As I sit out at the table on the garden patio drinking my coffee, I think back on yesterday’s events with mixed emotions. The day started off with Mikkel and I traveling to Chitré to do some shopping. We especially needed to return a malfunctioning ceiling fan to Do-it Center. Returning things here in Panamá can be quite an adventure in itself. First you take the item to the security person at the front desk who looks at the receipt to make sure it is the correct item. Then you go to the desk located in the electrical department. When they finally find someone from that department, he takes the item out of the box and connects it to the electrical outlet to make sure it is not working. Then off he goes to the back office with the receipt. About 15 minutes later, he returns with the receipt signed and dated by 3 different manager signatures. Then we are directed back to the front checkout with the receipt. Because we did not want to exchange it for another one, we had to accept store credit, which then took a few calls by the cashier to a manager and another signature. We didn’t mind store credit because there will be something we will want to buy from Do-it Center in the future. Anyway, after all our
tasks were finished in Chitré, we returned home to the news shared by our housekeeper Neli that a teenage girl in Pedasí had been struck by lightening and died today. The day was warm and sunny while we were in Chitré and returning home through Las Tablas. But as we approached Pedasí, we noticed the roads were wet. A thunderstorm apparently had blown through the pueblo. It still amazes me about all the micro-climates around here; it can be raining heavily in one place, but drive 10 minute away and it is blue skies, hot, and dry. Nevertheless it was sad to hear the news, apparently spreading quickly throughout our little town. This weekend is a festival, starting with the crowning of the new Miss Pedasí this night. So mixed feelings of celebration and sadness affecting most who live here.
Later as I was looking through my FaceBook news, a posting from Placer County Sheriff caught my interest immediately. We lived in Auburn, California for many years before moving here and both my daughter and son-in-law are Placer County Sheriff deputies, so I follow their page. Anyway, the bad news had me searching and watching live on the local KCRA news about a shooting spree that started in Sacramento where a man killed a Sacramento Sheriff deputy, shot another, then proceeded with a woman to highjack a car. When that man refused to give up his car, the suspect shot him. He then highjacked another vehicle and apparently drove up to Auburn. Through good leads and a quick response by Placer County Sheriff, they found him in the vehicle, where the culprit then shot 2 deputies, one who died later at the hospital. The woman was caught at the scene and arrested. But the killer ran off and broke into a house nearby (which was near where I used to live). Eventually he was captured and taken to the nearby Auburn hospital for minor wounds before being transported to the county jail which is near the hospital. Anyway, there was lots of drama and a tug to my heart as I watched and waited for the names of the deputies who were shot. Auburn is not that big of a town in comparison to cities such as Sacramento and Los Angeles. So an event such as this can be very upsetting to many who live there along with those who still have friends and family involved. As I watched the fireworks from my garden in the evening while Miss Pedasí was accepting her crown and dancing before her audience at the cancha, I finally received the announcement about the Placer County Sheriff deputy who was shot and killed. My heart goes out to his wife, children, and family along with the family of the Sacramento deputy who was also killed. I know this hits hard on the hearts the Sheriff departments as well as the community at large, as does for a young girl killed by lightening in our community. So this morning my thoughts still have mixed emotions as we plan to join the festivities in town for the Carreta parade this afternoon.
All this reminds me that life is precious. We really have no idea when our life will end or anyone else’s. So it is best to always share how much you love your family and friends. There will be times when you have difficulties and anger, but forgive quickly. Life should not be filled with bitterness and regret; it’s too short to waste. As I have said and written before, I must remember to thank God for His blessings daily. “Consider it all joy”!