The infrequency of postings on this blog have me uncertain what you may or may not know regarding the state of my life. To label it “chaotic” would be wasting a perfectly good word on something that is more akin to someone spilling a barrel of mischief and telling a bunch of insane monkeys to go clean it up.
Not quite chaos, because I think chaos would be, if not more organized, at least make some sense. Maybe I’m just making a big deal over little things, but when you’re up to your eyeballs in mischief and crazy monkeys, you are allowed to make something of it, and a big deal is the easiest thing to make.
Last night, as I sat alone in my house, I could hear something crunching around the leaves scattered across my yard. Front and back, I’m ankle deep in the golden crunchy goodness of autumn.
I’m also knee deep in critters. The feral cats are still around, although their numbers are constantly shifting. More on that in another post. Plus there are raccoons and possums (ick, and double ick) that prowl the neighborhood. I do not feed the ferals at night, because I don’t want to attract the unsavory nocturnal elements. Not that the lack of food deters them at all, but I do my part.
Anyway, there was crunching in my yard last night. Scuffling through the leaves, breaking small twigs, and otherwise making a substantial ruckus. In my yard. Late at night. In the dark. While I’m alone. At night.
Are we getting the picture? I had gooseflesh and my handy-dandy ax was within my reach.
So, what’s the big deal? Critters crunch through leaves all the time, right? Right. Except…
Over the past two and a half months, my house has been broken into four times. Ok, three times, because one of those was an attempt AT NIGHT, WHILE I WAS HOME. ALONE. You can, I’m sure, understand my unease at this point.
Now, I’ve taken steps to prevent this from happening again, but if someone really wanted in that badly, a broken window would do the trick. It would be noisy and messy, but effective. And I’d rather not think about that, thank you.
I’ve installed a dead bolt on a solid wood door (ok, that was more fun than a root canal, but just barely so), installed door reinforcing hardware on another door, and jammed my garage door so tight, I’ll never get the damn thing open. Ever. And, I’ve purchased a home security system, complete with monitoring and the luxury of having them call the police in the event of a break in. It hasn’t arrived just yet, but it is on its way.
Doing all this makes me angry, because no one should have to live in a fortress just to feel safe, or just to keep their belongings in their own home. No one should have to come home and wonder what else has been taken from them while they were at work. Taken by someone who won’t get a job because they won’t debase themselves working at a fast-food place, or sweeping floors somewhere.
Excuse me for a moment, I must go collect myself.
Ok, I’m back.
Crunch, snap, noise, noise, noise. Something was moving around in the yard, something big enough to snap twigs. Since nocturnal critters have excellent low-light vision, I wondered if they really would be out there snapping twigs. I peered out the window, but I couldn’t see a thing.
I texted my nephew, asking if he would be coming home, or if he had other plans. Imagine my immense relief when he said he was on his way at that very moment. But, because he rides public transportation, it was a 90 minute moment before he got home. When he walked in the front door, I asked him if he’d noticed any activity and he said yes. I told him about the crunching and he looked uncomfortable.
“Well,” he said, “thought you meant police activity, because there are about eight police vehicles and the K-9 unit at the grocery store a few blocks away.”
I may need to upgrade my security with some ramparts and a portcullis.