This will be my first submission as a foreign correspondent.
I have been sent south of the 49th parallel to scout out the territory. Research provided to me before I left indicated there would be a high probability of encountering a hostile and well-armed population. Those reports were sourced from news media reports and I now suspect they were to a large degree sensationalized.
Granted there was a drive-by shooting in a nearby community last Saturday night, but there were no injuries and authorities determined the house that was hit was not likely to have been the intended target of any known gang.
In any case one of the two bullets that entered the house was found lodged in a pillow that the resident was sleeping on at the time of the shooting. So I figure (round as I am) if a pillow can stop the bullets down here, then I’ve little to fear. Besides, like the cops said—they probably weren’t shooting specifically at that house—so we can infer that they can’t shoot straight. I gain comfort from my belief that random acts of kindness on my part will prevail over the bad guys’ random acts of poor marksmanship.
My friend Jack Beatty persuaded me that I can no longer use the excuse of being too busy being a newspaper reporter to put off taking some responsibility for my health. He suggested that I walk two miles each day. He put it to me as a challenge: if I would do it, he would do it.
So I have been doing it.
I downloaded an app for my phone that tracks my distance. That’s way cool, and the National Security Agency probably appreciates it too as they can keep an eye on another foreign national that way.
I have been trying to find a route that will have the required distance and will afford some opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature. That is a challenge because the town where my mom and sister live has several dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs.
One day I took a wrong turn and wound up doing 4.6 miles instead of the intended two. My phone app has a map feature on it but the phone screen is so small I have to fiddle around with it to get it to show me a view of anything more than maybe a block away. Needless to say after that 4.6 mile walk I am now learning to fiddle.
I’ve now found a pretty nice route that takes me down a country road and only requires an extra half mile each day—so I am going to be happy with that.
I sure miss all my friends up there at home. And let’s be clear about it: maybe I was born in Oregon, but my heart belongs in the Boundary.
News from up there about some communities being split by politics is worrisome though. I do hope and pray that common ground can be found and your lives can get back to normal soon.
I am also very relieved I no longer have the job of having to understand difficult issues like this well enough to explain them in the paper every week.
Stay well friends, and remember the words of Martin Luther King: “Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend.”