The Air Raid experience
Most of you have probably never heard a real air raid siren - see picture -(and I wish for you that you should never have the experience). You may have heard sirens in WW2 films about the London Blitz.
Anyway so you can know how it sounds, click on http://www.airraidsirens.com/mp3/uvfrsd10.mp3 and imagine that going on for about a minute and a half. The siren starts with a low-pitch whine which rises in pitch and volume and then oscillates between a low and high pitch. In our house we can hear the sirens quite loud and Irit has developed a seventh sense of discerning the siren's wail within 3 or 4 seconds of it starting even if we're asleep. That doesn't happen often - one morning there was an alarm at 05:30 that woke us and nowadays we rarely rest in the afternoon which we often used to do. One becomes very sensitive to any sound which might be an air-raid siren. The screech of a lorry's brakes today made us think it was a siren. Ever since this war started we can hear the noise of (Israel Air Force) planes flying overhead - day and night - but, in this crazy world, for us that is a good noise (not so for the residents of southern Lebanon).
So the sirens go off, we rush downstairs to our shelter with our dog. Normally our shelter , like most people's is used as a storeroom but now we've spread a carpet and put a couple of chairs in it. We get into the shelter and wait for the sounds of the explosions. Sometimes there's one , sometimes several - of differing loudness depending how close they've landed. The nearest so far to out house has been about 2 kilometers away but we can hear the explosions quite clearly. Sometimes you hear several "booms" for one explosion because of the echo from surrounding valleys. Sometimes there's no boom at all - it was either a false alarm or fell out of our earshot.
The nearest rocket fall to us was on Friday (about 800 metres from where my Dad lives) on a large block of flats. The mother of a friend of ours lives in that block of flats but in another entrance. The parent's of the girlfriend of Yoav, Irit's younger son, live in a flat on the other side of an adjoining valley several hundred metres away but some of the round shrapnel pellets that are packed in the explosive head of the rocket fell on their balcony (but caused no damage or injury).