Wednesday, October 15, 2008

While I was Gone...

by Annette Dashofy

Nothing exciting ever happens around here…until I go away.

This phenomenon began years ago when we still had horses. Hubby and I took off for the day and went to the Amish country. We had a lovely day. But when we returned home, we learned of what had transpired during our absence. My dad had opened the gate to get something out of the tractor shed and all three of our horses got out. What makes this especially terrifying is the fact we live on a major truck route. Two lanes of country road with semi-tractor trailers barreling along it. Apparently it had taken both of my elderly parents and my cousins who lived next door at the time AND the guests they had for dinner to wrangle the beasts and return them to their pasture.

My pulse still goes up just thinking about it.

Another time, while I was away for the day visiting a friend, two cars collided head-on in front of my parents’ house. One of the cars ended up in their driveway on FIRE. The flames scorched their maple tree. Neither the tree nor the driver (a friend of my parents no less) survived.

After that one, my mom told me I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere ever again. She couldn’t take the stress.

Last week and weekend, I was in Baltimore for Bouchercon. In case you’ve missed them, click here and here to see pictures. Sunday morning, I made my daily phone call to my mom to make sure she was okay. She was fine, but breathless, as she told me about the police that had pulled a car over in front of my house (I live two doors away…within spying distance). The cops put the two occupants of the car in the back seat of the cruiser and had the car towed.

It was probably nothing more than a vehicle breakdown. But my crime writer’s imagination conjured up drunken driving and drug busts. I still haven’t found out the details.

And then, yesterday morning I went to the local post office to buy a book of stamps and was greeted by a wanted poster on the door complete with an artist’s rendition of a man’s eyes peering through a sky mask. I paused to read and learned that the day I left for Baltimore, one of our township’s post offices had been robbed. I rushed home and did some Googling to find this. Imagine! An armed robber holding up a post office no more than five miles from my house!

And I missed it!


As far as I know, no one has been arrested. The likeness in the artist’s sketch could have been ANYBODY. I’m locking my doors, even during the day. Usually, the only interlopers we have coming onto our porch are raccoons and possums. Now there’s a guy with federal charges hanging over his head on the loose.

Yes, my crime writer’s imagination kicked in with the possibility that the two events were linked. Could the robber have been nabbed right at the end of my driveway?

Unlikely. According to my spy AKA Mom, no weapons were drawn and no handcuffs were involved.

But then again, Mom is having eye surgery in a couple weeks. Maybe she didn’t see everything that was going on. Hmmm…


Anonymous said...

Gosh, the most exciting things that have ever happened while I've gone away are once the furnace broke and once my cat, Pansy, got diarrhea. (As the pet sitter always feeds her too much salmon, didn't take much to figure out how THAT happened.)

Yours sound MUCH more exciting!

Annette said...

Eew, Tory. What a lovely "thing" to come home to. Ick.

Anonymous said...

I have a jinx too - whenever I go on vacation when I get back to work someone is unexpectedly gone. Empty cubicle, computer gone. And I missed out on the fare thee well cake.

The most extreme version of this jinx was when I came back from Italy and my work partner was gone, one day before our next big project was due. On Monday I walked past her cube and she wasn't there. Uh-oh. Folks on the floor say they can still hear my plaintive cry: "Where's Jen?"

And speaking of horses, the grandmother of our herd could open a gate with her lips in less than a minute. We had to wire every gate shut because she was always watching. Her favorite trick was to open the gate and let everyone else out to run through the garden and then stay inside the paddock. Who me? I didn't do it. I'm the good horse. Her name was Al-sha Farra and she was one in a million.

Joyce Tremel said...

Nothing exciting happened around here while I was gone. Wanna trade?

Annette said...

Martha, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that mare was Arabian. They're always too damned smart for their own good.

Joyce, NO, I don't wanna trade. It gave me something to blog about today!

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Two things come to mind for me. When we lived in Kansas City, My wife and I came to St. Louis for the Christmas holidays. I remember that I had to go back to work sooner than her, so I came back to KC with the dog.

My Lhasa Apso ran into the kitchen and I hear this banging around, then my dog comes out soaking wet. The ice maker water line had burst while we were away and I had 3 inches of water on the floor upstairs, with soaked carpets and pads, and a waterfall in the finished basement. Of course I was by myself to clean up the mess.

Second one was a power surge that blew up my big screen TV while I was on a cruise.

Anonymous said...

The most exciting thing that ever happened when I was away was that my ex-husband got arrested in my house. Terry had agreed to feed my pets and had gone to the house with his then girlfriend, Amy, to do that. They got into an argument and he left. He had the key, so Amy didn't have any way to lock the house. She stayed for awhile, waiting to see if he came back, then left. Then she got worried about leaving my place unlocked, so she went back and found the door locked. [It could be locked from the inside without a key.] She thought maybe Terry had come back, so she knocked, but no one answered, so she thought a robber had gone in, locked the door behind him, and might still be there. She called the police. They knocked, too, and no one answered, so they broke in through my kitchen window and started searching the house. Terry, meanwhile, had in fact come back but, still being mad at Amy, hadn't answered the door. When he heard someone coming in through the window, he thought it was her so he went and hid in the attic, where the police found him and arrested him.
In a way, I'm sorry I missed it, but if I had been there it could never have happened.

Annette said...

Once again, Gina wins the BEST LIFE STORY AWARD. And you seem so normal in person... ;-)

Will, how horrid. I can't even imagine the mess the broken ice maker must have made. As for the TV, I hope you have since invested in surge protectors!

Anonymous said...

Here's a different twist. Whenever I fly to Germany, there is at least one plane crash while I'm over there. A few years ago, there was at least one crash per day. And I had to fly back...
My poor husband was probably a nervous wreck by the time I came back home.
Doris D.

Annette said...

Good heavens, Doris! If I ever go to Germany, I'm going to make sure you are no where near the place!