Dreams really do come true. Keep dreaming!

Picking up the Pieces

The last time I blogged, I was anxiously preparing for a long Labor Day weekend away in the Twin Cities. I remember anticipating that I’d be writing all about my experience at the Minnesota State Fair when I returned home. It was my very first time going to the fair and I went with my daughter and son-in-law…along with a record breaking 250,000+ other people. Wearing super comfortable shoes, we walked and ate our way through the amazing fair grounds. My Fit Bit recorded just under 22,000 steps that day! In comparison, the next day, with feet so sore I could barely walk, my Fit Bit registered a mere 637 steps. It also gave me more than a few reprimands to GET GOING SUSAN!

Waiting for Sweet Martha's Cookies at the MN State Fair

Waiting for Sweet Martha’s Cookies at the MN State Fair

Front of the Line - Loading up the Bucket of Sweet Martha's Cookies

Front of the Line – Loading up the Bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies

Success & Worth the Wait!

Success & Worth the Wait!

But the weekend was so much more than just the fair. All of my MN family gathered for an end of the year party – where we enjoyed fabulous potluck food and hilarious moments playing games and soaking each other up. There were so many laughs and sweet moments and hugs throughout that entire weekend. On Labor Day, I spent the day with my feet up. Isn’t that how everyone should spend a day away from work? My son-in-law picked up some amazing Thai food (Green Curried Chicken with Vegetables and Pad Thai) and we spent hours playing Uno and Phase 10 and Heads-up. On Tuesday, I got to experience my daughter and son-in-law’s morning bus ride into the city and meet one of her sweet co-worker friends, along with squeezing in a visit with a high school friend before taking the light rail to the airport. The weekend left me feeling rejuvenated and almost joyful the whole flight and ride home.When I finally got home after a stop at the grocery store and started unpacking my car, I noticed a few things amiss.

  • A back door to my patio was unlocked (so not like me) – I reprimanded myself for being so careless and for multi-tasking.
  • A box sticking out from under the bed – I must have kicked it when I made my bed with fresh sheets before leaving for the weekend.
  • A handful of coins on the floor under a light switch – I couldn’t understand how they got there.
  • A purse handle hanging out from my closed closet door – It almost made me laugh to think I hadn’t noticed it before heading out of town.
  • A tube of wrapping paper hanging out of the other side of the closet – I thought I must have been a maniac when I was packing.
  • A drawer somewhat ajar in my living room armoire gave me pause – I hadn’t been in that drawer before I left for my weekend and I seldom (if ever) leave drawers not fully closed.

But I quickly dismissed them all. Then nearly 3 hours later, after having unpacked my suitcase and finished a couple loads of laundry (basically having been in and out of every room in my house and the garage too several times), while eating a fresh picked salad from my garden, I heard crickets. At first I thought I had some crickets in the house and then I realized it sounded like a window was open. It was already getting dark when I got up to investigate and walked down the hallway to my studio. I flipped the light switch on and instantly noticed the blinds over my desk looked somewhat uneven. Almost robotically I pulled the cord to open the blinds and gasped. I looked directly out into the darkness of my backyard. The windows and screen were gone. There was glass everywhere. I stood there in disbelief for a few seconds while my heart pounded and my mind raced, trying to take it all in. All I could hear were the sounds of outside and crickets. Lots of crickets.

Outside Broken Glass from Window

Outside Broken Glass from Window

What has followed has been many days and nights, and now weeks of picking up the pieces. The peace and serenity of my home has been violated, along with my closets, my drawers, my things.

I’ve been a little (okay, a lot) weepy and emotional and exhausted this whole bittersweet month. On top of all the lunch hours and time spent canceling and opening new accounts (they got some blank checks) and redirecting payments and cleaning up glass and making an inventory of what was taken (jewelry, cash, coins, 2 purses, and my work laptop), it seems that everyday I continue to be reminded of this invasion of my home space. This month also included moving (packing/moving/unpacking) to a new work location/building and getting a new manager. Every day I am doing my best to stay focused, get good rest, and keep one foot in front of the other…or maybe part of me is just going through the motions. Yesterday when pulling out of my driveway, I noticed my flowers and plants looking pretty sad. I realized in all my months of almost daily or every other day watering this summer, I hadn’t watered in more than a week…maybe two.

According to a newspaper report, there have been more than 60 burglaries in my side of town in the last few months. The police said they are mostly after gold and money. The police suspect the burglars probably spent 5 minutes in my house and since they wore gloves, there were no fingerprints. Several co-workers and friends mentioned their homes or neighbors’ homes were robbed too. My heart goes out to anyone who goes through or has gone through something like this. My sister said after she and my brother-in-law were robbed, they were still noticing things missing for more than a year.

I’m now adjusting to having a alarm system and last weekend when the wood finally came off the window and a new window and screen went up, my spirits were definitely lifted and I felt a new peace. Only I just can’t seem to get past the sick feeling in my stomach and the haunting thought that someone has been here.

