I almost never go to town on Tuesday mornings.
But the printer ran out of ink, and there was no way I could follow the statistics lesson plan that evening without hard copies of the handouts. “Damn it,” I thought aloud. “Why didn’t I think about this when I was in Columbus last week?” I guess the rigors of grad school are taking a toll on me. I’m over half-way through the program, but this semester has been a challenge. The academics of mass media research methods are new to me, and I’ve second guessed my intellectual stamina more than several times.
There was no second guessing this situation, however. I grabbed my wallet and keys, told my Yorkie to take care of the house and literally ran out the door.
It was 9:30 a.m.
I called my brother after I crossed the three creeks between the Crossroads and La Grange (no signal even with Verizon when one crosses the creeks). “How about us starting on the fences at the studio next week?” I asked him. “That should work,” he answered. “Give me a call on Monday and we’ll see what day works.”
I checked the time. It was 9:35, and I was almost to town. I should be able to grab a cartridge and get home by 10 or a little after.
Staples wasn’t busy. In and out in about five. “Might as well run to Kroger while I’m here,” I thought.
So I turned right toward Kroger, rather than taking a left and coming home. I was still making good time.
Few were gathering groceries that early, so I was on my way home by a little after 10. “Okay. That wasn’t so bad,” said the running commentary in my head. “I’ll have the headphones on, listening to that statistics tutorial in no time.”
Crank up the radio and head for the house.
My nephew was late for work Tuesday morning…very unusual for him. As he drove past my house around ten, he noticed a SUV in the driveway. It was not a car he recognized but he figured it belonged to a friend of mine. There was someone sitting on the passenger’s side, and judging from how low he was sitting in the seat, my nephew thought he was a child. Later, my brother’s son told me that as he stared at the car, his eyes locked with those of the waiting passenger. It was an instantaneous gesture that proved to be nothing less than divine intervention.
At about 10:25, I pulled into the garage at the back of the house like I usually do, grabbed my purchases and unlocked the back door.
“Is there a sweet little dog here?” I called out. I walked up the steps and turned to go into the kitchen.
I froze – literally froze. My blood ran cold and my heart stopped. The door was open. There was a hole in one of the window panes and glass was all over the floor.
“Maybe a bird flew in,” said the ever-optimistic voice inside my head.
“No, darling,” answered Reason. “Someone broke into your house.”
I dared not breathe. I felt an evil presence. The hole in the window was violent. Were they here? There was an eerie, frightening silence in my home.
My eyes darted quickly toward the living room. I saw the wires to the TV dangling from the wall. I knew the culprits were gone. It was too large of an appliance for someone to be standing there holding it.
I dropped the bags and ran toward the back of the house , calling for my pup. My heart was pounding. “What if they hurt my baby?” I rounded the corner and there he was – sitting on the couch with his little ears straight up in the air – shaking. I grabbed him and held him as close as I could. It felt like I needed more air than my lungs could supply.
Trying to maintain, I walked into the office, expecting too see laptop, camera, and internet device all gone. I exhaled a little. Things were like I left them. I turned and looked toward my bedroom.
“Oh God,” I said aloud.
Things were askew. I started shaking. The first call was to my sister-in-law and brother. Then 911.
What couldn’t happen, had, in fact, happened.
There is much, much more to the story – frightening details you will not believe. But I’m done for now.
Suffice to say I’m a very lucky lady that the printer ran out of ink. Suffice to say I know the angels are working overtime.
More to follow later.