so, this morning, we discovered that the "baby proof" doorknob cover for dade's room is definitely no longer dade-proof.
we discovered this by being awakened by the sounds of the household alarm going off, and the phone ringing with a call from the alarm company.
i never thought that i would be the kind of person that has a home alarm. i mean, i grew up in a relatively safe small town. goodness...we used to leave our doors unlocked. i know, that sounds trite and "good old days"-ish, but it's the truth. (i could start complaining about gas prices and how when i was a senior in high school, a gallon of gas was less than a dollar...but i'll restrain myself.)
however, on december 1, 2007, i realized that real life can be kind of a scary place. i mean, it hit home. jay and i were living in an apartment (the third in our lives together), while i was in my first year of residency. i loved this apartment. i mean, truly. it was conveniently close to the grocery stores, and to dairy queen (um, a girl has to have her priorities!). it was by far the nicest place we had ever lived in. and it was the first place we lived as a married couple.
i woke up that morning at like 430am...walked in to the bathroom. it was a saturday morning. i was set to get up an hour later to get ready to go to work...i was scheduled for a 24 hour shift covering the labor and delivery ward at the hospital. as i walked out of the bathroom, i looked down the hallway and the living room light was on. i thought maybe jay had gotten up and gone out there. i walked down the hallway and found a stranger standing in the living room, holding my work satchel, staring at me.
i started screaming for jay to get up...afraid to turn my back on this thief. the thief stood there, grabbed our camcorder off the kitchen table, and walked out the patio door. jay came flying out the bedroom, handgun in hand, afraid i was being hurt.
from that time on, that apartment was no longer the nicest place we had ever lived. neither jay, nor i, slept well for the rest of the time we lived there. we talked to the leasing office (a fat lot of good that did)...and they ended up letting out of our lease early.
we began looking for a house the very next weekend. i searched online, i searched as i drove. i became obsessed with getting out of that apartment, feeling that i was being watched by the people that broke in. as a side note, the guy that broke in was never found. i know, i was shocked.
we toured homes...about twenty or so, until we found the house we live in now. and we. love. this. house. i said for the first couple of years that we were here that this wouldn't end up being our "forever" house...because our bedroom is upstairs and when i'm old and decrepit i don't want to be climbing those stairs. but honestly, it may become our forever house. this is the house in which we feel safe. this is the house where the kids have been growing up. it's not huge or fancy or brand new...but it's ours.
because of the incident that happened, one of the first things we did was have a home alarm system installed. it's not that i have a lot of physical possessions to protect...it's that i have a few irreplaceable possessions that i need protected. kids and a husband will do that to a person.
remarkably...my tote was actually found about two months after the initial incident. it was a vera bradley bag that was given to me by a family member when i started residency...a huge tote with lots of pockets to haul around my medical books and equipment and my ever-present snacks (a resident never knows when she'll get her next meal). i had a tag on it with my name and the name of the residency program. it was found along a highway, in ohio, by a state trooper. he so kindly looked up the residency program on the internet, and got ahold of me to return my bag. inside i found a few of the original contents, battered, but there. the bag was muddy and had been in a snow bank. however, after replacing the cardboard bottom and running it through the washer a couple of times, it's no worse for the wear. i still have it. it's a reminder that a little TLC will usually take away the stains.
and that vera bradley bags can withstand theft, snow, being run over by cars, and still look pretty darn good.