This past week was a challenge, topped off with the night I heard an intruder in the house. Yes, that’s what I said, an intruder. I was completely alone, getting ready for bed, and someone was in the house.
The kids were for sure in Boston at a concert and nobody has a key to my home.
I chose this house because of it’s comfort, light, coziness and sense of safety. I shopped for it as a newly single mom with my two littles, just barely three and five years old. I took a bunch of things into consideration – making sure we weren’t on the first floor, that we had double door entranceways, decent locks, and some privacy. I had so many choices and this ended up being, and has always been, our safe haven. As my girls say, “there’s not one scary spot in our home”.
But of course, if someone wants to get in, they will find a way. I know this. Despite my deafness, I heard the intruder walking around down there – I thought I may have even heard him coming up the stairs . I put on my hearing aids, locked the bedroom door, held my phone in my hand and listened hard to the footsteps.
You know, I am proud of the fact that I can do so much on my own. But, THIS people, is when ya’ll (I) need a man in the house.
Scared of the dark back in the 70’s/80’s and some of the 90’s (yes really), you couldn’t pay me to go into my closet at night.
I was sometimes left downstairs to finish my vegetables. I’d sing and talk really really loud to myself to scare away the monsters I imagined lurking around the dark doorways. I figured they were standing in the back garden, leering through the windows as I gagged down a bowl of peas- hurrying to join the rest of the family upstairs.
In all the years I camped and backpacked, the dark was scary. This means, as a teenager, I still hadn’t outgrown it, but I didn’t let on – I was hiking around the mountains with a lot of cute boys for goodness sake. It was “cool” to (pretend to) be a tough girl – that alone gave me courage.
Apart from wild animals (in my case, I saw a bear from afar one morning and ran into a few skunk and porcupine through the years, otherwise, nothing), the random “crazy” that could be lurking in the woods was unnerving. There was a story about a guy named “Gumbus” who lurked in the woods near where we used to trek. THAT, my friends, was ninety percent the reason I would wait until the sun came up to unzip my tent and go to the bathroom. The smaller reason was because there were rumors that someone had escaped into the mountains from the prison that was nearby. Yes people, every Summer, “someone escaped” (not).
Don’t laugh, didn’t you read about the “male subject assaulting hikers on the Appalachian Trail“? He was arrested in April – then let go – and then this week it was bad. Kevin is not phased of course. But, really, you hang your food in the trees every night in case a bear comes along, but you aren’t wary of crazy strangers carrying a “machete-like knife” and assaulting (and murdered) folks on the trail?
For the first time in the 13 years I have owned my home, someone or something was inside my home who wasn’t supposed to be. Unfortunately this isn’t as exciting as it could be. But I will tell you, when things quieted down, I risked my life by slowly opening the door. I heard nothing when I went down to the living room – it was quiet as I toured the rest of my house.
Then the footsteps sounded again – down the stairs behind me, bare feet padding heavily with each step – and then he appeared at the bottom of the steps – one of my big fat Puerto Rican cats, Jesse, letting out a bit squeaky “meow”.
Evidently, “overnight”, he started walking like a person, his footsteps echoing up and down the stairs.
Said intruder – There’s nothing more to the story. I’m fine.