Close to Nowhere

Rescued

As of Tuesday, all the boys on the Thai soccer (football as they call it) team, the Wild Boars, have been rescued, along with their coach.

It’s amazing and very encouraging to me, that the entire world seems to be wrapped up in this rescue mission, united in hope and worry about the boys and their coach.

I love caves. I first went to Mammoth Caves in Kentucky as a teenager on a church youth trip. It was fascinating.

After Pop and I married, before we had children, we went to the caves. He’d never been in a cave and was somewhat ambivalent. Until we were in the caves.

That first time, we went on the five-miles-through-thecaves tour. All the tourists have to go with guides. Smart!

Caves, to me, are stunning and fascinating and mindblowing. I think the best room that first time was the Snow Ball Cafeteria. Yes, miles underground, there is a cafeteria with drinks and snacks. The ceiling and sides of the room are covered with snow white crystalline “balls.” Just gorgeous.

We’ve been back several times. We went when youngest son Kris was around 2 - 3. Brother Danny was living with us by then and Pop and Danny carried Kris 95 percent of the way.

One of the times we went we took Aleah with us. Dana, about 16, was Aleah’s babysitter and she had become part of the family.

She said she wanted a rock from the caves. Then, at the beginning of the tour, when the ranger tells you all the stuff you need to know and a lot of stuff that’s just interesting, he said, “Please don’t take anything out of the caves. If everyone who comes through here took just one rock, then in a couple of years, the caves would be stripped bare and would probably die.” (Yes, caves for the most part are living --growing and changing all the time).

When the tour was over, and all of us were standing around talking about it, every last person in our group gave Aleah a rock. Everyone but me. I didn’t take a rock after being asked/told not to.

I’ve also been to Carlsbad Caverns, which are huge and spectacular, but I like Mammoth Caves better. Carlsbad’s areas were too big and too open. You couldn’t get up close and personal.

The Thai boys were sitting on a ledge in a flooded room. I imagine they’ve had enough up close and personal.

Even in isolation, I’m betting the hospital is a happier place. And they’ve asked for chocolate, so they’re OK.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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Holly Springs, MS 38635
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