Events at home; mayhem abroad

I have mixed feelings as I write this column.

Here in Caroga Lake, we had great events last weekend sponsored by the Caroga Chamber of Commerce and the Caroga Historical Society.

July 18 and 19 brought many to our area for the Block Party, with rides, food vendors, games, live music, a parade and fireworks July 19 at night.

Meanwhile July 19 at the Caroga Historical Museum, there was a craft fair, food vendors 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.

However, in the midst of these celebrations, I couldn’t avoid the news overseas of the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine and the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. 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

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