I was born in the beautiful Southeast with its sugar-white sands, azaleas and hanging moss, night-blooming jasmine. I lived there many years, gave birth there.
So, I could not imagine falling in love with the cactus and rocks of the desert Southwest. But as someone reassured me just before we moved there, the desert has a beauty all its own. And fall in love, I did. I lived in Tucson for six years and hated to move away again.
But while I was there, one of the local hospitals closed, and another in a nearby small town, did, too. Both went bankrupt. Now, local taxpayers in that small town had no hospital. Because so many women came to Arizona to have "anchor babies." Babies who were automatically citizens and a free pass for the parents. Who will grow up in a few years, and vote for radical changes, if the rhetoric is any indication.
The U.S. is a generous country. We want to help others and we do. But the problem is, in a word, gushing. Oil gushing up, illegals gushing in, money gushing out. How can we keep paying the bills for everyone?
Our borders are so open, anyone from anywhere is coming in. We realize many are looking for freedom and opportunity? What about the others, the OTMs, Other Than Mexicans? Where do they come from and what do they want?
Another place is my beloved New Orleans. My wip is set there. My heroine loves the city: its history, music, charm and food. She adds to its art, its laughter. She gets lost for a while in its alleged dark side. Finds peace with God again in the afternoon sunshine. That's my fiction.
Now, in reality, there's our food. On a recent trip, I enjoyed this delicious soft-shell crab.
Others are dying a slow death, by what is to most living things, poison.
By an accident that could have been avoided. By other things, too, long before this.
Seafood restaurants support fishermen, not to mention the restaurateurs, chefs, and wait staff. If the industry adapted and switched to steak and chicken, I wonder:
Who would go to New Orleans for a steak?
I would. Because of everything else there that my heroine loves. Anybody else? Some, not many.
Today, Louisiana's Rep. Charlie Melancon wept in Congress and I wept along with him as he said,
Our culture is threatened, our economy is threatened, and everything that I know and love is at risk.
After struggling with his emotions, he stopped speaking, got up, and left the room. The chairman assured him in respectful tones that everyone was praying for the people along the Gulf.
I know I am.