Move Over Grand Theft Auto, Pondering A Real-life Armed Robbery In Our Neighborhood

Because sometimes odd unexpected things happen…

Last week I learned that there was an armed robbery in this subdivision.  We’ve lived here over 20 years and this is a first.  I learned about it formally from the HOA [Homeowner Association] + informally from the neighborhood grapevine.

The robbery took place in the early evening and involved two men with guns stealing a new Volvo from a neighbor’s open garage.  It’s my understanding that the house security system with alarms and cameras wasn’t on at the time.

The neighbor heard noise in the garage, went to investigate, and found the robbery in process.  He was not hurt physically, although I cannot say how it affected him emotionally.  I don’t know him personally to ask him.

The police haven’t found his car and the men who stole it.  As of today this remains an open case.  My guess is it’ll never be solved, but will become part of the folklore of this large subdivision of 800+ homes.

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A place to ponder. Drinking a mug of coffee while sitting on the deck on a foggy autumn morning.

• • •

It’s easy, and perhaps natural, to start thinking about why this robbery took place, to make up stories that might explain it.  I’m motivated by my need to make sense of this, to try to understand it.

It could be as straightforward as it seems.  The robbers who were driving a Volvo [and isn’t that interesting?] saw an opportunity to steal another one and took it.  It was a crime of opportunity, no advance planning.

This would be my preferred scenario.

Or it could be that the neighbor was working in league with the robbers, intending on splitting the insurance money.  After all, no one except the neighbor saw these two men, allegedly with guns, and because the security system cameras weren’t on at the time there’s no way to corroborate his story.

Or it could be that the neighbor owes money to someone, a bookie perhaps, and that someone arranged for payment in the form of his car.  Things like that happen in this world.  I watch police procedural TV shows;  I know things.

• • •

A view while pondering. Looking out from the deck into the backyard on a foggy autumn morning.

• • •

I’ve been trying to decide what I think about this robbery, discern how it makes me feel.  I’m not stressed by it.  I’m not worried about being safe. Instead I’m indifferent to it.

Is that peculiar?  Shouldn’t I be more panicked?

Of course, as Zen-Den pointed out, we always keep our garage doors closed plus no one wants to steal my 18 year old Honda.  Or his 5 year old one.  A fast risk-benefit analysis confirms his logic.  

Ain’t gonna happen.

Plus this robbery isn’t going to stop me from going for walks around this neighborhood.  If nothing else we might be safer now that more sheriffs are driving through here on a more regular basis.

From their point of view, we’re the place to be.

So that’s where I find myself this morning, hoping this is a one-off, an aberration and not the beginning of a trend.  I’m amazed that I’m writing about something so out of the ordinary that it doesn’t seem feasible, yet it happened.

And that’s all there is to it.

Comments, anyone? How would this make you feel?

In Which Ms. Bean Hurts Herself While Doing Good, Of Course

This is going to be a rambling blog post. ‘Tis time to tell a story, one that answers why I briefly stopped commenting on blogs, in case you were wondering. And even if you weren’t wondering, here’s the story.

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FACT #1 – About 10 years ago I was in a car accident.  A 17 y.o. neighbor girl child rear ended me as I turned into our driveway.  She was texting instead of paying attention to driving.

As a result of the accident I suffered a rotator cuff injury that, after drugs and a few months of physical therapy, healed with no lasting damage, until two weeks ago.

FACT #2 – Over the years because I didn’t know how to say “NO” I’ve inherited more stuff than you can imagine.  Among said stuff is furniture that is old, usable, but not really worthy of an auction.  More like vintage, slightly distressed furniture that you’d find at a flea market.

FACT #3 –  In August Zen-Den and I decided to contact St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store to see if they still offered free furniture pickup for donations.

The answer was a qualified “YES” in that they’ll pick up furniture that you’ve managed to wrestle to the garage, but they’ll no longer come into your house to carry the furniture out.

FACT #4 – We live in a house on a wooded ravine lot with a walkout basement.  This means that to get furniture from the basement, where it is stored, to the garage, where St. V de P will pick it up, is literally an uphill challenge.

• ❤️ •

In a moment of middle-aged bravado…

Z-D and I said to ourselves WE CAN MOVE THE FURNITURE from the basement, up the side of the hill, to the garage.  And thus we convinced ourselves that we, and by we I mean me, weren’t weak and pathetic and pre-old.

While many pieces of furniture were easily managed because they were small, think end tables or mirrors, other pieces of furniture were awkward to carry.  For instance, there was a large old oak rocking chair, but most notably THERE WAS AN OLD 5’x2’x1.5′ CEDAR CHEST that had been my mother’s hope chest as a girl.

Amazingly we got the rocker up the hill without incident, but THE CEDAR CHEST WAS ALMOST NIGH-ON IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO BALANCE as we trudged up the hill.  It is while carrying this cedar chest and not dropping it that I slipped on the grass on the hill and wrenched my previously injured shoulder.

I instantly knew what had happened, but continued to carry my end of the cedar chest into the garage BECAUSE DAGNABBIT I WAS GOING TO HELP.

