Friday, May 30, 2008

Good news, sobering conversation

Great news! Our editor has made the galley corrections on Surprise Packages, the cover photo will be shot this weekend, and the book goes to the printer on Thursday. Yippee!

Knowing our book was on its way, I started my morning walk feeling great. The sun was shining, the air cool and full of birdsong. But then I had a sobering conversation with a couple I met on the road. The wife had a pair of binoculars, so I asked her what birds they were hoping to see. (Our area draws birders from all around the world.) The woman said she had her binocs not to spot birds but to get the license numbers of vehicles picking up illegals at the Lutheran Church we were just passing!

These folks, who live backed up to state land not far from Gary and me, have often seen illegals passing behind their house, waiting at the drop site (sometimes in the church parking lot), or being picked up. They've also seen the shocking amount of trash that mars the desert--the coyotes who pick illegal crossers up make them leave everything behind so they can put more people in their vehicles.

All of this wasn't new to me--I've seen the trash myself when walking west from our development along a dirt road leading out to a pair of water towers. I've seen illegals waiting to be picked up and even a couple in Safeway. But I was surprised to hear that the border patrol had recently told the folks I met this morning not to walk out in the desert behind their home anymore--the coyotes smuggling people and/or drugs wouldn't hesitate to shoot anyone they thought might be a threat!

Until recently, I've not been too worried when walking around the water towers (I'm always with someone). But with the level of lawlessness and violence increasing, I think taking that walk even with companions might be irresponsible on my part. With things the way they are, I can't be sure that I will be safe in one of the most glorious parts of God's creation.

That's sad.


Josi said...

Yikes--sometimes it's best not to know what's going on around us. Kinda scary stuff.

Marsha Ward said...

That's heartbreaking!