush of excitement.
Rivky and I had been spending our summers together in the Catskills for years. Living on the fifth floor of an apartment building in the city, I looked forward all year to the fresh air, trees and grass. My kids enjoyed the freedom to come and go as they pleased, the room to run around, and loved making new friends and having their cousins right next door for two months. Last year, after the bungalow colony we always used to go to was sold, Rivky and I went to a new a place, sight unseen. It was a disaster. Living in a shack with peeling walls and no washing machine on site was not for me, so this year we resolved to see the place ahead of time. This morning Rivky and her husband had driven up to the Catskills to check out a new place while I watched their kids.
The next time the phone rang I went to a quiet place in the house.
“What do you say?” my sister asked me excitedly. “Should I tell them that we want to rent two bungalows?”
“Definitely,” I replied enthusiastically. “I can’t wait.”
“It looks even better in person. And the grounds are gorgeous. I’ll send you some more pictures.”
When they arrived they were accompanied by a text.
Rivky: Can’t wait to spend the summer together 😉
Me: Me 2
Rivky: We have to put down a deposit by the end of the week.
Me: OK. Will do.
I quickly forwarded the pictures to my husband. He replied a minute later.
Me: The pix Rivky took of a new bungalow colony she just checked out.
Me: I know :). We have to send them a deposit by the end of this week.
Hubby: We? If Rivky is going there, THEN WE ARE NOT GOING.
Hubby: We already discussed this. I am busy at work. We’ll talk later.
I felt a knot forming in the pit of my stomach. Shalom couldn’t actually mean it. Sure, he’d complained plenty of times that he didn’t enjoy spending the summer with Rivky and her husband, but he’d never put his foot down before.
Five minutes later the phone rang again.
“ETA is seven o’clock,” Rivky said cheerfully. “Thanks for watching my kids. And I already spoke to the manager. He said that the two bungalows are ours. All we have to do is send the deposit.”
The deposit would be there by the end of the week. Shalom would just have to agree.