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Let's Be Careful Out There

Many years ago I took a fun, impromptu weekend trip to Los Angeles. I convinced a friend to join me. We got off the plane, rented a convertible and decided to let loose. We stopped to eat, threw our bags in the trunk of the convertible, and walked across the street to the restaurant.

Shortly after a delicious lunch we got back to the car and saw our bags had been stolen.

I let my guard down because we had left New York City and I thought the rest of the world was safe. Ah my naivete caused laughter and chuckles from the police as he asked how two girls from NYC could get robbed.

We spent the rest of the weekend in the same clothes we flew in on. To tell the truth it was kind of freeing. No stressing about what to wear just what we had. We laughed,  had fun, saw some sights, visited a friend and made the most of our time. The police eventually found our bags in a dumpster and we got back in a plane a little shell shocked.

Fast forward thirty years later. I consider myself to be pretty tech savvy and a reasonable judge of character. Maybe too trusting sometimes. And this weekend the police were at my door trying kindly not to chuckle at the fact that I threw all reason and caution to the wind when I gave up too much of my information to a very unsafe person. I’m not even sure he was clever. There were red flags everywhere and I chose to ignore them all.

It started simple. He asked if I had Zelle. Upon investigating my bank does but I don’t understand it. But I said yes. Then he said he would pay now. Wouldn’t you wait to see the product I am selling? And I gave my address to him.

Next he said Zelle needed extra money because I wasn’t a business. So he sent me extra money if I promised to return it. Could he trust me?

My stomach is queasy retelling this story on how quickly this escalated. And how I missed so many signs. Basic things like seeing his profile wasn’t right. He had shirtless pictures of himself on his profile. His email didn’t match his name. The Zelle address didn’t match Zelle. How did I fall for it all?

Because I just didn’t believe people were like that. I wanted to believe he just wasn’t the best at social media.

I wanted to believe the best. But then I shared too much. Then I was afraid. Then I went too far. And then I was ashamed.

There were several takeaways from my New Years Eve experience. First is it’s a lot easier to judge when you aren’t in the middle of a situation.  If you saw the Instagram profile of this man you would wonder if I needed to be drug tested.  Second is realizing how quickly fear stops us from thinking rationally. And third is if I can get scammed, how easily a teenager or an elderly person can.

I am not sharing my experience for attention for myself. I am sharing it for the same reason I share a lot of my experiences- to help the next person.

The next time we judge someone, maybe we stop and realize in fearful situations we don’t always do our best.

To quote Sgt. Phil Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues “Let’s be careful out there.

OPINIONS

Exactly As You Are

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Kindness Matters

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It's the good stuff

I am sitting in my hotel room finishing up the paper. My daughter is at basketball camp and I just got a 1.5 mile walk in.  After the paper goes out I will get to watch a little of her camp and then grab some lunch.  We are about 100 miles from home but it feels like... [More]

Jesus Without Conditions

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Casting Stones

I woke up Wednesday morning and read my daily bible verse “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bam. I was hit immediately that my yesterday was not that. Being honest... [More]

In The Barn

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Stumbling Upward

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The Jug of Oil Will Not Run Dry

Our community and surrounding areas are in desperate need of rain. We pray, we hope, we watch the sky. Instead, we have heat, high winds and sun. Yesterday I saw a comment on social media from someone in another part of the world on how they were so happy to have a day without... [More]

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SPORTS

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JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

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Senior Night Volleyball

Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse.  Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]

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HS Track

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SHS SPORTS WRAP UP

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HEADING TO SUBSTATE

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NEWS

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Rodriguez New Museum Director

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RODEO CAME TO TOWN

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ALUMNI WEEKEND

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Fatal Wreck at Sand Dunes

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A Memorial Day Slow Hand Salute to Mick Hoff

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Eastbound U.S. 50/400 to close in Kearny, Finney counties for railroad crossing repair

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OBITUARIES

Walter Brownie Stimatze

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Judd Thomas Cherryholmes

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Beverly Lynn Musgrove

Beverly Lynn Musgrove, 60, of North Newton, Kansas, passed away Monday, June 27, 2022. Beverly was born on May 4, 1962 to Robert Eugene and E. Berniece (Drew) Musgrove. She grew up on the family farm outside of Rolla, Kansas.  Following graduation from Ulysses High School... [More]

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Arthur Gene Coghill

Arthur Gene Coghill, 82, died Friday, June 24, 2022, at his home in Syracuse, Kansas.  He was born August 17, 1939, in Lakin, Kansas the son of Sam & Mary (Florentin) Coghill.      Arthur grew up in Lakin, Kansas where he attended school.  On January... [More]

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Dr. Craydon Dean McDonald

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Baxter Black

On June 10th, 2022 Baxter Ashby Black, large animal veterinarian, cowboy poet and philosopher, husband, father and papa rode his old horse on home.  Just before sunrise on that day, Jesus signed on one more ol’ cowboy to ride the Golden Fields across the Jordan. The... [More]

Juan Carlos Cordon

Juan Carlos Cordon passed away on Friday, June 17, 2022 at the age of 12 near Syracuse, Kansas. He was born on January 16, 2010 in El Progreso Yoyo Honduras the son of Jose Luis Cordon Miranda and Olga Lobo. Juan began his life in Honduras and later moved to Deerfield, Kansas... [More]

Iona Darlene (Boyce) Markley

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