Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: GOING HOME (from vacation) (09/03/15)
TITLE: Walk on By
By Pat Small
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We had stared wonderingly down the long passage from our stateroom. No end was in sight. We made our way to midnight buffets. One night was Italian night. I didn’t know there were so many ways to fix pasta. Forget the books about one hundred ways to fix hamburger. There must be two hundred ways to fix pasta. And the cannolis. They were to die for. We had enjoyed Vegas type shows and lazed by the pool aboard ship.
While in the Bahamas, we had snorkeled, visited an aquarium, and roamed through dozens of stalls selling what can only be described as junk. Nevertheless, I bought a floppy hat, had my hair braided, and even was convinced back at the resort to sample a Bahama Mama in its souvenier glass and adorned with a tiny orange umbrella.
But getting back to our house; as we approached the door, we noticed the splintered frame and the dirty boot mark, and immediately exonerated our son. It was obvious that we had been robbed. Hesitantly, we went in. Since there was no vehicle around, we assumed whoever had been there was long gone. We were so right.
Not only was he gone, so was our brand new television – so new that we hadn’t even had a chance to dispose of the box before we left. What else is missing, we wondered. Walking from room to room, a quick glance confirmed that our Bose radio, camcorder and computer, among other items, had left with him. I had to admit that the bums did recognize value when they saw it. All the contents of my jewelry armoire were dumped on the bed, and the only things missing were my two rings and a nice necklace. They were not going to be burdened down with my drugstore treasures. They had rummaged through every drawer. Underwear was scattered about. How embarrassing.
We called the boys in blue, and almost wished we had not. We sat around for an hour as they dusted every surface for prints. For years after that, I cleaned up black powder. I would wash it, and think I had it all only to discover the next time I scrubbed that more of the nasty stuff lurked in tiny spaces. And, of course, they never recovered a single item. Thank God for homeowners’ insurance. We were made whole again in the eyes of the adjusters. However, when you have been invaded in such a way, you are never quite the same. Your loss of trust and belief in your fellow man has suffered a painful blow. The black and blue spot will fade, but that area will continue to be tender.
We agonized for some time over whether or not we should install an alarm system. Could we afford it? Could we afford not to? We had few items of monetary value, but there was also the nagging thought that we could have been home when it happened. The result in that case could have been vastly different. Inertia wormed its way in, and the status quo prevailed.
Although the door was not broken down again while we lived there, our outside air conditioning unit was stolen. We didn’t live in a bad part of town. We were the unfortunate bystanders in a scheme to sell copper. As a realtor who handled several foreclosed properties for the banks, I spent so much time with the sheriffs I could hardly get my work done for meeting with them at the scenes of such crimes.
As I reflected on our traumatic invasion, I recalled that the Bible encourages us to lay up treasure in heaven where thieves cannot lay their hands on it or rust and rot destroy it. How wise is our God. Sometimes when I am perusing the ads, or see a new gadget available only on television, or walk through a store, the Lord will remind me gently of this truth. Then, I can walk on by and confine my purchases to the mundane needs of daily life.
Based on a true story
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