Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Home again.

I carefully planned my retreat from my house. Plants were watered. Dog door blocked. Doors carefully locked and double checked. Heat turned down to 65°. Fans turned off. Coffee maker was cleaned and unplugged. Trash was taken out so as not to smell funny upon my return. Carpet vacuumed. Remote carefully placed on the arm of the loveseat to be easily found when I wanted to turn on the television. Cat and dog food was put away. Water bowls were emptied, waiting to be refilled.

I like preparing my little nest so it’s waiting prettily for me to come back from any trips. It makes me sad to leave home (where my parents live) – I miss the noise and laughter and chatter that comes with having other people around. I miss teasing my parents and knowing they think much like I do about many issues. I like cuddling into Mom and having her smooth my hair. I like how Dad brings me coffee when I shuffle into the living room each morning. Then I get refills for both of us. It’s just nice – cozy, comfortable and familiar. A distraction from any negative thoughts and a nudge into feeling happy when otherwise my mind would be blank.

I’m better at home than I am most places.

But my house is also nice. It was wireless internet. Is blessedly quiet. Sprout feels very much at home and I don’t have to search the house – dark corners of the basement especially – when he won’t come out. I just assume he’s fine. Chienne has her dog door so she can move freely inside and out. It’s comfortable here too – more isolated and lonely, but cozy and lovely too. Mine.

After about 8 hours in the car, anywhere would be good. I get so tired of sitting. Of fighting traffic. Of meowing cats and antsy dogs. Of the musty smell that builds when transporting animals for long distances. Drinking soda for miles and miles. Monotony broken only by stops at the gas station and audiobooks. It sucks.

So Chienne and I were both bouncing with excitement when we turned into our neighborhood. There were Christmas lights glistening from many houses, and I cooed at them. I like Christmas lights and people tended toward my favorite schemes – white outside, colored inside. Wonderful. The trip is almost over! I’ll quickly be home to shower, unpack, and order some pizza! (We’re too rural for pizza delivery at home, and while it’s a distant second to wireless, high-speed internet, I did miss it too.)

So I was completely eager to reach my house when I turned the final corner. Then my stomach clenched.

The garage door was open. Light off – so it had been open for a long time. But there was no white door – instead I could see a few items where the street light illuminated the first few feet of space inside my attached garage. And while the front and back doors were secure, the garage door always remains unlocked. Someone could have easily backed into the garage, loaded up my precious belongings and driven away. Anytime over the past week, apparently.

But I drove in, closed the garage door behind me, then allowed Chienne her freedom. I timidly opened the door, flipped up all three switches in that hallway, and listened carefully, cell phone clutched in one hand. The dog gave me a look, then trotted in, doing her general walk through the house to make sure nothing had changed. I did an unusual trip myself – checking to see if the computer, television, jewelry and other items were still around.

They were. So instead of calling 911, I dialed my parents. Upon answering, Mom immediately asked what was wrong after I said hello. I don’t hide tension well.

Dad demanded I go find a neighbor to check the attic. So I let him go while I unloaded the car. Why – upon reaching an open house – would someone make themselves at home in my unfinished attic space rather than stealing some stuff and leaving or at least making themselves comfortable in the furnished, nice parts of the house? Nobody’s up there – I’ve been here about an hour now, and I’m remarkably certain of that.

But it was a rude shock – knowing the garage likely bounced up as I drove away last Wednesday (sometimes the sensors are weird, which is why I usually check to make sure it stays put) – upon returning home. But I’m the only one upset. Sprout’s sprawled on the ottoman – fast asleep after thoroughly cleaning one paw. Chienne found the spot with the most blankets on the couch and is also doing some napping.

We’re all content to be back home. Though last night was the first I didn’t sleep well, I think I’m semi-ready to be back at work. I have meetings tomorrow – they dragged me back when I was planning to take the whole week off. But now I’m in the land where conditioner is kept in showers, there are robes for afterward and multiple towels. And the water pressure! If I could write poetry, I’d include some work on how lovely my shower is here. (I just got out, actually. Such a blissful experience – showering in my master bathroom.)

Tomorrow I shall decorate my own home for Christmas and sort through the mail. But for now, my general well-being from being at home seems to have headed south with me. I feel good. Settled and peaceful. We’ll see how long it lasts.

(If I’m wrong about the attic being empty of intruders, I don’t think it’ll last very long.)

3 comments:

rented life said...

I would be unnerved to, but I wouldn't have even been able to go into the house, I would have called someone or gotten the neighbor to go in.

Animals normally can sense if something is wrong, so I would take their peace as a sign that all is ok.

Locks said...

Glad you're safe. When I was about 10, our house was robbed. "Rude shock" just about sums it up, but in the end we were happy that everyone in the family was safe.

Anyway, I am so glad no one invaded your space--I would make sure that garage door is fixed ASAP tho!

Hope you had a nice holiday and that the week at work is going well.

JustMe said...

yah, i would have been freaked. glad all is ok.

and christmas lights! i love decorating for christmas, i will miss having my own place to decorate the year...

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