Ever come home from the grocery store mid-morning, say, 11AM or so, and surprise a burglar? We did, Tuesday.
Three guesses as to his mode of transportation.
I'd play hard to get with the answer but those who read my blog regularly have probably already guessed.
He came on a bike, with a basket to hold one pack while he carried another slung over his shoulder. Apparently planning to quik-pik his way up the neighborhood.
He parked his bike in the driveway, in a position that made a good compromise between hiding it from immediate view, behind shrubbery, and keeping it enough in the open for handy retreat access.
An amateur would have wheeled it around back where he entered, but he'd have had to ride it back out through mushy grass or garden, on a narrow path that could get him trapped and necessitate taking off on foot and abandoning it. Parking it in front looks so "I'm just a thirsty cyclist on a hot day, I have nothing to hide," if it gets seen by neighbors or even caught by the homeowner. He knew what he was doing. We certainly took him by surprise because he was around back of the house, and had quickly exited the garage when he heard the car pull in. He left the garage door pushed open, and we later found drawers pulled open, way off in the foyer.
We have not been locking the garage's patio door because the garage does not allow access to the house, and because the masses of paperbacks and grubby Cabbage Patch dolls, and other unsold goods in there are about all it contains. If the guy had taken the moldy Alf lunchbox, I'd thank him.
And we keep the door cracked because Scooter the cat needs to get his stubborn butt in to cool off, eat and drink. Yes, before you say it, it's time for a locked door with a cat door cut in it. Since the door is steel, and since it's not our house, that's not been a top priority project.
When I spread the word in the neighborhood, I got confirmation of a homeless camp in those State Park woods right across the creek. Always thought it was the ideal spot so that was no surprise.
The woods across the creek, and this neighborhood have obviously always been this near one another, but when park visitors had to walk down a dangerous highway shoulder -- Highway 17 splits right there and cars are whippin' along at the Bypass 17 speed as they enter Business 17, which I neglected to label in the map -- not much crossing back and forth went on. Now the bike bridge makes it safe, easy, and fast.
Larry confronted him in the back yard. The guy seemed to be high but not too high to plan and execute the attempted theft, and to play it nicely to avoid personal harm. He wandered away from the back door with a dumb grin. He said he was just looking for water. Larry pointed out the hose at his feet, one of two he'd walked past. He drank a few sips, asked to shake Larry's hand, walked back to the front with Larry following. Larry said, "Is there any reason we should look in your bag?" The guy grinned dopily, said "eh eh....Nah....Have a good day." He rode slowly off. We checked and can't see any particular thing missing, though it's a chaotic heap in there. I expect he was caught too fast, or found little worth picking, probably both. We did not call authorities. Several people have told us we should have. We'd already decided to lower the hammer in any future incidents.
And then the smoke started. Late yesterday it was so thick that I thought surely the dreaded wildfires are coming our way. This photo lacks the drama it should have, but you should know I took it directly facing the western sun, and the smoke was dimming everything like a blanket.
The pack-and-run anxiety began to build. Then, amazingly, it turns out to be coming from Florida and Georgia.
In the map below, you see Garden City at the top, and that's where we live. At this projection, the map doesn't label Murrells Inlet which is right next to GC, just a little set back, down the inlet. Source of the smoke is a bunch of fires at the bottom of the map. Not good.
The wind conditions have improved the air today. You can still smell the smoke, but it doesn't make me wheeze. This is shaping up to be an interesting summer. I've had interesting summers and I'm really not wanting one.