There is no changing the past, but I can’t help being angry to think of all the time and energy and expense I have spent picking up the pieces (along with 60 other homeowners), for what may have taken someone maybe only 5 minutes to do.

I am determined to move past this and not let them continue to rob me of my joy, my peace of mind, my serenity. In the midst of taking inventory, I realized that along with taking my laptop, they also stole dozens of not quite finished stories (Including Chapter Three notes) that I had written over lunch hours and at night and on weekends; stories I intended to be blog posts. Sadly, non of them were able to be retrieved. I could cry to think of all the words that are gone. Sure, some of them were ideas and outlines for stories, but many of them were just a few tweaks away from being finished and posted.

Most of my writing these days has been in my journals – daily and gratitude, and I actually have a lot of gratitude. I’m grateful I wasn’t home when the intruders broke in. I’m grateful they didn’t trash my house. I’m grateful for the most part that what they took can be replaced with insurance money (minus my deductible). I’m grateful for all the family and friends and loved ones, including co-workers and neighbors who came to my aid – who came to stay with me to be sure I was alright – who brought me treats and wine and gift cards – who gave me hugs, lots of hugs – who sent words of love and encouragement and concern via text, email, voicemail and phone call. My cup truly runneth over.

And as you can see, if my garden and flowers can bounce back, so can I.

Garden Resilience in spite of my Non-Watering

Garden Resilience in spite of my Non-Watering


11 comments on “Picking up the Pieces

  1. dianescheurell
    September 28, 2013

    Oh Sue, I am so sorry that this happened to you. No wonder you haven’t blogged in a while. I too have a dozen unfinished essays waiting for my attention. It would be hard to recreate them. Know my prayers are with you. – Diane

    • spencedaniel2012
      September 28, 2013

      Thank you, Diane. Your words and prayers are a comfort to me.

  2. Jan
    September 28, 2013

    Sue how terrible to come home to a situation like that after a wonderful week-end. Will say a prayer that you feel safe and happy once again in your own home…..Jan

  3. Diane Hensley
    September 28, 2013

    I am so sorry you have to endure the pain from this unthinkable incident. You are an amazing person who makes such a difference in the lives of everyone you touch! May peace wash over you.

    • spencedaniel2012
      September 29, 2013

      Jan and Diane, thank you for your wonderful words of concern and support. Sharing the story seemed to help and reading your beautiful words made me feel better too.

  4. Therese
    September 29, 2013

    I am so sorry you had this happen to you. It almost happened to us last December (when both of my son’s (19 and 20) were home, along with a very loud dog. My son caught 3 teens in our backyard trying to open various doors and screens (they had broken into several homes in our area). They came face to face with my son through our sliding glass door before taking off. I am so thankful my son finally woke up to see what the dog was barking about. I am very happy to hear you are getting an alarm! They can be a pain but they give you peace of mind and especially if you are away.

    • spencedaniel2012
      September 29, 2013

      Thanks, Therese. I am glad your son foiled the burglary attempt. My alarm is now in and I do have peace of mind. Stay safe and well.

  5. Sally Kuhlman
    October 1, 2013

    Sue, it was wonderful seeing you on Sunday, during the Historic Home Tour. Very happy to now be following your blog. Today, I want to tell you that I know how you feel about the robbery that happened at your home. Many years ago, I had just brought my beloved Gary home from an extended hospital stay. We went out to a birthday celebration and came home to the same situation that you did. We were robbed. We felt violated, scared, and unsafe. Your home is your sanctuary; and when it is robbed, a little bit of your heart and soul are taken with material possessions. It took me a while, but I found peace in the fact that no one was hurt. Material possessions are just that . . . material. They can be replaced. Your writings will spring forth again from your imagination; and they will be even better than the ones that are gone. Believe in yourself. I’m sorry that this happened to you, Sue. It will make you stronger. You will be the victor. Yours, Sally K. (Twin A) 😉 xo

    • spencedaniel2012
      October 1, 2013

      Sally, thank you for your wonderful words and for following my blog. It is always great to see you and Susan, and Sunday was no exception. You are so right about material things and the fact that no one was home or hurt. I’m sorry you went through it too, especially at such a vulnerable time. I also appreciate your faith in me and my ability to write even better stories. My daughter believes that too. I look forward to seeing you again, hopefully soon. Until then, please stay well.

  6. Joan
    October 5, 2013

    Sue, it has taken me a long time to comment. Firstly, it was difficult reading this particular blog because it was like reopening a wound, like living this unspeakable unfortunate incident all over again. Secondly, it had to be very hard for you to rethink it all and put it down in words. I only hope and pray that this was a healing exercise for YOU because YOU so deserve to have peace and tranquility in your life again. I suspect it was and you have. I am always here. Love you dearly~

    • spencedaniel2012
      October 5, 2013

      Joan, thank you for your beautiful words and friendship. Writing this blog post was almost like therapy for me, and for the most part, peace and tranquility have returned to my home and life. It also helps that the police caught the two guys who were burglarizing my side of town. So grateful for that too. Love you the same.

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2013 by in Writing and tagged , , , , , , .
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