Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's a new day.

Like I mention in previous posts, Thor and I married young, in 1976. In all those years we have lived a few different places. Our first place was in a smallish town near the big city. We had little finances to play with so we lived in a tiny apartment in an "o.k." neighborhood. Things went well. Yes we had a murder in the field next to our complex, yes, there was a rape and a few burglaries in the area before we moved. But all in all it was home.

We moved back to our home town just minutes before our first born made his entrance into the world. That apartment was also in an exciting neighborhood. The gal across the sidewalk was a late night worker if you know what I mean. She would set her two toddlers out on the porch while she "entertained" her gentlemen friends, then scoop them up and put them back to bed once the guys left. Kids would riffle through the dumpsters, a house across the street was robbed once, and well, it was home.

Our first "real" house was in another small town. We were the only house on the block for a bit, well us and the strange family across the street. Eventually other houses would be built and folks would move in. Families like the one on the corner where, if you knew about it, you could score some pot. One night the police came to our door in search of "evidence", seems one of the neighbors made another neighbor mad and they fought in our front yard. Someone lost a finger and well, there you go. Good times.

We moved from that house and into an in-law's. We baby-sat that house for a while during their out of state move. A nice house with a huge floor plan and a pool. And evidently a large neon sign that said "Please take any vehicles left in the drive way!" Our one and only car was stolen. Oh well, we liked the pool!

Then we moved to the place we are in now. The second year we were here the house behind ours, kitty-corner, ended up being a crack house. The house across the street had a parolee, and the house down a ways was occupied by a habitual wife beater. Actually beat the tar out of his wife right in our front yard with the kids (ours and theirs) watching.

Still in all those years, all those homes, all that "fun" we never felt the need to lock a door. It was a joke actually. Anyone who knew us would exchange horrified looks when we told them to just come in if they needed to drop off something while we were out. We would leave for vacations and never lock a door. We would come home after long days and find a kid asleep on our couch, not our kid, just someone's friend who knew we were a safe place to rest until their parents could pick them up.

Last Saturday Thor went down to Lowes, laid down $145.00 and brought home a deadbolt and new knob for the door. It's a first folks. Never since I was 18 have I lived anywhere I felt unsafe. But the robberies are happening with regularity and during the daylight hours, and with just moments to spare as far as timing. You leave the house, someone breaks in and by the time you get back from the grocery store everything is ransacked.

Don't get me wrong. For years we both felt it was much better to allow someone to come in and steal what they felt they needed and walk away. Heck, what have we got that is all that great to begin with? Not much. An old piano, an out of date t.v. with a big yellow dot here and another green dot over there. A radio that still plays cassette tapes along with the c.d., and two computers, one with Vista, so you know no one wants that one! Still it's the thought that these robbers trash the place while they search. grrr.

I don't much care if someone takes my "things" just do it with out making me have to replace all the stuff you leave as well. So we have locks now. I hate locks. I hate feeling unsafe. I hate being somewhere I know my neighbors lay in wait to abuse my good nature. I am not a huge fan of creepy people as neighbors.

What to do? What to do? Not much. All we can do is what we have done. Try to make it difficult and harder for our house to break into than someone else's on our block. Great. I feel like "Hey don't rob us, rob our neighbor, cause they didn't protect themselves as well as we have!" Yah, now I'm hoping someone else gets it before we do. ugh. So we now bolt the doors, lock the windows and pray a lot. I went and made a key for each of the kids and there you go. Now we are like everyone else on the planet. Cynical and wary. I hate being wary. It makes me weary.

add to sk*rt


Jared said...

So how is it that I was friends with first born for so many years, and a.) never knew your house was never locked, and b.) never knew why you moved to in-laws and the story about the finger!?!?!? I feel so out of tune. I just remember swimming in the pool once, and then you guys moving back to the "good side" where we started seeing you again. I guess I was oblivious to the goings on in our small town as a kid.

Susan M said...

You've lived some colorful places! Sometimes I prefer the neighborhoods that are obvious/honest about their issues.

We only ever locked our doors when we lived in the gang neighborhood. We didn't have anything worth stealing, either, but they'd steal it anyway. Mostly I was worried about coming home alone with the kids and finding a crack addict passed out on our couch!

Daniel lived in a house as a kid where if you went out to check the mail, by the time you got back to the front door it'd be locked. (His grandma lived with them and would constantly lock the door.) He hated it.

The Pea said...

Hey I hope this doesn't make me a jerk, but, listening to your problems makes me feel better about mine!
Love you!!

S'mee said...

Jared, you were always a tad "special" so things may have eluded you. ; > lol Actually I think it is more of a case of "hey guess what happened last night at our house?" "JARED! JAAAAARED!" "yea mom" "You guys want some monkey bread?" And that was that.

Remember Steven on the corner? Yea, his dad cut up the music teacher who lived next door to us, which coincidentally is why *they* moved!

And you never heard me tell you, "if ever.....Come on over you know 'the code' to the alarm!" wink wink?

Susan, Daniel's gramma sounds like my s-i-l, who constantly locks herself out of her own house while checking mail, getting groceries, etc!

And Pea...hey, whatever I can do to help make you feel better! lol

chronicler said...

Sounds a lot like childhood to me. No more free lunches as I pass through though!

Glad to hear you made it home, and my favorite line of the day: She looks so young!

Lisa M. said...

I never lock my doors either, and I am sorry that it's had to come to this.

I've been reading for an hour, and it is wonderful to be back.

I've missed this place.

I love the pictures.

Love you too-