But I do know the cause (or causes).
Yesterday mom and I were having a lot of fun with the girls at the festival when I noticed a man staring at Sadie. I didn't mention it in yesterdays post because I wanted to think about it all a bit more.
He was in his twenties and fit the typical "type" we've seen lately for the men and women who have descended on our county in the past month or so for the "harvest" (marijuana for those of you who don't read my blog regularly enough to know about my counties BIG problem). His mannerisms also made me wonder if he was a meth user, although he wasn't quite as twitchy as some of the "tweakers" I've seen wondering around town (meth is also a HUGE problem here).
Now Sadie was being pretty cute, running around trying to catch the leaves that were blowing in the wind (Nani was playing with her while I watched the booth), but for some reason the way that this particular man watched her made me very uneasy.
A few minutes later Nani walked over when Sadie decided to take a break from leaf chasing and told me to keep an eye on the same man, because he was acting strangely. Her first thought was that he was trying to steal from our booth. I whispered quickly to watch Sadie because he was watching her too (he stared at her for around two hours).
When Sadie sprinted back out for another round of leaf chasing I picked up my camera. And when Sadie ran by the area where he was standing I told Nani to catch her so I could snap a picture of the two of them (I was hoping for a picture with him in the background just in case he did try anything). The festival was crowded, with lots of people around who would be in the background, but the second he saw the camera the man turned his back and then moved away. After a few minutes when I put the camera back down he immediately moved towards Sadie again, watching her and following at a distance.
It was a very frustrating situation. The man hadn't actually done anything wrong. But my mom instinct was sounding loud warning bells in my brain.
I was incredibly relieved when it was time to pack up, but was hesitant about being away from the girls while I single handedly loaded the gear, tables and canopy into the truck, which was parked out on the road about fifty yards away (but I had to do it so that we could leave...). Nani sat and held Sadie on a quilt we'd brought, with Maggie laying right next to her, and I knew that they were safe, but it was still nerve wracking. Adding to the stress was the fact that the man would move closer to them when I was at the truck and then back off when I came back.
The thought did pop into my head that I am glad that I spent all those years training in various dojos. I am glad that I'm a black belt.
My mom later told me that when two law enforcement officers walked through the festival he became incredibly nervous.
I did wonder if there was really anything that could be done... I felt like I should warn someone, but there really wasn't anything other to be warned about other than a mother's intuition.
However, this, on top of last month's incident, are why I had a tough time sleeping.
I got home and checked the Megan's Law list for our area. He wasn't on our county's list, but with so many people here from other parts of the state and country, it doesn't really mean anything. On the other hand, one of our neighbors is on the list. It's frustrating because I checked the list when we were looking at apartments but he was one of the few whose address wasn't listed. The report indicates that he likes young teenage girls... but still...
Part of the problem with the drug industry is that it attracts drug users. And legalizing marijuana in California (which I think, unfortunately will probably pass next month) isn't going to change that. We'll just be welcoming criminals of all kinds into our state... I think a lot of people will end up regretting the vote they will cast next month in favor of legalization. If they'd lived in a county where growing is a major part of the economy they might realize that the problems far outnumber the "benefits" they imagine.