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Searching for a jar of olives made in Israel

Today when I was at the grocery store I bought mayonnaise. The mayonnaise was at the end of  aisle 7 next to the olives. And for a brief moment it was 1978 and I was in Israel picking olives.


I checked the labels on the olive jars. Where were they made?

In 1978 I picked olives on Kibbutz Reshafim in Israel for fifteen dollars a month.

Every time I go the grocery store and walk down the aisle with the olives I read the labels on the back of the jars to see where they were made. They are not made in Israel. I want a jar of olives from Israel.

It has been thirty-eight years since I picked olives on Kibbutz Reshafin in Israel, yet the memory of the olives is as clear as the day I picked them.

A little slice of life. A memory slice.

Where did you go today? What memory file did you take out and look at again? I would love to chat. Click here to comment. HERE

Please tell me if you find a jar of olives made in Israel. And tell me how they taste.

All my best,


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Susan W A

    My heart was truly touched by each and every post here. Thanks for sharing the pictures in your hearts and minds.

  • Danie Botha

    You realize you’re at risk of opening your front door one of these days, with two crates full of “Israeli grown” olives standing there.
    Well perhaps.
    1978. When the earth was young.
    Into the mountains of Lesotho doing a clinic with fellow medical students. I was a junior one. Our VW van crawled the winding gravel roads with trepidation; roads fit only for mountain goats. Clinic and sleeping quarters and everything was housed in the local school building. Freezing at night; shivering in our skinny sleeping bags.
    Was amazing to witness the locals “speak” to one another, each standing on a separate mountain, a deep valley and a kilometre of distance separating them. They had mastered the art of “throwing” their voices, without yelling. It wasn’t yodelling.
    Majestic Drakensberg and Maluti mountains in Southern Africa.
    Sweet memories.
    Thanks, Pamela!

    • Hello Danie Botha,
      Now two crates of olives from Israel on my front door would be amazing. I don’t think it will happen, but it would be fun if it did. It wasn’t my intention. I wonder if I said I was looking for an elephant someone would put one on my front porch?
      Thank you for sharing your memory slice from 1978. A powerful memory filled with danger and intrigue. I can’t image how powerful the experience was seeing men talk to each other from different mountain tops.
      I wonder if they have cell phones now?
      You are very welcome.
      I hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Cathy

    It’s funny that I read this today because just moments ago while driving to and from the bank, my mind was resting on not-so-pleasant memories. The kind you know aren’t good for you to think about but sometimes indulge in anyway. But I guess our memories are full of good olives and bad olives. Sometimes it is tough knowing what to do with the bad ones!

    • Hello Cathy,
      I agree, what do we do with the bad olives? Our mind can go to good memories just as well as bad ones. I have found when the bad ones come back to focus on the truth and repeat the truth over and over again. Sort of like if you dig a hole, if you don’t put something in it, the dirt will fall in it again.
      So, I try and think of something happy, and plant a tree.
      A happy tree analogy.
      Sending you hugs and sunshine to melt the not-so-pleasant memories.

  • EmFairley

    Hi Pamela,
    My memory files have been full of thirty-years plus memories recently, because that’s how long it’s been since I’ve visited where I’m headed on vacation. I’m really looking forward to it and promise to share some pix with you. I’m not sure I’ll find Israeli olives there, but I’ll look out for them for you 🙂

    Em xoxo

    • Hi EmFairley,
      Wow, going on vacation to someplace you haven’t seen for more than thirty years. How special. I look forward to seeing photographs and finding out how different it is now.
      Thank you for looking for Israeli olives.

  • AliMVrbas

    This was a really fun post about how an object, a simple food item, can elicit so many memories. I can almost imagine the heat and the sun that you felt back in Israel picking olives.

    • Hello AliMVrbas,
      Thank you for stopping by. It is funny how simple items can bring back the past, as though our days are full of threads to the past.

