Word came today from a contact who is working with asylum seekers in detention on this side of the border that our refugee’s latest interview did not go well. His officer was threatening to deport him because he’d entered the country after the law had changed to require application for asylum from outside the country. But the refugee, whom I will call Ben, which is not his real name, had actually requested asylum from two different places outside the country. Continue reading
A pretty but too early snow falls in my birthday week. Global warming, they say? Well, the snow is falling on autumn leaves that are still attached to trees. Trees used to always be bare by my birthday. In recent years they hang on at least two weeks longer than before. So what does it mean when fall comes later and snow comes earlier?
The key is that it is unusual. Nothing is normal. Or, the new “normal” is change and disruption. Unpredictability is an ambiguous gift for my birthday. Continue reading
Getting the documents together to apply to sponsor an asylum seeker is as complicated as applying for a visa for Congo, a process that always daunts me though I’ve been through it countless times.
The sponsor application was complicated by a last-minute switch in who was being sent to us, complicated by notarization required for one document, complicated by the local coordinator sending jpegs to include in our application that were too small to be readable and having to resend them, complicated by forgetting to include said documents and having to go back into the house to get them, complicated by forgetting my wallet when I did go to the post office and having to go back home to get it, complicated by having to pay more than expected to send a package that will arrive later than expected because the P.O. “doesn’t deliver overnight to some places,” one of them being a border county in New Mexico where said asylum seeker is waiting for deliverance from a detention center into our charge. Continue reading
I’m doing better now that I’ve come to terms with the dark cloud hovering over my head: my late mother and my own mortality. Still, there are days when I can’t do more than one or two things. The weather is that cold-rain, almost-snow deep fall gray more typical of November than October and I literally feel “under the weather” a lot of the time. Sad weather weighs me down. I hibernate and don’t get enough exercise. A head cold threatens despite daily doses of immunity boosters.
But today I made a rather momentous decision. Maybe that is my one thing for today because decisions can be taxing, right? Continue reading
I will soon be 75. This is not old by today’s standards, and most of the time I do not feel old, but if I survive until mid-November I will have exceeded my mother’s lifespan. She died eleven days before her 75th birthday. Continue reading
We South Bend, IN residents are getting a ground-level look at the big issues of the day. The fact that our mayor is running for president, and doing surprisingly well, has drawn national attention to what goes on here, good things but mostly bad things.
Like shootings. Like racism exacerbated by police misconduct.
Yesterday I attended a town hall meeting at a local high school, widely reported in the national media, about a shooting of a black man by a white police officer. Continue reading
Our neighborhood listserv is a very important communication tool. Usually it’s about who can recommend a good plumber or restorer of historic Victorian curlicues, or reports of petty crime. This week there is a lively and sometimes heated exchange going on about a recent police shooting in the neighborhood. That one can be painful to read as the misunderstandings and clashing views make social differences all too evident.
As if to provide some comic relief from the heavy stuff, the following exchange has also happened within the last 24 hours. Continue reading
A few days ago I learned that the community On-Site Prayer Ministry was scheduling a vigil at the location of the shooting of Traychon Taylor, the one that took place practically in our backyard a few weeks ago and that I’ve written about here and here.
Since I’ve been doing my own vigil in my backyard rather sporadically (I’m easily discouraged by weather), this seemed like a next step in whatever might be unfolding. I looked forward to it. Continue reading
There was a little gathering Sunday afternoon that meant a lot to me. It was a gathering of cousins on my mother’s side and a few members of the next generation as well. It was not a big, all-day family reunion; just a few hours of reminiscences over ice cream and other goodies including Grandma Kauffman’s date pudding.
It was significant because it never happens, even though many of us live within an hour of each other. Continue reading
When you start out on something that seems promising but outside your comfort zone, you can easily lose momentum, chicken out. You hear the countering voices. What was I thinking? I am making too much of this. I’ve been feeling this about my little Traychon project, about the young man who was shot behind our house, which I wrote about just two days ago. Nevertheless, I have persisted in following my impulses or perhaps the Spirit. Continue reading