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Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. America. The greatest country in the world. Land of the free, home of the brave. Place of the innocents who get gunned down at nightclubs, parties, bars, places of work,  homes, schools, churches…well you get the picture. How many times will see the images of broken families, ravaged lives, horrific deaths and shocking tragedies play out in our communities?

Are you there, God? Oh right, I have asked that question before. Too many times. Sorry for my impertinence but we could use a little help down here! Lunatics, crazies, evil deranged folks are committing these mass murders! What are we to do? We hold vigils and send our prayers, love and money to the victims and families, but we need some divine intervention! Politicians, priests, rabbis, ministers, police, FBI, and pundits cannot seem to fix this!

Oh, there are plenty to blame for the insanity that is becoming all too common. Some people point to the ease which very disturbed (and dangerous) people can obtain weapons. Psychologists claim our culture is becoming increasingly more angry and violent with revenge killings evidence of this phenomenon. Spiritual leaders say we have become a Godless society, which leads to a lawless society. Some experts say everyone should carry a weapon everywhere so good people can stop the bad guys. Others say less assault guns are the answer. I say we are a long way from solving anything.

Not only was the news coming from Orlando hard to read, but then nature seemed to be creating havoc last week. Another Yarnell fire. Only three years have passed since the last terrible fire and an entire town of folks who were just rebuilding and healing had to run for their lives. Not that we can ever forget what happened on that day on June 30 when 19 firefighters died, but to have to relive the agony of an evacuation again is almost unimaginable.

Can mountains speak? If so, what stories would they tell about the dark scars that cover their masses. I drove through Peeples Valley and Yarnell and saw the blackened mountains on the east side of Highway 89, which came treacherously close to homes on the hillside. Maybe this is the miracle we seek, that no lives were lost and homes were saved. Our prayers at work?

Many religious leaders say that when it seems like the world is falling apart, seek to find comfort in the everyday miracles that surround us. The joy of watching two baby squirrels playing in the grass. Or the grace and love when an old blind mare is guided around the pasture by a younger horse. A grandbaby learning to take her first steps into the world that we know holds such promise. The humanity of a first responder who comforts a victim. The acts of kindness and grace that we see in our neighbors and friends.

My daughter was at Target when she saw a little girl about four years old telling her father how she wanted a bicycle. He told the little girl they didn’t have the money for a bike right now. Then, the little girl reached into her tiny purse and got out a quarter and said, “Now we have the money, Daddy. I can buy it.” When the father said that wasn’t enough, the little girl replied smiling, “I can get a job next week. Don’t worry.” Overhearing the conversation, a couple engaged the young dad and he told them he just got back from a tour in Afghanistan and was still transitioning to civilian life. The couple thanked him for his service, bought his daughter the bike and told the little girl, “You won’t need to get a job for many, many years.” Maybe we can find God in all places.

Just when we think the world is a disaster, we can always seem to find the humanity that still makes us great and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow. We collectively hold each other up, help the smallest of creatures, care for one another and when world events seem to be too much to bear, we carry on. One day at a time. One bike at a time.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a question or a story? Email Judy at