Lifestyle & Culture

The Boys in the Cave

July 8, 2018


iStock photo.

I’M A WIMP in terms of survival. I read Jack London’s “To Build A Fire” in high school and know to always have matches with me in the winter, but that’s about it. My son, who teaches survival skills for a living and knows how to do everything the old-fashioned way, has tried to bring me up to speed, but I’m a slow learner. The best I can do is make toast without a toaster, but I need a frying pan and a fire to do it. (Good thing I have those matches.)

I’m on this because sometime during the night, while the residents of our small town and four neighboring towns slept, a tree fell and blew out a transformer, sending us all back to the Dark Ages. Air conditioners abruptly stopped, their blanketing din replaced by the angrier sound of generators owned by people much smarter than me and my husband. For us it was just total darkness, oppressive heat and, worst of all, no morning coffee.

I was pissed, and so was my cat since he likes his food microwaved for 10 seconds and that wasn’t happening. Lurch took a few licks of his room-temperature Fancy Feast, shot me an annoyed look and then left the premises, realizing I was no good to him until the power came back on. That hurt.

Another thing that hurt was our lack of Internet service, so I turned to my iPhone, fortunately fully charged, for solace. There I read an update on the 12 young boys in Thailand, members of a soccer team, who along with their 25-year-old coach have been trapped in a cave for the past two weeks. Chances are slim that they will get out before the next heavy monsoon rains start in two days, worsening their situation. Rising waters and diminishing oxygen inside the dark cave pose life-threatening danger for all the boys, as well as their adult rescuers. (One former Thai navy SEAL has died already in a heroic rescue attempt.)

Suddenly our power came back on. I reset all the digital clocks, made some coffee and wrote this blog post. My day will continue as planned. I’ll meet a friend for lunch—we decided on sushi—and survive the current heat wave with our one window air conditioner and several standing fans placed strategically around the house. Soon enough, this being Maine, things will cool down and life will improve. My mood will brighten. And all that time, those boys will still be trapped inside that cave—the dark, wet one with not enough oxygen.

There’s no punchline. Just a reminder to appreciate what you’ve got and pray for the boys in the cave.

—Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.


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