I was walking down the street the other day on my way to the garbage dumpster, carrying a few bags of garbage. As I walked up the road, the garbage truck drove by me. Suddenly, it stopped right next to me, and the driver waited for me to toss in my garbage bags. It took me a second to realize what was happening, but I did toss them in, and then he gave me a salute in his rear-view mirror and drove on. ONe of those "only in Tzfat" stories...
Today, a couple came into the Visitors Center, asking if I knew of any rentals. They had a young boy with them, and they told me that they were looking for two units near each other. Pre-Lag B'Omer, it's hard to find much in Tzfat, since this area of the country is THE place to be for Lag B'Omer, so I asked them why they needed two units. Turns out that they're divorced, and the boy is their son. But they are friends, and when the father decided to come to Israel to study a bit, his ex-wife didn't want to let him take their son away from her, but the father didn't want to leave his son. So...they both decided to take a Sabbatical at the same time, in each other's company, separately. Nice people, with a healthy way of looking at life. From Oregon, of course.
My backyard presently looks like a fireman's nightmare. Between Hagai and his friends and Margalit and her friends, I have enough wood in the yard to keep a bonfire burning for months. Hagai and his buddies have been collecting since Pesach, and they will go on the road below our house to do their fire...far enough away to be independent, but close enough to be near a bathroom or any forgotten kitchen utensils, just in case. Margalit wants to do hers down the street too, but I'm hoping to convince her that our backyard will be a better place, just because I personally need to go to sleep at some point, and don't want to leave her out on her own with a fire and her friends all night. I still have a couple of days to work it out with her.
Over Shabbat, our downstairs neighbors, who own the house but rent it out, were here. While here, they found a watch which someone had dropped, and lacking time to deal with it themselves, they asked me to put up notices about it. This system of announcing lost items it time-honored...the Torah speaks of the mitzva of returning lost property to its owner. So there are always notes stuck up on walls throughout the city (probably in every town and city throughout Israel) announcing "Shabat Avida" ("return of lost item"), and then a little information about what was lost, with the phone number of the finder. The person who lost the item is expected to identify it somehow, and will then get it back. Almost always works. Kind of like an old-fashioned listserve.