• ❤️ •

Well, the rest of this story…

is exactly what you’d expect.  MY SHOULDER HURT LIKE HELL for a few days;  I started alternating ice and heat on it while taking Advil.  I stopped using my arm as much as possible, including reaching out to type on a keyboard.

And now, after about 10 days of TLC, I’m almost back to normal.  There are twinges, but no shooting pain.

As for our donation to the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, it went smoothly.  The men arrived as scheduled, were pleasant, took all that we offered them, and ultimately OUR BASEMENT IS MUCH EMPTIER/BETTER because of it.

I’ll heal, but being charmingly cynical by nature I cannot help but think of the old saying: no act of kindness goes unpunished.  I’m glad we donated the furniture, but did I have to get hurt in the process?

Apparently the answer is YES.

• ❤️ •

FYI: Yesterday morning I found this informative + fun article on NPR: Lift Your Head and Lower Your Arms– You Might Just Feel Better

I’ve done what it suggests and today I’m grooving on proper posture, finding it less painful/easier to type. When the student is ready the teacher arrives, eh?

I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls

Some of you know this story already, but I’ll be brief, keep it snappy, and tell it here so that the title of this post makes sense to you, my gentle readers.

After 4 1/2 months of waiting we finally got new replacement windows on the front of the house.

It was a tedious, anxiety-producing process that started with a 3 1/2 month wait, involved delivery of mis-measured windows, a thwarted installation, a makeshift faux installation of the wrong windows to fill the holes in the house created by the thwarted installation, waiting… waiting… waiting again…, and then correctly-sized windows properly installed.

A Christmas Pella miracle, she says with a hint of sarcasm.

The result of this home improvement project is: 1) we no longer have leaky broken windows;  2) we are noticing how much quieter it is in the house with new windows;  and 3) we have no blinds, my preferred window treatment, to put on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows on the front of the house.

Specifically blinds for the windows in the home office where I sit at the desk while using a desktop computer to write this blog.

Forsooth.

But here’s where it gets fishy. Now that it’s darker outside in the early morning, and with no blinds on the windows, I feel like a guppy in a fishbowl sitting in this room. Passersby, whether they be kids on school buses or runners or adults walking their dogs, can see me swimming around sitting at the computer, under the overhead light, doing my early morning bloggy thing, often in my pajamas.

We taped a plastic super strength high density painter’s drop cloth over the windows in an attempt to make this room less noticeable from the street, but it just blurs me, doesn’t hide me.

Ptooey, she says with a hint of defeat.

I don’t like the idea of being on display here each morning but until we get blinds on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows, that took longer to manufacture and install than building this house did, I’ve no choice but to live my life like a fish in a fishbowl for everyone who goes by to see.

And ain’t that grand?

Don’t Let The Smile Fool You, It’s A Sad Ad

WHO YOU CALLING OLD?

The above advertisement has been following me around the internet like a bored toddler.  It showed up on my email sidebar a few days ago and has stayed with me as I research and read all over the intertubes.

I can’t decide if I’m insulted by the advert’s implication that I’m mature [old?] OR if I’m charmed by its desire to help me look better. Presumably.

Of course if you look closely you’ll notice that there’s no indication of the name of the company that makes this allegedly fabulous lipstick nor where I might buy said lippy.

IT’S A SAD AD IF YOU ASK ME.

But here’s the thing, no one has asked me.  It’s as if no one cares about my need for or opinion about the product featured in this unsolicited advertisement that will not go away.

And no matter how much I keep smiling about this advert, and all the other unsolicited ones that clutter my computer screen, I cannot help but feel irritated by the impudence of these wet-behind-the-ears companies assuming I’d want to buy anything from them because they’ve decided I’m mature.

PIFFLE, I SAY.

photo by Alexas_Fotos via pixabay

The HOA Is Asking Us To Decide Something Morally Murky

Seeing clearly? Antique lenses used by eye doctor to determine the prescription for your spectacles.

• • •

When I saw the lawyer’s return address on the letter in our mailbox I knew something was up with the Home Owners Association [HOA].

I opened the envelope and began to read the letter + the attachments, written in legalese, describing what the HOA wants us, the homeowners, to decide about changing our by-laws.

I like our HOA.  The people on it do a good job of informing us in a timely manner about break-ins and coyotes and streets under repair and pool closures. Things like that, plus they do a great job of keeping the entrances looking spiffy.

They earn their keep;  however I find this proposed addition to the by-laws to be a dicey issue.

We are being asked as a group to decide if a registered sex offender [in any state] can buy or rent a house in this large subdivision.

I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer to this proposed addition to the by-laws because while it may be legal, this is a morally murky area.

I mean, if someone has done their time for their crime do we have the right to not let him or her live here? Or is this a high-handed way to snoop inside the lives of other people?

And further, what about domestic violence perpetrators with a police record? Or drunk drivers with multiple arrests?  Do we refuse to allow them to live here?  They worry me as much as, if not more than, registered sex offenders.

Like I said, no clear answer here– but a great topic of conversation. What say you to this? Comments are open below.