My neighbor across the street and her husband have been friends of my parents since my family bought this house in 1968. Before my mother's condition became so severe, they used to go out to lunch together.
She always calls and tells me when she's going out of town. She used to tell my dad, who passed away almost three years ago. Now that John and I are living in this house so I can care 24/7 for my mom, my neighbor calls me.
I was busy with Mom when she came over, so she talked to John. They were going to be away for a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I happened to glance out the kitchen window. I asked John, "Hey, does it look to you like the Neighbor's front door is open?"
I put on my shoes and crossed the street. I was afraid to walk in. I rang the doorbell. I hadn't been in their house since I babysat their kids in the early seventies.
I called out, "MRS. NEIGHBOR!"
I tiptoed in, yelling, "HEY IS ANYBODY HOME? HEY! I'M COMING IN! IT'S CAROLYN FROM ACROSS THE STREET! ARE YOU OKAY?? IS ANYBODY HOME??"
I was scared I was going to find a burglar with a gun or a dead body or a MOTH!
(I'm seriously freaked out by moths.)
There wasn't anybody home. They have almost the same floor plan as we do. I went straight down the hall to look in the bedrooms. This woman keeps her house seriously tidy. (If the someone came into MY house, they would say there were signs of a struggle.) But, in their master bedroom, the drawers were dumped out all over the floor.
I came back down the hall. The curtain on the sliding glass patio door was fluttering. That's when I saw the shattered glass. I ran back out of the house. John was waiting in the driveway. I told him what I saw and ran home and called the police. Then I called Mrs. Neighbor's daughter and Mrs. Neighbor's cell phone and left messages.
While I was on the phone, I saw John with neighbors from next door to us and next door to Mrs. Neighbor going into the house. I was worried that they should stay out of the crime scene. Later I saw them going in with big sheets of plywood.
I thought they should wait for the police. But I was wrong. The police didn't show up for four hours and it was getting dark. It was very kind and thoughtful for them to board up the broken patio door. And the police said they couldn't do anything until my neighbors came home so they could tell what was missing.
The Neighbors finally got my messages and called me back the next afternoon. They were way over on the east coast.
I think the replacement patio door was more expensive than anything they took. Their TV, computer, and valuable Hummel figurines were untouched.
If the bad guys had simply closed the front door on their way out, I never would have noticed anything was wrong.