Yesterday in the afternoon, the rocket alert (tseva adom) rang and I got up to join the family in the centre of the house. After a quick look ’round there was way too much room in our ‘safe’ place. ‘Where is Hans?’ I asked, and then had an additional worry when told he was off to pick up our youngest daughter. They often don’t hear the rocket alerts while driving, and they could drive onto the moshav during the alert, as the rockets were falling. Scary.
It was much more comfortable for just the three of us, The Husband, youngest son and myself, sitting in the hall with all the doors closed around us. The dogs had managed not to get locked out or in anywhere so it was even relatively peaceful. There was a boom. Another boom. No idea where they were hitting, or even how close. A distant very large ‘boom’ can sound like a close-by smaller rocket. We chatted in a desultory fashion while counting minutes until it was safe to leave.
Of course midway through the count the kids came home. The dogs went berk, and we were yelling to them (the kids) ‘It’s a tseva adom, get out of the doorway, get in here quick!’ The dogs didn’t help, being so excited to see them that they were jumping on the kids and blocking their progress.
My daughter is in the army, and we never know these days if or when she will be able to come home. She came home early yesterday so she could be at the base early today. She is in danger traveling to and from work, and her base has been hit, but she is not in a combat unit, so that is one worry I don’t have.
The five minutes passed and we settled down to our more usual pursuits. I am trying to get caught up on all the blogs that I like to follow – I fell behind while I wasn’t doing well, and I want to read them. I am also knitting a sock for myself, a snood for myself and one for my youngest daughter. I’m also working on a blanket for myself and a pocket shawl for the middle daughter.
Youngest daughter, the one in the army, joined me in my room and we played some silly games on my iPad. She has a good eye, and is really good at visual games, which I am very bad at. I play them to try to improve myself visually, but when she plays with me, that is when I rack up the points and make levels.
We had supper, TH cleaned the kitchen and later he read aloud to the youngest and myself from Bush Pilot with a Briefcase. There were phone calls and plans for today like shopping and a trip to misrad rishui (drivers’ license). TH and I watched the end of Measure for Measure from the BBC collection. See, the ‘beeb’ is good for something. 😉
All pretty normal, not special, not alarming. Except for the rockets whooshing by, and the explosions, the ‘boom’s going pretty steadily all evening and into the night.
For some reason I found it hard to sleep last night (for some reason…) and so I was still awake when I received an email from a friend in the U.S., someone who has apparently just realized that there’s a war going on over here. (Mind you, it’s not like we haven’t talked about it before). She wrote to tell me that friends of hers who live in or near Tel Aviv were worried about me, knowing I live near Gaza, and she had reassured them that I am safe.
I don’t even know how to respond. I am not safe. My family is not safe. Our moshav is not safe. So far, Barukh Hashem, we have not been hurt, our homes have not been hit, but there are bombs exploding all over the place for heavens sake! What is WRONG with the woman?
I must’ve written five different emails before I gave up and went to sleep. There are none so blind, and all of that. I can’t fix it, I can’t explain it, there are no words that will get through to this smug woman safe in *her* home that this is REAL, this is WAR, this is bombs, real bombs, dropping on real cities, with real homes, with real people in them. I wanted to tell her to think of a WWII movie – not a correct image, but at least she would (hopefully) get the idea of a war, only a movie is fiction, not real, doesn’t penetrate. Nothing penetrates.
Talking with this woman, whether by voice or email, is an exercise in frustration and helplessness. It is the microcosm of talking to the whole rest of the world about the situation here. The media do not report it and to most people we are comfortably far away, not a big worry for sure.
And that would be okay if they could all just stop with the MISinformation. Why the ‘f***’ did she have to tell those people that I am safe? THAT’s the part that gets to me.
So much for getting a good night’s sleep. I was awakened far too early by a full bladder and critters wanting in, out, or to be fed. I have a metapelet (personal care assistant) who showed up at 10a.m. I’d been thinking, in my dreams, about telling her not to come if she was worried about the rockets. But she isn’t – at least no more worried to be here than to be in her own home, which is also a target.
I finally wrote a short email to my ‘friend’ in the U.S. I can’t even remember what I wrote. It’s not important. I ate breakfast and worked on my Hebrew with the help of the metapelet. Then went onto facebook, which I do once a day, and lo-and-behold a friend in Israel posted a bunch of jokes about the current situation. My favourite, which I will mangle in trying to repeat it, has to do with Hamas claiming they have a much larger stockpile than we thought. The punchline is – ‘you ladies have heard that before.’ Okay, so I can’t tell a joke, at least not repeat one. I trust you get the idea.
My middle daughter sent a song titled ‘tseva adom,’ which was funny enough I shared it with everyone here; and I also saw a link to a youtube video, making fun of how people act in Tel Aviv when they have a rocket alert. It was really very funny.
And this is life here during wartime. Fear, frustration, discomfort, and humour. Ordinary life for a while until the next thing. We’ve had no more alerts here today, but there is no guarantee that we won’t be hit by a bomb in the next ten minutes. There is also no reason to assume that we won’t just stay here and be fine, until things quiet down and then normal life will not be merely an intermission between rocket attacks.
I want to go back to working on my snood, it is a bright ribbon yarn in gold tones. I’m waiting to hear when or if my daughter is coming home. We’re making plans for tomorrow – going to the income tax office, middle daughter coming down here for a bit. All very normal. I’m an ordinary person trying to carry on with my life. I will not let the bullies chase me away.