Skip to main content


Yesterday, I went to a local park with Jordan, as I have done quite often over the past four weeks. It was a beautiful day, although I felt a little sad as I had spent some time earlier watching TV coverage of the procession of the three slain Pittsburgh police officers through the streets of the city.

Probably an hour into our time there, I saw a police car drive up. At first, I wondered if it was because I had emailed the mayor just the day before, asking, among other things, if police patrolled the park. On several visits to the park, I had noticed people young and old alike sitting in cars for long periods of time. I am not entirely sure what any of them were doing; I just know each time, it left me unsettled.

When a second police car pulled up, and an officer got out with a police dog and started walking down the hill, I figured this was more than just a patrol. I waited until two young adults finished talking to one of the officers, and I asked them what was going on. Apparently, some youth help up their friend at gunpoint and took his wallet and cell phone. This incident happened at the restroom building, which was about 200 feet from where we were. This armed robbery (is that what it is?) happened while we were there! These two young adults asked me if I had noticed some black kids running down the hill about 30 minutes earlier. I said I had noticed small groups of people running up and down the hill, but thought nothing of it as there is a skate park above this park.

I felt at once sick and scared, and I continued to watch Jordan run around and play with some other kids, completely oblivious to what was going on. The officers remained for another 30 to 45 minutes, interviewing the people, and then the officer with the dog returned. I debated if we should stay, but felt, stupidly so, there was safety in numbers.

Will I go back to this park? Probably. I don't know. I really like this park, it is close to our house, and I hate to hide in my house out of fear. But could Jordan and I be the next people to be held at gunpoint?

I wonder what happens to people to make them turn to a life of crime. I believe nurture plays a far greater role than nature (though some people will never be "right" regardless of how they are raised). Are these kids poor and did they "need" the money? Did they do it for the thrill? Are their parent(s) never around? Were they picked on at school? Was their schooling sub-par? Was this their first time or their 20th?

I have no idea, but it scares me, this world we live in.


Mel said…
well, that is certainly sobering. not the kind of activity you want around you while you visit the park with your little child. unreal. and not to be a further downer--but don't you attend the church where a person was hit by a car and killed? I guess it boils down to this: you just never know--when you'll be the next robbed, or the next killed, or the next anything. OR the next lottery winner! I suppose there are two ways of looking at this random place we inhabit.
Facie :-) said…
Yep, that was my church (hence my latest post).

I like your way of thinking about the lottery, even if we are far more likely to be struck by lightning.

Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

Calamityware for unique holiday gifts

I have been really lousy at blogging during 2016, for several reasons (some of which I don't even know). One big reason is time: Between working full time and helping promote Calamityware, plus having a small family and doing the occasional social thing, there is not a lot of time left to put thought into blogs. [Sadly, I can put hours into FB, but that is mostly my reading and not thinking, and perhaps writing short comments. :-)]

Anyway, since we are now in the middle of the holiday (shopping) season, I thought I would again promote Calamityware. If you are like me, you have a few people on your gift list who are really challenging to buy for. That is where Calamityware may come in handy. Following are the unique, quirky, fun, and even some beautiful items you can purchase here:
Various porcelain plates adorned with fun things like frogs, zombie poodles, pterodactyls, tentacles, a volcano, a vortex, and more; buy a plate or one of the series of fourSoup bowls with fly (1 fly per …