Remember this famous quote from the Wizard of Oz?
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

As a Midwestern transplant to the Phoenix melting pot, I can relate to Dorothy’s comment.  Sitting at a stop light recently,   I started smelling skunk.  I mean, an all-out, in-your-face blast of an unlovely stench.  My first reaction, from years of living in the country, was to wonder, “Now where’s that skunk?”  But then I remembered:  We’re not in Kansas anymore, and there’s only one explanation for this.  My passenger and I looked over at the car beside us.  Joint in hand, stereo blaring, we saw the culprit; my air conditioner had done the rest of the work in sending the scent our way.


I was teaching my class of 8-12 year old’s on Sunday; for a bit of perspective, only one student has parents who regularly bring him to church.  The others are given a ride by the church.  Somehow the lesson bunny-trailed to having respect for police offers and government leaders, because (in my words), “They are there to protect us and keep order in our country”.  One student immediately said, “I don’t like the police.  They came to my house and took my daddy away!”  While I don’t know the details of that encounter (or perhaps multiple encounters), I am sure that young girl’s pain is real, and those memories won’t simply fade quickly.


“Do you know where I can get a job?  I’ve got like….10 misdemeanors….and 2 warrants…maybe.”

I gave the person a suggestion of an employer that could possibly work with a situation like that.

“Do you think they would drug test me?  Because then I’d have to wait 30 days.”

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