Fridays with Manny


Mountain Retreat

We bought our first timeshare thirty-seven years ago. At that time, we had no idea what we were doing. Promoters somehow convinced us to drive for three hours (we received an inflatable boat as a gift for our purchase) to Calaveras County. It is located next to a town called Arnold. In the woods, next to the golf course developer built three-story homes. We were hooked and bought one week a year, as our share of ownership of the Mountain Retreat Resort.

Through the years, we have come here as often as possible. By ourselves, with the family and sometimes with friends. This time we brought our labradoodle, Max. If you want to find out why you should visit this area as well, please call me. Meanwhile, enjoy these three images from the surrounding nature.

Fridays with Manny


Happy Birthday, Adam!

Besides it being Labor Day Monday, September 6th, it is also a double birthday. The first is our granddaughter’s 1st birthday. Her parents recently moved to Portland, Oregon, and we were planning to celebrate her birthday with them; however because of the Delta spike of the coronavirus, we had to postpone our trip, to keep everyone safe. The second birthday is Adam, who according to the Torah, and based on the Hebrew calendar, was born (created) 5,781 years ago. His birthday is celebrated on the eve of Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. 

There are many traditions connected with this holiday. One of them is to eat a slice of an apple dipped in honey. I’ve chosen to share with you three images of apples. Sorry, but you have to buy your own honey.

Wishing you Shanah Tovah u’Metukah in 5782!

Wishing you a good and sweet Year!

Enjoy and Share!

Fridays with Manny


Where to Find Tranquility?

On my way to take Max to his dog sitter, I drive through Golden Gate Park, and pass by the San Francisco Botanical Garden. I wanted to return many times, and finally made it happen on Friday morning.

Since it is not a blooming season, there were not many visitors. I felt overwhelmed by the nature’s beauty. 55 acres represent nearly 9000 different kinds of plants from around the world. The Garden’s history goes back to 1880; it was a brainchild of the Park’s supervisor, John McLaren. The Garden continues in its development and in the spring of 2022, it is scheduled to open a complex with a New Plant Nursery. I strongly encourage you to find time for a visit.

I wanted to share some of the flowers in their natural beauty with you, and had difficulty selecting three images. I will let you know when I will add some others to my website.

Enjoy and Share!

Fridays with Manny


What’s Your Story?

As we gradually move toward “business as usual”, many business people will be able to get together in person in large gatherings/mixers for developing new relationships, and eventually generating new business. In these encounters, the questions, “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” are often asked.

This might not lead to real connections. Instead in the article which appeared in, Marcel Schwantes writes about the “5 Questions the Most Interesting People Will Always Ask in Conversations”.

1. What’s your story?

2. What makes you smile when you get up in the morning?

3. What is that one book that has influenced you the most?

4. What absolutely excites you right now?

5. What’s the most important thing I should know about you?

You can ask anyone those questions; especially yourself.

I just finished putting together my next photo-story book, “42 Encounters with Love”. Three images did not make it into the book; however, they are definitely telling a story.

Enjoy and Share!

Fridays with Manny


Song of the Grasses

Many years ago, I met a remarkable teacher, Rabbi Gershon Winkler. My first introduction to him was through his books.

Every day, I continue to read his book, “Kabbalah 365. Daily Fruit from the Tree of Life”. It is a compilation of wisdom from different Jewish sources. I wrote about one of them on June 11, 2021, about the light. This time, I want to share a quote from “Likuttei Ha’Ma Haran Tanina, No. 3”, written by eighteenth century Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

“When you take your next stroll in the woods, or peer out the window at your lawn, try to hear the chanting that resounds around you. All is singing every moment. How good and how beautiful is it when one is able to hear the song of the grasses.” Or to photograph them, as I did in Golden Gate Park.

Enjoy and Share!

Fridays with Manny


How to Enjoy 54 Years of Marriage

Initially, I was going to title this story, “How to Survive 54 Years of Marriage”. However, a good relationship is not just about surviving; but also enjoying. 

We got married in Riga, Latvia at the age of 20, had our first child at 21, and immigrated to Israel when we were 25, where our second daughter was born. At the age of 33, we moved to San Francisco. And for the last 35 years, we have built together a successful mortgage brokerage company. We have great relationships with our daughters and their significant others. And we enjoy our lives. 

Our secret can be summarized in two words – “Love and Gratitude”. On August 8th, as years before, my wife will receive a special bouquet of flowers. These three bouquets are for you, with love and gratitude.

Share and Enjoy!