Yesterday Danny asked me if wanted to come along to meet up with the family outing. Joyfully I agreed. The family clan had gone out earlier to the beach at Moshav Habonim, just south of Haifa. Driving along the toll road Nr. 6 which has no traffic lights, was an experience for me, since these days I seldom travel long distances. Views I have not seen in the old days, long before the new highways were introduced. Turning of the toll road I felt confused for a moment, but soon found familiar surroundings, although they have changed a lot as well. Furadis, once a little Arab village, has grown to a full sized township. We soon reached the beach and were just in time for helping to transport some of the clan and their stuff up the winding mountain road to a parking lot in the beautiful Mount Carmel Nature Reserve. Here I felt at home. There is hardly a spot in that region that I had not explored when we still lived in Haifa and tramped around week after week getting to know the surrounding like few other families did. Then it was just our two boys and me and sometimes my husband. Or I was there with my Scout troupe. Later I helped my son Micky when he explored the Carmel to prepare the map for all the different hiking trails, up and down and on top of Mount Carmel. The different colored marks are still visible. Having arrived at the campsite next to Beth Oren the smaller children scrambled out of the 4 cars and roamed around to explore the surrounding, while the grownups set up tents for the night, build a campfire and started to prepare dinner. The babies needed to be fed and somehow everybody chipped in and helped where ever it was necessary. Where once, when my boys were young, we were just 4 people camping out all over the country, now we were 4 generations, me, my daughter and her husband, 4 of their children and their spouses plus 10 of her grandchildren, two of Danny's sons and a daughter of my son Micky. The rest of the clan joined them early next morning in time to scramble down the Carmel range.
Danny had set up a folding chair for me and I joyfully took in how things just happened. Nobody told anybody what to do but all chipped in helped. Babies were past from hand to hand to allow the parents to do whatever needed to be done. The campfire was roaring and soon everybody settled down to a hearty and wholesome well cooked dinner, salad, herbal tea, and cake. When the smaller children started to get drowsy, it was time for Danny and me to leave and set out for home.
Taking a different route this time we drove through the Druze villages of Ussifia and Dalijat-el-Carmel. Actually they are no longer villages but one great township. The streets were lined with modern shops, lots of restaurants, hundreds of car driving in different directions causing traffic jams, people and people, young and old milling around. Just here and there one could see a few elderly women sitting in their doorway dressed in their traditional garb. The rest were dressed in the latest fashion. It was a totally new experience for me. The place has changed within a few short years, not to be recognized. We soon got to the end of the brightly lit streets and followed the winding mountain road until we got back onto the toll road Nr. 6 and were home in no time. It was a lovely outing for me, which I really enjoyed, the drive and all and especially seeing all the great family clan having fun together.