Friday, January 13, 2012

In other days

In other days, it was a softer fall.
Rustling, slipping, drifting
From branch to earth.
It was a peaceful fall,
A gentle death.
Comforted by the soil
Which had nourished them
Through roots and branches.

But now?
Do they know?
Do they see what some will meet?
The hard-formed ground that was not made for them.
The grey. The black. The white.
The dirt which cannot nourish
Or cradle them as they fade.
Do they feel what this day brings?
Do they long for other days?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What I Learned from My Burglars

The day after my last blog, I came home to the tail end of a burglary. I've thought about blogging once or twice since then but the only topic I could really focus on was the irony of being robbed 24 hours after writing about being so sensitive. As I sit here on New Years day, I'm realizing that I have learned a lot from these burglars.
  • A housefull of policemen might feel like CSI, but it's not as much fun when it's real.
  • After a burglary, you become supremely aware of everyone who drives too slowly past your house.
  • Guilt is a surprising emotion.  Somehow I still feel guilty for "losing" some of my special jewelry.
  • Thieves take more than your possessions; they can also take your security and ability to sleep at night.
  • Even if you think a room wasn't entered, search it anyway. They probably entered it just long enough to find your video camera and social security card.
  • My sketching skills are not good at all! And I cannot remember how to draw all the jewelry that was stolen.
  • Take pictures of your home before anything like this happens! The after photos aren't nearly as helpful.
  • I'm grateful for the policemen who want to help despite their limited time and resources!
  • My students are NOT prime suspects, much to the surprise of several friends.
  • In fact, my students saved my spirits in the following weeks. I was moved by their generosity: flowers, balloons, cookies, small gifts, even a bat for protection!
  • Spokane pawn shops are interesting! Some are classy and professional. Others are scary and mighty suspicious.
  • After a burglary, you might realize new damages and missing items almost daily...for at least a month.
  • Looking for your stolen items at antique stores and pawn shops will eat up as many days as you let it!
  • Dealing with identity theft is quite possibly more frustrating--certainly more on-going--than the physical theft.
  • Attempting to sleep on the "safer" side of the house--on the floor behind the couch--might impact your mental acuity more than you'd expect.
  • The keychain-sized pepper spray is much too big for keychains. (But I will carry it anyway.)
  • When your husband says he'd "eventually" like to buy a gun, he might actually mean "this weekend."
  • My dislike for guns doesn't mean I can't shoot them well! I felt like a true Texan after proving my skill.
  • Home insurance is more valuable than I realized! I just hope I never need to use them again.
  • I can still earn a 4.0 on a final presentation the day after a burglary and a night of no sleep! But chances are that I won't remember anything about it when it's over.
  • I appreciate good news more lately. One week after the burglary, I learned that I am a finalist for the Rachel Royston Permanent Scholarship and it felt like I'd won the lottery.
  • Despite the evil out there, this town still has many wonderful people. I've been blessed and encouraged by many people in surprising ways since November 29. I wish I could find a way to show them how much their kindness means to me.
My mind is still pretty preoccupied with thoughts like these, but I'm a little less afraid each day. And I'm certainly learning a lot about safety, home security, and local police departments as a result. I'm also reminded each day that our memories and our loved ones are more valuable than any possessions. In a funny way, I guess I've actually gained a bit from this burglary!