  • Stacey Shubitz

    I wonder where one can buy “grown in Israel” olives. (Just sent my hubby to Wegmans with instructions to buy 8 oz. of olives. Doubtful that the ones from the olive bar were grown there.)

    • Hello Stacey,
      I wonder too. Maybe I will have to fly to Israel to buy a jar of olives. If I find any I will tell you.
      How were your Wegman’s olives?

  • Melody Potter

    Hi Pamela,

    I went to Greece in 1994 and toured the countryside with a friend. We stopped at an olive tree and picked an olive. It was hard as a rock. That’s when I learned that olives have to be processed to be edible. I remember climbing up a mountainside to visit a nunnery where they spun gold cloth for the tourists. A week ago, I found my piece of gold cloth tucked away in a cedar chest and I remembered the plate-sized roses on the path up the mountain.

    • Hello Melody,
      Your trip to Greece sounds wonderful. An olive discovery, and climbing a mountain. Thank you for sharing your memory slice. For a minute I was with you imaging plate-sized roses.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Now you will have me looking in the grocery isles for a jar of olives made in Israel, when & if I find them, I will buy same & mail it on to you, as you know I never did aquire a taste for this food. I remember your Dad sayint to me when you were small & we lived in the Yukon, don’t give her an olive, your brother was already beating him to the olive jar & he was afraid you would get the same passion for them, which you did!! So funny………….

    • Hi Mom,
      Oh, how funny. Thank you for sharing that little memory from when we were little.
      Maybe Israel sends all of their olives to Canada.
      Pamela Jane, your daughter

  • SJR1991

    My memory files today involved baseball and music. My husband and I were New York Mets fans, had a 15-game package of games for several years, up until he fell on the ice a couple of years ago, and since he died in January I won’t be going to any games by myself. But I spent the afternoon with a group of Mets fans, and we were remembering last year’s World Series and plays that might have made a difference, and trivia about other Mets players. That was fun yet poignant, because there is no Jack to report back to about the afternoon. And in the evening I went to an Orpheus Chamber Orchestra concert, to which Jack and I have had series tickets, and I remembered other concerts we went to, and how he’d sometimes stroke my hair from his seat right behind me in the box we sat in. The concert was also enjoyable, yet poignant, because I would have wanted to talk to him about the music and what he liked and didn’t like. Memory elides with the present in ways that sadden yet nourish. Painful, yet necessary. Thank you for your questions.

    • Dear SJR1991,
      Please accept by condolences on the death of your husband. January was just two months ago. That is so soon to not have him to sit behind you at the concert and stroke your hair, or to talk to about baseball and music.
      Oh thank you for feeling safe to share your memories of your husband here. I had goosebumps reading your story.
      Would you mind sharing a photograph of the two of you? And may I know his name?
      Sending you hugs

      • SJR1991

        thank you so much, Pamela. His name is Jack, and I don’t have a digital photo of the two of us handy to send you, but when I have time, I can find something. Thank you so much for being interested.

        • Pamela Hodges

          Thank you for letting me know your husband’s name. I would love to see a photograph whenever you have time.

        • How are you today SJR1991?
          I pray in the midst of sadness you find joy. I was thinking about you and Jack today.

          • SJR1991

            Hi, Pamela, it has been a mostly good day. You can see what I did in my slice list today. But I did have a fit of melancholy after the “Conversation on Diversity” was over because I don’t have Jack to have come with me or to come home to, to tell about it. Would he have accepted “intersectionality” as a meaningful term, or would he have dismissed it as academic jargon? It could have gone either way.

          • Hello SJR1991,
            I searched through all the slices but I couldn’t find your post. Will you please send me your blog address to [email protected]

  • Lisa R

    I love how things like these olives can bring back such memories.

  • bjdonaldson

    I think memory slices are so much fun. It is funny how little memories come running back into our consciousnesses. I’ll let you know if I find olives from Israel.

    • Hello bjdonaldson,
      Oh, I love your description how the memories come running back. That is what they feel like. Running, now walking.
      Thank you for letting me know if you find any olives from Israel. 🙂