Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Escaped Prisoner has been Captured.

It is 10:58 p.m. and the phone rings. That is alarming because no one calls that late unless it is an emergency. I answer and hear a woman's voice - a recording. This is from your sheriff's office to all residents of Clay County.

The escaped prisoner is now in custody. Your sheriff wants you to know there is no danger from the escapee. He has been captured and is now in custody.

I immediately get up and lock my doors. Why? I never knew there was an escaped convict on the loose, and now that he is back in custody, I make sure my doors are locked. Like closing the barn door after the horse is stolen.

We become complacent in our own safe surroundings and only the thought of danger jolts us out of that lull. I know those of you who live in cities or urban places with people all around you, probably never take for granted that your home is safe enough to leave your doors unlocked. Anyone could be a potential threat to your safe haven. But in the country, in rural areas where most of the crime is within a family, cousin on cousin, or within a community where folks know each other, a neighbor gets into an argument with the folks down the road and takes out a gun, we seldom worry about strangers.

We should, however. A few years back a woman living alone near the main road was accosted in the middle of the night by three drugged out people looking for money. They broke into her home and hurt her. She had never seen them before. 

When I first moved here to the mountains, I was astounded when a man went to wash his car one morning in a tiny little village and was later found dead behind the car wash. A couple of criminals passing through just happened to see him there alone. They killed him and took his car. They were arrested a few days later in another state.

We never know when something like that can happen wherever we live - in the city or in the rural areas. The call from the sheriff's office in the night, although too late to have saved me if the escaped prisoner had come my way, set me to thinking that I need to be more careful. Sleepy Hollow can be a dangerous place if the wrong person happens into the neighborhood.


Lise said...

Wow, now that is really strange, because I woke up sometime after midnight having had an unpleasant dream and felt the need to go close our back patio door that we've been leaving open because of the humidity...we are quite a distance from you, but...

It is a shame that one of the things I cherish about living in the mountains is the freedom and safety of not having to lock doors may be lost to "human evolution" so to speak.

Stay safe...

Glenda Beall said...

Yes, Lise, I love the tranquility of the mountain lifestyle and I know many natives still don't lock up all the time, but I think it is a good idea to be more careful.