Shaindle’s Shpiel Throwback and Update
Closing ThoughtsOpinion

Shaindle’s Shpiel Throwback and Update

As you might imagine, our family gatherings are loud, musical, intense, funny, serious and filled with pride for our heritage.

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

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle’s Shpiel was born in the late 1980s. Way back then — I like to refer to them as the good ol’ days — we did not have email.

Nor did we have a Selectric typewriter. Hence, my update letters to my family and friends were typewritten on an antique (by today’s standards) with a set of keys that would fight back and intentionally cause me embarrassing misspellings. On occasion, I would resort to Wite-Out. But this would look awful on Xerox copies. (We never heard of a fax, nor internet, nor cell phones, nor any of these newfangled inventions.)

Now we FaceTime and Skype and WhatsApp and a slew of other words that make no sense. One Shpiel, as I recall, demanded the heading: UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE. This would indicate how busy my life had become. I hadn’t written to anyone in a long while. My own family of six were the only out-of-towners at the time, everyone else was up north. My Shpiel therefore, required an update headline. Somehow, using the word alleviated my guilt of not staying in touch.

And here it is from way back when:
My daughter Raina will be graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism. And upon this auspicious milestone, she of course decided not to pursue the field. She considered physical therapy but was so done with school. Instead, she became the supervisor of the Latch Key Program at the J. She enjoys telling people what to do and when to do it. Of course, had you asked her sisters, they could have told you she likes bossing. Today, she is a highly respected educator.

My daughter Amie will be a senior at UGA, working her way through university as a courtesy clerk (bag girl). She is also working for one of her professors. Between work, study and her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, her plate is full. Amie lives in the sorority house. She followed her dream to help children. Today, she is a respected, beloved school counselor.

My daughter Marla will be a sophomore at UGA (are you noticing a pattern here?). She is a very active Bulldog, busy with sports, sorority (occupying the same room as her sister Amie did) and working. Follow her and you might notice a parade of guys in pursuit. Today, Marla is a highly respected school psychologist.

Lisie will be a freshman at — you guessed it — UGA. She will be a legacy at Delta Phi Epsilon, moving into the same room that her sisters had been in. She considered the field of communications (whatever that is) and P.R. Her personality and ability to make and keep friends will lead her to a successful career in whatever field she pursues. Lisie has not done any modeling this year. Her time is taken with school activities, yearbook, basketball, social life and weekends visiting her sisters at the University of Georgia. Today she is a highly regarded, beloved educator.

Gene is into some aggressive, groundbreaking and provocative work. He is developing programs in stress management, peer counseling, cultural diversity and equality in the workplace. He works closely with the governor and other key people who are pioneering this work. He is still an avid runner and biker. We got rid of the motorcycle years ago, but kept the 10-speed, which we shlep to all kinds of bike rides around the state.

And the rest of our story is … In today’s world (2022) my four girls, my four sons-in-love and my 10 beautiful grandchildren fill my soul with love and joy. For the last 40 years, I have been doing the work I was meant to do. Working at the Jewish Community Center, opening the hearts and minds of Jewish young people to the beauty, music, culture and complexities of a Jewish life.

Our holiday celebrations are proof of our blessings. As you might imagine, our family gatherings are loud, musical, intense, funny, serious and filled with pride for our heritage. I still do not understand what I did to deserve these kind, giving, honest, generous, successful humans in my life. I am in awe and disbelief.

Not too long ago, my brilliant, handsome, athletic husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. An emotional and physical roller coaster followed. My impossibly bright and sensitive team of 20 care for and surround us with a love the rest of the world should learn from. So, now you have it! A throwback shpiel and a shpiel fit for the year 2022!

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