Let's celebrate going out of stock | The Truth, part 6


Let’s have a Flash Sale!

To celebrate going out of stock.

Say what...?

As I predicted in my last post, our supply of teak shower mats would not last till the end of January, for all the reasons I mentioned in that post.

The biggest reason being—people are buying them like hot cakes at a winter carnival.

So here we are today, officially out of teak shower mats—and a lot sooner than expected.

Until the next container arrives and our warehouse shelves are replenished—which we anticipate will occur around than mid-February (we hope).

However, we still have enough teak shower benches to last us till the end of March (we hope).

So let’s have a sale!

 Is there a catch? You bet.

 2 of them.

  1. We’re only announcing this Flash Sale here on The Teakster—right now and nowhere else. Otherwise, we’ll run out of them as well.

And because you’re a subscriber to The Teakster—you’re reading about this private sale, and can take advantage of it!

  1. We’re only running this Flash Sale for 7 days starting today (any longer and we may not make it to March with the stock on hand).

In other words, if you’re reading this month’s Teakster 8 days from today (on Monday the 31st, or after)…well, as the saying goes, you’re SOL. 

Here’s how this Flash Sale works:

We’re giving you a $15 discount off the purchase price of our teak shower bench.

shower bench

At checkout enter this coupon code: Out of Stock

And $15 will be automatically knocked off your final purchase price (shipping of course is always free).

It’s as simple and easy as that!

Now The Truth, part 6

How many parts are there? I have no idea. This epic saga can go on forever. Or for as long as I can sling two words together,

Click here to catch up and read this magnus opus from the beginning (it's titled: It's time I told you who I really am).



The fool, with all his other faults, has this also, he is always getting ready to live.

--Seneca, Stoic philosopher  (c. 4 BC–65 AD)


In my experience, hard physical manual labor is invigorating and redemptive. And good for the soul.

Let's face it, so much that goes on in modern America today exists in the ether. In cyberspace.

We entertain ourselves on our phones, on Facebook and Tiktok. We stream movies and TV shows of Netflix and HBO.

And many of us work—all day long—in front of a computer screen. 

But when you strain your muscles—not your eyeball muscles—the muscles and sinews in your arms and legs—lifting and bending—you feel the physicality of existence.

You feel an aliveness.

Ok, playing golf, tennis or exercising in the gym also puts you in touch with your physical body.

But it’s not the same.

When you do physical work—accent on work—eight hours a day or more, five days or more a week, year in and year out…

Your body thickens. Your fingers, biceps and quadriceps thicken.

Your body breathes—and not just through your nose

You feel the animal within you.

However, do the same hard, back-breaking physical labor over and over again…

You can burn out, break down. Physically and spiritually.

Especially, if you weren’t born to it. And not many of us are

In short, you need a vacation, a change of scenery to revitalize.

So, after working two months on the kibbutz, six days a week, I needed to do more than haul in carp-filled fish nets.

 Hauling fish nets

Or carry 100-pound banana clusters on my shoulders from tree to truck.

 carrying bananas

That's why a group of us (volunteers) had been talking of seeing Jerusalem.

Because some of us, including me, had never been there.

After all, how can you be in Israel and not see Jerusalem? That's like visiting France and not seeing Paris.

Long story short, we got permission from the kibbutz to take a few days off, and a few days later we were Jerusalem bound.


Jerusalem, the holy city. The eternal city. God’s city. Whether you believed in him or not.

I don’t know what my travel companions were expecting to see there.

For my part, I had only a vague and romanticized idea of what Jerusalem might look like, based on engravings in history books.


So I anticipated seeing Arabs in traditional robes and headdresses, black-clad religious Jews with curled sideburns, ancient stone walls and alleyways, Muslim minarets and Christian crosses.

A city steeped in history. I loved history in school. And I especially loved seeing history come to life in 3D.

Altogether, there were five of us.

Two Americans, one Brit, one South African and Rolf, a Dane (who’d been to Jerusalem a few times before—and was therefore our designated tour guide).

Rolf had been on the kibbutz for almost a year, working with my “kibbutz father” in the chicken coop.

And though he was Christian he was applying to become a member of the kibbutz, and an Israeli citizen.

He was a really nice guy, but obviously odd.

In Kiryat Shmona, the city nearest to the kibbutz, we boarded an Arab bus that would take us directly to Jerusalem.

Why an Arab bus? It was far cheaper than the Israeli buses—and we weren’t getting rich working on the kibbutz.

Was it safe to ride on an Arab bus?

Well, back then, Palestinian Arabs, were not in open revolt against what is now popularly called “the occupation.”

