My mom was a practical, calming type. Her oldest son (my brother, Pablofisherman) went off to WWII at age 17, and I remember her baking and knitting stuff to send him. So after reading that Yael is training her five cats to evacuate their apt chik chak, I thought I'd better imagine Mom's voice inside my head, saying things like it doesn't matter where my building's bomb shelter is because I won't make it out of the stairwell in one minute. My dog just needs to hear the words "Treat" to rouse instantly, so I don't need to do any animal training. But still, suppose the sirens do go off in Tel Aviv and a bomb hits my neighborhood?
My friend's 70-something-year-old neighbor survived WWII in a hole in the ground in Poland, having been handed over at age 4 to a farmer, wearing one dress, carrying nothing. Her first-hand advice is most credible, according to which, while still hearing my Mom's voice inside my head (isn't it amazing how someone dead for 25 years can talk so much?), I started to pack my little emergency back-pack: one bottle of water, one small plastic bowl for the dog to drink from, one change of underwear, one clean shirt, a key to my apartment ("don't lock your door!"), my PalmPilot (fully charged), a flattened 1/4 roll of toilet paper. I put the packed bag on the hook where I keep the dog's leash. It's almost ready: must buy batteries for the flashlight. And I wonder what kind of non-perishable food gives the most nourishment per ounce? Energy bars? I want to be able to run as fast as my dog, so the pack has to be light.
Mom, how'm I doin'?