Pebbles, Campers and Other Favorite Things
OpinionShaindle’s Shpiel

Pebbles, Campers and Other Favorite Things

I yearn for the sounds of my grandbabies playing football on my street or playing basketball on my driveway.

Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Screen doors opening and closing, the sound my shoes make when I walk on wooden floors, babbling brooks, trees whispering in the wind, the sound of raindrops, birds singing, dried leaves crackling, children giggling and bear hugs.

Join with me and let’s all sing, “These are a few of my favorite things.”

On my way from the parking lot of the Marcus Jewish Community Center to the tennis doors leading into the Zaban building, I suddenly became aware of two of the sounds I love. Two sounds that nourish the memories in my soul:

  • The sound of campers chatting and laughing as they walk together down the hill to Camp Alterman.
  • The sound of pebbles dancing around under the cars leaving camp carpool.

I love carpooling. Have you ever listened to the children in your carpool discussing their world? A world with both child-size challenges and, unfortunately in today’s world, adult-size challenges.

Their methods for solving problems are pure and, in my humble opinion, effective.

I’ve been privy to the most extraordinary inventions. I’ve had the distinct honor of being included in the most fun and most original games one can play only in a car. I’ve been asked difficult questions that reveal deep-seated fears hurting the hearts of my carpoolers.

Oh, did I mention the magical feeling when little hands touch my neck?

The next time you take a walk or a hike, spend some time searching for heart-shaped pebbles or rocks.

I don’t drink, nor do I smoke. However, I am not boring. Give me a fresh bagel — scooped, of course — and I owe you my life. Another of my favorite things.

And I am addicted to Nips candies. Crazy, I know.

I yearn for the sounds of my grandbabies (none of which is a baby anymore) playing football on my street or playing basketball on my driveway. There are also those rare moments when I make a basket, and they cry out, “Wow, great job, Savta.”

Or when they experiment with games they’ve invented or they’ve learned at Camp Barney.

And how about the sounds of prayers they can sing in perfect Hebrew, thanks to the Davis Academy and the Epstein School?

Let’s talk about pebbles.

I have handfuls of pebbles in my bathroom sinks. Large and small, with a beautiful diversity of hues. It’s so organic (forgive me, I am so tired of this word).

The next time you drive on a road built of rocks and pebbles, roll your car window down, turn off your electronics, including the radio, and listen to the sounds of history, the sounds of today, the sounds of the future.

See you on the trails.

A Poem

We are different people from

Different places

Gathered here building

Sacred spaces


How can we share our feelings

As strangers to each other?

We work to help people improvisationally

Our challenge — facing our insecurities


Join us — build something new together

For there are no right or wrong answers

In our tiny space we plant the seed

Let us blanket the world with the warmth of peace

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