So personal safety was not a concern, or so we naively believed.

However, Arab buses back then were old—very old, circa 1930’s or 40’s, and not air-conditioned.

They looked like they were held together with spit and chicken wire.

 arab bus

Our fellow passengers were Arabs, of course, a few backpackers, and a menagerie of chickens, and one bleating goat.

Once aboard, we descended into the Jordan valley for the start of a nearly four-hour ride to Jerusalem.

The Jordan valley was by and large a dry, dusty and desolate expanse of land populated by a few scattered Palestinian refugee camps.

From the road, the homes in the camps, way off in the distance, looked like they were made of mud bricks, or something similar.

Strikingly, these camps looked completely deserted. Empty.

Maybe they were, and maybe they were not.

But nearby, the bus stopped to pick up two Palestinians, a couple, waiting on the side of the road.

He was a skinny guy, in an open collar shirt, a pair of pants and a tattered suit jacket that didn't match his pants. He wore a black and white checkered keffiyeh (traditional arab cloth headdress) on his head.

She, a heavy set woman, wore a traditional thobe. An ankle length black dress with a large swath of intricate embroidery down the front. Covering her hair was a white silk scarf.

And then, we were off again.

The road paralleled the Jordan river, which is nothing more than a glorified stream. (Just so you know and won't be disappointed if you ever get to see it.)

Jordan river

Rolf tried to point it out to us, but we couldn’t see it from the road.

However, we could see very clearly the Moab mountain range on the other side of the river. In Jordan.

Moab mountain range

Back then Jordan was still in a state of war with Israel.

So I found it a bit unsettling to be within artillery range, if hostilities resumed at that moment.

Nevertheless, somewhere in the Moab mountains, according to Rolf, is Mt Nebo.

Mt. Nebo is reputed to be where Moses first saw the land of Israel after the exodus from Egypt.

moses sees the promised land

And it was also there that God supposedly told Moses he could not enter Israel, for whatever reason.

So, that’s as far as he got, and is buried there. Somewhere.

I found that fascinating (hat tip to Mr. Spock).

 Mr. Spock

But, as I eventually learned, many historical figures from the Bible have many places where they’re purported to be buried.

The same goes for Moses.

Nonetheless, many more fascinations awaited me on that trip to Jerusalem.

As well as a few disappointments.

A stop off in Jericho

It’s an odd individual who never heard the story of Joshua blowing his trumpet and bringing the walls of Jericho crashing down after he and the Israelites crossed the Jordan river into their God-promised land.

When our bus pulled into Jericho for a short pit stop, I didn’t exactly know what I was expecting to see.

But I imagined it would be a lot more than what I saw. And I certainly didn’t see any crumbled walls.

The bus stopped in front of a small store at the end of a dusty dirt road. And there wasn’t a soul to be seen anywhere around.

Other than a few date trees, Jericho was just a depressed, dried-out village in the middle of nowhere.


So we bought drinks, stood around in the god-awful sun and heat, and after about 15 minutes, got back on the bus.

Once underway, Rolf pointed out the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on planet Earth (1,400 feet below sea level), way, way off in the distance.

But from where we were we couldn’t really see much of it, just a tiny sliver.

And then the bus abruptly veered right and began its ascent to Jerusalem through the Judean desert. 

If you’re thinking sand dunes like in Lawrence of Arabia…

 sand dunes

…that’s not the Judean desert.

The Judean Desert

This is what we saw out the open windows on both sides of our bus.

 Judean desert

The road up to Jerusalem (elevation: 2,500 feet) was unbelievably steep, and seemingly endless.

There were many episodes during the nearly 2-hour ascent when the bus crawled at about 10-15 miles per hour.

Personally, I didn’t think we were going to make it if we didn’t get out and push.

But as we got closer to the mountain tops upon which Jerusalem sits, we began to pass through a series of Arab villages with quite a few large, almost palatial 2-story homes.

I was relieved we were once again rejoining civilization, and that the temperature was dropping.

And then we rounded a bend in the now leveled-out road, and I saw a sight out of the left side of the bus that I will never forget.

My mouth gaped open, and I uttered the immortal exclamation of Keanu Reeves, long before he ever did.


It was beyond fascinating. It was inspiring.




In next month’s The Teakster: The Truth, part 7, I’ll tell you the rest of the story. 

In the meantime, please let me know in the comments section below if you enjoyed reading this month’s Part 6 of The Truth.

Until next month, I wish you all the best in 2022.

Stay teak strong!



  • Enjoyed the story!

    Starr Austin
  • Thanks for writing about your experiences.

    April Barnes

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