Monthly Archives: August 2013

Violated

With all the travel that is an integral and necessary part of my life these days, I am always saying hello and goodbye.  

I am also constantly either leaving home or returning to it.  

I know I’ve said it before, but there’s really nothing quite the same as coming home!  

And the more I travel – whether for business or pleasure – the better it feels to come home. Of course, even home is coming to mean multiple locations now. But the “real one”, my long time base in small town USA, that’s where I feel best, where I feel safest and mentally at peace. Always have, always will.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

The last homecoming however threw me for a loop. It was not a pleasant one!

The time was just after 8 pm and even on a summer night, it was dark.

Home Sweet Home final

I came home from the airport, parked my car in the garage and took whatever bags I had with me, getting ready to unlock the door to my house from within the garage. As I was unlocking the door, I happened to look down. 

What I saw was a solid wooden door that had cracked. It looked like someone had taken a lead foot and tried to kick it in.

I thought quickly, should I go in?  But the door was still locked and bolted. I thought that whoever tried to break-in did not succeed. [That was a stupid conclusion to draw even if it did turn out to be the correct one. At that particular moment, that’s what I thought, probably because my brain was partially disengaged…].

I went in slowly and carefully, turning on lights wherever I stepped.  Looking around, I did not see anything that had been disturbed in the laundry room.  From there to the kitchen and then on into the dining area and living room. Everything was undisturbed.  Upstairs, same thing.

I took a deep breath and talked myself out of feeling afraid. I was alone and only had myself to talk to.

After I had assured myself that no one had gotten in and that nothing had been disturbed  I some how, eventually, went to sleep.  After leaving on a whole bunch of lights in the house first, that is.

The next day as I was filing the police report, they told me in not so many words how reckless I had been by walking into the house like that. I should have called 911 and had them walk through to ensure that no one was in there.

“Ma’am”, the young cop said, “that’s why we’re here and that’s what we do”.

Yes, I deserved every bit of that lecture!

I was too busy telling myself not to be afraid, that I missed what could have been a real danger to me. Fair warning!

Since this happened – just a few days ago – every time there’s a noise, even a small one, I get startled. I look outside often to see if anyone is around.  I watch. I wait.

This is all new to me; I’m finding that I’ve never done any of it before.  😦

The feeling that my home was a safe haven has been breached. I need to take my time and build it back up, there is no other alternative, is there?

I just feel so violated. And for such a little thing!  I mean, it’s not like I was attacked. I didn’t lose a limb, I wasn’t subjected to chemical weapons for heaven’s sake, nor was anything valuable taken from my home.

Yet, I can’t forgive the person who did this.  They may not have been able to take anything from my home, but whoever they are, they stole a very precious belonging from me. They stole my peace of mind.  

Temporarily.

Now, I’m working on getting it back. One way or the other, I will.

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It’s not New York. But Chicago…

Yes, Chicago comes in a close second. Chicago in the summer, that is.

I came for business and stayed for a fun-filled weekend with friends in the city.

The weather was perfect – the kind that Southern California is always crowing about (and Chicago is not). And when it’s like that, Chicago comes out to play. In droves.

Chicago actually becomes unbeatable.

When you think about it, this is such an underrated city. Like the Midwest, in general. Taking on the solid, down-to-earth, unassuming qualities of a typical Midwesterner.

Yet it has everything. In droves. Chicago really deserves more respect!

It has fabulous architecture. Surrounded equally by land and water. Fantastic shopping. Super dining. Awesome music. Not to mention lots of opportunities to walk and to play. And did I say, warm and friendly people?

Now, if this visit had been in winter, I just might be singing a different song. But in the summer. ..

Why, I would rate Chicago in summer right up there as one of the best, must-see places in the world to visit before you die. No question!

Of course, you might need friends like mine – Jan and Tom – to really show you a great time. Thanks guys for going all out to show me the city that you so obviously love –  my visit was wonderfully, absolutely memorable!*

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* Even the six mile Sunday walk in the sun; I know I needed the exercise! Come to think of it, I walked more this weekend than I have in a long, long while. About time!

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And here are the pictures to prove everything I said above:

[Click on one to see a slide show]

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