Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Interesting Start To My Day

Now and then sleep eludes me.  Last night was one of those.  I went to bed around 11:30 and finally gave up on sleeping over an hour later.  I got up and came into my living room where my computer is located, sat down and decided to write for a while.  I had a couple of ideas for blog posts, so I worked on them.

Somewhere around 2 AM I shut the computer off and settled down in my recliner.  Sometimes I sleep better there than in bed.  I was just starting to doze when I heard a sound that resembled a thud.  I remember thinking that some damn fool drunk had run his car into the corner of the building beneath my open window.  My nine pound early warning system, Lily the Yorkie, was peacefully snoozing in her kennel.  I knew there was nothing in the hallway to worry about or she would have been loudly protecting her food dish.  She can go from a sound asleep to standing stiff-legged barking like mad in about three seconds if anyone lingers outside my apartment door.  I listened for a minute or two for any other sounds, heard nothing, and then fell asleep.

About 6 AM Lily wakes me.  She is loudly guarding her food.  Between barks I catch the sound of a sharp rapping on my door.  I ask who is there and a voice identifies himself as a police officer.  A look through the peephole confirms this.  His face is familiar to me so I ask him in.  He says they noticed my open window and wondered if I had heard any noises during the night.  I describe what I heard.  He wants to know if I heard anything that sounded like breaking glass and I reply that I did not.  He is particularly interested in the time of night I heard the sound.  He then explains to me that during the night someone broke into the bicycle shop beneath my apartment and stole a particularly expensive bike from the show window.  He apologizes for waking me at such an early hour,  asks me to call if I remember anything else, apologizes again and leaves.

This is the second time this summer that something has occurred here that involved the police.  Earlier my neighbor's grandson had broken into the bar behind my building, had cut himself up in the process and had then raised all sorts of hell trying to get his drugged up self to his grandmother's apartment to hide.  And now this.  Even with a bar next door and another behind the building, it is a fairly quiet neighborhood.  There is the usual Saturday night whooping and hollering from the younger set who, after a few beers, don't seem to have the sense that God gave a goose.  There is an occasional fight but even those are few and far between.

My slightly paranoid, tin foil hat wearing self has to wonder if this might not be a sign of things to come.


  1. You really need a firearm, if you don't already have one.

  2. Matt...I've got that covered. Even though my town is much more quiet than the city, I believe in being prepared for anything. Daddy raised no fools. :)

  3. Like I say all the time it pays to be viligaint. Its quite here after like 6:30pm. the whole town closes except for the 3 gas stations, Subway,D.Q.,and Marketplace Foods.

  4. It is usually fairly quiet here as well. I'm not one of those people who think it can't happen here. I know that it can and most likely will. Wish I had heard the glass break, tho. Then I would have known what was happening.

  5. Waaaaay back when, I had my weapons, but I never wanted to be woken up with someone standing over my bed. So I concocted my own cheap burglar alarm. I took metal trays and set them in front of the door and vulnerable windows and stacked empty cans on top of each other with marbles inside. On the other hand, you could hang something inside your windows like windchimes. On the OTHER hand (I have three hands) there are single alarms to stick to the window frames that go off if the seal is broken.

    On the other foot, make sure you have a flexible fire escape ladder that hooks over your upstairs window sill if there's ever a fire below you.

  6. Dana...I tried the stacking stuff in front of the door thing, but I have animals who think it is fun to play in the middle of the night. The door is double locked with a deadbolt. The door opens inward, so I wedge a chair under the doorknob at night and that seems to work, although I've never had to test the theory.

    I live on the second floor of a straight sided building. Someone would have to come equipped with a ladder to get in the windows. They crank outward and double lock inside. I have candles and plants and junk on the sills so anyone trying to get in that way at night would probably knock something down.

    The outside doors are kept locked and there is a keypad to call the apartments to get in. Which doesn't make sense to me because there is glass in the outside doors. It is heavy duty double paned with wire mesh between the panes, but if someone wanted in badly enough, the glass could be broken. Nothing I can do about that.

    I have fire extinguishers, but not the rope ladders. Thanks for the reminder. It is on my "to do" list.

    I sleep light. My mother was ill for many years and I would get phone calls at odd hours because of that. Even though she died a number of years ago, the habit to wake up at the ringing of a phone has mutated to waking up at any odd sound. Except for the trains that go by a block away. I never hear the whistles at night. Go figure.

    And I have Lily the infamous guard dog who will alert at any noise outside my door. She doesn't guard me. She guards her food bowl. But it works.

    And I am armed. Within easy reach.

  7. Dana...PS. Thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate it. It is nice to know that there are those besides close family who care about whether you are alright.

  8. Maybe it's time to move. That is beginning to sound like too interesting a place to live.

  9. Harry...I have thought about moving and will give it some more serious thought. The problem is finding a place that is on the bus line as I have no car and finding a place that is affordable. I think if these kinds of things were happening more often I would be more inclined to move. Right now I have good neighbors in house and a really good landlord. Who knows the kind of environment I would be in somewhere else. Sometimes the unknown winds up being worse than the known.

  10. I can understand the necessity to live where one can afford, but I must admit I would have a difficult time living under those conditions. I'm very fortunate that I live in a very conservative western state in a rural location and I don't have to deal with these types of situations.
    My hopes and prayers are that you will remain safe in the future.

  11. Jim...Thank you for your concern. My living conditions aren't really all that bad and incidents like the one last night are rare. I have lived here nearly 18 years. I think I would be much more uncomfortable in a large apartment complex than I am in an old historic building with only 7 apartments and where I know all of the tenants. About 10 years ago the landlord did a major remodel of the apartments and mine is quite comfortable. The outside walls are thick and I am bothered by street noise only when windows are open and usually only on Saturday nights. The bars are of the neighborhood variety similar to a "Cheers" type. This side of town has no obvious gang activity or big city crime. Local police are more Mayberry than military. A couple of the officers who were here the night my husband died 6 years ago, still stop to talk with me if they see me on the street, asking if I am doing alright. It was one of them who rescued my dogs when my apartment filled with smoke due to a fire in a downstairs apartment a year ago. So all things considered, I could be living in much worse places.

    Granted, I am a country girl at heart having lived in rural areas most of my life, and would prefer that life over this, but sometimes we just have to bloom where we are planted.