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Kathryn Spira

Block Party at Home But ‘Mayhem’ Abroad

I must admit I have mixed feelings as I write this column to you guys. Here in Caroga Lake we had great last weekend events sponsored by the Caroga Chamber of Commerce and the Caroga Historical Society.

The 18th and 19th brought many to our area for the Block Party with rides, food venders, games, live music, a parade and ending with fireworks Saturday night.
Meanwhile on Saturday at the Caroga Historical Museum there was a craft fair, food venders and open museum featuring the Penny Arcade replica from Sherman's Amusement Park. Plenty of memories and reminiscences were shared by those attending.

I include photos of these events. (That’s our Town Supervisor Ralph Ottuso in the dunking booth being a good sport at the Block Party on Saturday, the antique fortune teller booth from the former Penny Arcade at Sherman’s and a view of the craft fair at the Caroga Museum. Thanks to Herman for the photos.)

However, in the midst of these celebrations, I couldn't avoid the news overseas of the Malaysian airliner shot down over the Ukraine and the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. So much so that I emailed my cousin Lisa who lives in Israel with her extended family and my Aunt Renee. Having grown up with them, I was of course very concerned with their welfare. I enclose my email and Cousin Lisa's response:

Lisa- News sounds bad over there. How are you and family doing? I'm doing well. Send my love to the rest of the family -Kathryn

Hi Kathryn,

Thank you for being in touch! It means a lot to us to hear from our friends and family abroad. It is definitely a stressful time here, although in our area we have only had a few air raid sirens -- I find it somewhat surreal that my children are trained to know what to do when they hear a siren and the best places to duck for cover. Or that Moshe (Lisa’s husband) was walking to the train station from work in Tel Aviv the other day and watched the Iron Dome explode missiles overhead. When I was growing up, that kind of thing was always something that happened somewhere else or in some other era.

We also live along the flight path that the air force uses, and just listening to the constant movement of aircrafts is disturbing. Thank G-d, we are seeing open miracles here so many times each day as the rockets fired at us miss, are intercepted by the Iron Dome, or misfire completely. It is truly amazing to realize that more than a thousand rockets have been shot at us with so little damage. We mourn our casualties, but thank G-d for watching over so many of us so carefully.

We all pray that G-d and the IDF continue to work towards bringing a decisive end to this mayhem.

Thank you for your thoughts!

I'm glad to hear all is well on your end.

Love, Lisa




About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site