Coffee revives me in the morning when I get up. It prepares me for the day that lies ahead, whatever that may happen to be. I don’t have regular structured activities when I’m in Mexico. My life is very different from when I’m back in East Wenatchee. There are lots of white spaces on my calendar that hangs on the wall. And that leaves me more time for writing.
Then Thursday morning happened. I admit I don’t always check the newscasts first thing in the morning. So it wasn’t until later on that I found out about the violence in Culiacan. My initial reaction was an emotional one. My Mexican family live there. Culiacan is a pretty wild city at the best of times and I must admit that I’m always concerned about their safety. But on Thursday the concern became fear as I saw the video footage of the the city under siege.
Shelter in place. I lived in Culiacan the first year I came to Mexico so that phrase is familiar. But when I heard that the entire state of Sinaloa was shutting down, that really bothered me. Highways and airports were closed. The military were firing at the cartel from the air. I had lived in Mazatlan for four years and had never experienced anything like this. Hurricanes suddenly don’t seem like such a threat anymore. I can only imagine the terror tourists felt trapped in their hotel rooms.
Thankfully I was able to reach Juan by phone and found out that my family was safe at home. The entire city was shut down. The only ones roaming the streets were Cartel members seeking revenge because one of their leaders had been captured. Culiacan was littered with burning vehicles and the sound of gunfire echoed throughout the city. An Aeromexico jet sitting on the tarmac was riddled with bullet holes. A cloud of black smoke filled the air.
I was supposed to go to Culiacan on Friday. My family had invited me to come celebrate King’s Day with them. I’m not sure just why, but I had decided to postpone my trip and come the following week. I believe someone up there was looking out for me and it wasn’t just a go with your gut feeling.
The airport is back open, public transit is moving, kids are going back to school tomorrow……………………typical normal daily life in Culiacan. I have my tickets and I do plan to go to Culiacan this Friday. Unless something astronomically crazy happens again.
A week ago at this time, millions of us in the world had never even heard of Uvalde, Texas. Now we can’t get it out of our heads. The sad part is that the focus should be on the senseless killing of innocent children and teachers, of the injured including the shooter’s own grandmother. Instead it has become a political gong show about who is to blame. This makes the tragedy even worse.
Accounts detailing the shooter’s biography are chilling. A victim of bullying. A history of violence. A son of a drug addict. And most disturbing that he legally purchased two rifles prior to the shooting and posted photos on his Instagram account.
My kids attended a private elementary school back in the 80s in Canada. The school had a security system and the doors were always locked. Here we are decades later and Robb Elementary had a door left propped open. With the track record here in the USA regarding school shootings, a door propped open during school hours? Absolutely reprehensible!
The mother instinct is a strong one. How dare they handcuff a woman who in desperation was trying to protect her children! Other angry parents begged for the Kevlar vests that the police had because law enforcement merely sat back and didn’t do anything. Perhaps more mothers are needed on the police forces.
My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I can only imagine how helpless they felt while the shooting was going on and how horrific the grieving is now that it’s over. We need to pray not only for these families, but for all of America, a country in crisis.
In Mexico when I watch TV the programs are all in Spanish. When I’m up here in Washington, not only do I watch TV in English, I enjoy watching old westerns. I’ve been watching episodes of The High Chapparal lately. Lots of guns and violence. The same is true of The Rifleman and Gunsmoke. We all grew up watching those shows back in the 60s. I even had a cap gun when I was a child and we all played Cowboys and Indians.
Back then school shootings were unheard of. We didn’t have guns or rifles in our homes. It was a safer time.
Living in the state of Washington it’s very different. Many people I know here have at least one gun or rifle in their homes. They’re not always secured in gun cabinets. They’re often loaded and kept in nightstands or other drawers. I have female friends who carry them in purses or in glove compartments of their vehicles. They marvel at the fact that I don’t have one of my own yet.
Apple Blossom Festival was held last weekend here in Wenatchee. Just before the Grand Parade, a somewhat enraged man opened fire resulting in an officer being shot before he himself was shot and killed. Shootings are becoming all too common.
Then there’s pot, something we used back in the 60s to enhance our enjoyment of everything from rock concerts to sex. But we’ve all aged and now use it more for pain control. My philosophy remains the same now as it was in the 60s—– everything in moderation.
I recall flying in to Kelowna, Canada from Seattle a couple of years ago. Going through Customs, I was asked if I was carrying guns or had any pot. When I replied in the negative, the officer’s comment was “Are you sure you’re coming from Washington?”
I spend six months of the year in Mexico. When my friends ask me why I want to live in such a dangerous country, I shake my head and tell them to look around at their own neighborhoods.
It was great being a teenager in the 60s. It was a unique decade of flower power and hippies promoting peace and love. What a contrast to the decade we are currently in!
It happened again on Wednesday. Another bomb scare in Leavenworth. There was one last year too. The downtown area was closed off. Highway 2 through town was closed off. Thankfully no bomb was found on either occasion.
I live in Mexico six months of the year. My friends up north tell me I’m crazy to live there because it’s dangerous. Well, I’m up north and it’s just as peligroso up here.
One of my Canadian friends suggested it was time I move back to Canada. Not on the radar. I read the headlines in The Winnipeg Free Press, my hometown newspaper. Lots of crime there too.
Our world was going crazy long before Covid and the situation in Ukraine. Technology makes it far too easy to build bombs or create other weapons. Technology is also to blame for the increase in school shootings. Canada, you’re not far behind the USA when it comes to those either. Technology is also responsible for providing accessibility to all types of criminal activity and even providing inspiration to criminals.
Face it, people. Nowhere is safe. So we may as well get out there and enjoy life wherever we happen to live. Maybe I take it to the extreme because I travel a lot. At least I’m living life to the fullest.
Have an amazing week out there! You only live once!