A Special Christmas Place To Go

There’s an eight sided log cabin in the Huckleberry Mountains in Eastern Washington. Perhaps there’s snow falling on it as I write, beautiful white thick snow that covers the creek behind it and the large tamaracks, pines, and firs that encircle it.

I hear the birds: the chickadees, the swallows, the blue jays, the hummingbirds, the hawks and the ospreys. Maybe a coyote will walk through the pasture or a mama bear and her cub or a cougar.

I know many deer will be there frolicking in the deep snow as the beavers hibernate deeper in their dens.

The cabin will glow from the lights and the fires lit in the iron stoves and oil lamps. The cracking sounds of firewood will ward off the chilly cold.

Inside stands a tree loaded with ornaments and garlands that a young child once made. By the tree, an old walnut upright piano will be waiting to be played as Christmas songbooks sit patiently to be opened.

It will be quiet there. The bed will be covered with thick blankets as books sit stacked by the bedside. They will have a chance to be read. Journals rest on the large table in the living room with pens ready to be used. Games like checkers, Monopoly, Clue and Scrabble will compete for the prime enjoyment of the long evenings. It’s the time of the year. To get away to your favorite place. And be…..

“The Ballad of Desiree” by Susan M. Carr

Merry Christmas 2015

You’ve Got To Take Care Of Yourself

A law enforcement officer just spoke on the radio about the San Bernardino shooting. Quoting him: “We’re not going to be there. You’ve got to take care of yourself.”

For the public, recent events are creating a new hyper vigilant awareness. As the events unfold, we may not have protection immediately. No wonder gun sales go up after these shootings by record amounts.

I experienced over the summer another similar situation. My home was in jeopardy because of a forest fire.  In a L.A. Times newspaper,  there was an article titled,  “A fire chief calls for help, but no one is there.”

I learned what it takes to fight fires. Many people last summer had no help and they took care of fighting the fires themselves.

We live in a world where taking care of ourselves means being asked by our officials to become a person who starts to observe who is around them at all times in movie theaters, elementary schools, churches or large gatherings of people.

This new awareness can be seen as a sixth sense that alerts us to possible dangers. In some ways that’s not a bad thing to have. For instance when I travel to other countries, I try to school myself about where it’s safe to visit.

In the United States I have never had to have my guard up all the time. My husband works in an elementary school and now I wonder if someone coming into his school could possible hurt him. That has never crossed my mind until now.

If any governmental official says, “We’re not going to be there. You’ve got to take care of yourself,” then I want to know what I should do. I want them to educate me in how to react in a violent situation such as a shooting or to help me know what to look for in someone who could be a possible danger to others.

An expert on NPR claimed that our government is asking people to report things that we see or hear, but there is no official hotline to call or department to listen to our leads.

I can understand why a woman would want to get a gun. If I was alone, I might buy a gun and learn how to shoot it. However Bustle magazine reported on Oct. 1, 2013:  “Studies show two thirds of female gun owners do buy their weapons for safety reasons. But females who live in a home with a gun are nearly three times as likely to be murdered than those without a gun in the home.” That makes me think that maybe I should not buy a gun.

Deep down inside, I believe the world is changing and we can’t be blind to the events and situations around us. Just the same, we need to not live in fear, not to be locked up in our homes, and scared of the people that are around us. We need to be informed, educated and aware for ourselves, for our kids and others. Let’s have a sixth sense of what is around us and be alert to know what to do.

Susan M. Carr is the Author of “The Ballad of Desiree”