So here we are, back again. You might have heard that Nor'Easter Athena was hitting the North East (surprise!) right now. We didn't get that much snow here, but the wind is still crazy. I can hear it howling past the sides of my house, and I have to keep a rocking chair propped up against the door on my front porch so it doesn't continually slam open and shut. I know it is very windy out -- important fact to keep in mind as you read on.
About 2 o'clock this morning it must have gotten very windy. Jazz-kitty starts bugging out and wakes me up jumping on and off the bed. I got up, gave her some treats, and hoped she would calm down. I figured while I was up I might as well take a gander at the back yard and see how much snow we had gotten.
I go out on the back porch, note that there isn't much snow, and then I notice the side door to my garage.
Why the hell is the door wide open?
Now, I had gone out before work that morning to retrieve my shovel and ice melt, but I know I did not leave that door open. I'm a little OCD about making sure things are secured when I leave a place -- just ask my coworkers. I know that door was shut.
Remember that it is 2 in the morning. I'm half asleep. Rational thoughts are not the ones taking precedence in my brain at this point. I try to tell myself that it must be the wind that blew it open. That must be it. I snuggle back into bed, and just as I start to drift off my brain decides it is time to remind me that it might be a burglar or a homeless person. Thanks, brain! Just what I needed to dwell on in the middle of the night.
So I get up again, a little freaked out at this revelation. I go out on the back porch and look again. Yup. Door is still open. Shit.
Does it occur to me that there are no footprints in the snow, so very little chance anyone has gone in or out since I got home hours earlier? Nope. However I do jump to the conclusion that a poor homeless person would have shut the door behind them to keep the relatively warmer air inside, so cross that off the list of horrible scenarios running through my head.
Now on to the thought of a burglar, rummaging my garage as I stand there in my pajamas on the back porch like an idiot. That motivated me to get back inside and make sure the back door was securely locked.
WTF do I do now? No way in hell am I wandering out to the garage in the middle of the night to confront a possible pissed-off burglar. Yeah, in my mind it morphed into a shady character complete with black ski mask that was pissed because after breaking in he/she realized I had jack shit of any value in the garage, except for maybe my brother's tools. I'm not going to call the police about this either because I don't want to be the crazy lady who called because the wind blew her garage door open. No way. I have to call them enough at work that I don't need them thinking I am a nutcase.
But what if my imaginary, pissed-off burglar is so angry at finding nothing of any value in the garage that they decide to break into the house? What the hell am I going to do then? I needed a plan.
So I made sure my purse, my car keys, and my cell phone were all next to my bed. If anyone tried to get in I could climb out the window and call the police, and drive to safety. That's a good plan! I'm so smart! And then I grabbed the baseball bat just in case I had to beat the living shit out of someone. Back-up plan.
I finally managed to drift off to sleep around 4 in the morning. Here is my spectacular thinking on why it was safe to do so: my neighbors would be up in a couple of hours to get ready for work and shovel if necessary. A smart burglar would want to leave before anyone saw them, so they obviously must have left the garage by now. That was literally how I convinced myself to get some sleep.
When I woke up this morning and was more lucid, the first thing I did was look at the garage again. The door was still open, but it looked so much less ominous in the daylight. It did occur to me then that I was a moron and there were no footprints, just tracks from stray cats, birds, and squirrels.
I called my mother and kept her on the phone while I went out to look around and see if anything was missing, just in case an axe-murderer was waiting to get me. Nothing was missing, no sign of anyone or any furry animal friends having been inside.
And then she tells me, after I got back inside the house, "That happened last week too, during the hurricane while you were at your brother's. Dad thinks the latch is old and doesn't catch well. He's planning to put another lock on it this weekend."