To get away from last summer’s war in Gaza, with its air-raid sirens and cascade of terrible news, my wife and I decided to head north, and to rent a small cabin in the middle of nowhere for a few days.
If we’d hoped for quiet, we were about to be disappointed. At night, there was shelling from Lebanon; during the day, artillery landed not too far away as Syrian and Islamic State forces battled it out.
This week, because it’s been a quiet summer on the military front, we decided to give the place another try. We drove three hours north, climbing the winding roads up the border’s mountains, to return to the same cabins.
Just as we walked in the door, though, our phones started pinging. It was the Code Red app, which rings whenever there’s an air-raid siren. One quick look at the screen tells you where the siren has gone off — it was not far from where we were.
My wife looked at me, half laughing and half horrified. “You’ve got to be kidding,” she groaned. The siren was due to a malfunction, which happens fairly frequently, but gone was the calm. We each grabbed a book and sat outside. Then the artillery started. Boom after boom — we looked at each other again and just laughed.
When the owner came by, we asked what the artillery was. “Probably just IDF practicing,” he said, seeking to reassure us. Neither of us believed him, but we went along.
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