Andrea Howe

Writing a story earlier this week, I noticed a line in a police document. A suspect in a criminal case told police, according to the document, that he ran “because he was scared because of all the happenings in the world.”

There’s a lot happening in the world, and even more talk about what we should or shouldn’t do about it.

I don’t intend to wade into that fray, but I think it’s important to put things in perspective.

No one is guaranteed a full day on this earth. Every day’s a blessing. Rounding the corner on 55 years in a few weeks, I thought about that.

Even in my sheltered life, I found myself in a crowd held at gunpoint on a college campus 37 years ago. I ran down the block, which wasn’t very smart, but I escaped harm.

A year later, walking at night on the same campus, I escaped an assault attempt by clocking my assailant with a wooden clog, and running away.

Back in my hometown a few years later, I impulsively stepped in front of a drawn knife and yanked it from stranger’s hand when he was threatening to stab someone else. No one was harmed, and everyone calmed down.

I have learned, with the wisdom of maturity, that not putting myself in dangerous situations greatly reduces the chances of being in danger.

I pay attention to my surroundings and take precautions when I’m alone.

Sometimes this works.

Sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes it’s still OK if it doesn’t.

Case in point: Last Friday evening I made a trip to Indianapolis.

Traveling alone, I wasn’t worried about my safety, but I did keep my wallet close to me and my phone at hand. I wore comfortable shoes and looked around when I got out of my car.

I decided to get supper a little early to avoid big crowds and get back to my room to do some writing.

I like to “people-watch,” but for some reason, I chose to sit with my back to the table across the aisle from me. I was thoroughly enjoying a plate of chicken and pasta when, KER-THUNK, I was whacked upside the head.

I didn’t know what hit me, but when I found out, I had a good laugh.

I can add surviving an attack from a flying sippy cup to my list of escapes from danger.

I turned my head and heard several people draw in their breath. Right behind me, in a booster chair, sat a chubby baby, beaming proudly at his sippy cup tossing skills.

This kid will, one day no doubt be a discus hurler.

His mother apologized profusely.

“Don’t worry about it,” I told her, adding how much I really miss the days of watching my own sturdy baby boy send sippy cups into orbit.

I enjoyed the rest of my meal and walked back to the parking garage, feeling a little bit of sticky orange juice in my hair as I did a little reconnaissance of the area before I unlocked my car.

On my own, I could easily work myself into a tizzy thinking about the state of this world.

But I really hold on to the promise in The Message version of King David’s Psalm 27:1 — “Light, space, zest— that’s God! So, with Him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.”

Even flying sippy cups.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.