After supper (with the kids) this evening, I decide to go up to Cultus. By myself.
Because I had forgotten something up there.
The last time I went to the lake by myself was the last Wednesday in November to meet a guy about the sewer system. I had just started my new job and was feeling overwhelmed. I had been on depression meds for 3 days and I was a big fat hot mess. I had anxiety attacks while at the cabin and then again on the drive home - WHEN I GOT LOST.
What a difference 2 months makes.
I'm feeling so much better.
And my job? A piece of cake.
So I drive with confidence, singing with gusto the whole way, and plan to listen to Anne of Green Gables (Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre on CD) on my return trip.
I do the squiggle road, (my favorite stretch of pavement in the whole entire world) and turn onto Lindell, and am at peace. This is my happy place. I love it here.
I pull up to the front of the cabin and notice that all the lights are on inside.
All of them.
I get out of my truck and sneak around to the side of the house to see if there is a vehicle parked at the back.
I call all three of my children.
"Where are you? Have you been to the lake? Did you give a key to your friends?"
And with each phone call, I feel increasingly uneasy.
Someone has been in the cabin since I locked it up on Sunday afternoon. Someone might still be in there.
I drive over to my neighbours' place and knock on their doors. No one answers, in any of the houses. Everyone must be in Hawaii.
The neighbourhood is dark (except for our cabin which is bright with light), so I call the police.
They will send someone over, but it could take awhile, as there is another emergency in town.
So I post my status on facebook, call my mom, lock my truck doors, pop in the Anne of Green Gables CD and settle down for an hour or so of Radio Theatre. I am almost out of fuel, my phone battery is on the verge of dying, and I have a 'no service' button blinking on my phone. I am really all alone.
After an hour I notice a light on in the log cabin across the road. Ian and Flo live there in the summer; they are in their 70's. Maybe their 80's. And they usually spend their winters in New West... So who is in their living room?
I drive up to the side of their house, and get out to look in the window. Flo's granddaughter looks back at me. Then waves me in.
They've been sitting in dark, Flo and Jen have, afraid that I was a 'bad guy' parked outside, scoping out the area. I apologize that I hadn't knocked on their door earlier.
"I'm waiting for the police. I called them an hour ago. When I left our cabin on Sunday afternoon, I turned all the lights off. And when I drove up, I saw that they're all on. I think someone has broken in," I said.
"Those lights have been on all week," Jen said. "Last night? Every single one of the bedroom lights was on. Now they're off, but the dining room light is on."
"Why are you two up here at this time of year?" I asked. "It seems awfully quiet."
"My grandma just had her hip replaced two weeks ago, and she can't do stairs, so we're staying here where it's all one level..."
I know that the break in at our cabin is unsettling for them both.
Another hour goes by and then the world's youngest RCMP officer arrives.
He shines his big flashlight in my eyes and asks if I've been through the cabin.
"No. My home in Langley was broken into last June, and I went through everything before calling the police, and he told me never to do that again. So, when I saw all the lights on, I just called you."
"Have you checked the locks? Were any of them tampered with?"
"When I saw all the lights on, I called you. I haven't been up to the house.'
"So you're not sure if it's an actual break in? Could you kids or friends been up here, and maybe forgot to turn off the lights?"
"It's possible, but not likely. I've called everyone I can think of, and no one has been here. I was the last person. And I turned the lights off."
"OK then. Let's go have a look."
We walk up to the front door, and I ask him to shine his flashlight on the lock so I can insert my key. The door opens and I expect him to tell me to go back to my truck and lock myself inside. THAT'S what the (older, more experienced) Langley cop told me to do last June. THIS one told me to go in first, he'd follow.
The living room and kitchen were undisturbed. Everything was exactly as I had left it. Nothing was messed up or missing. He goes up the stairs and asks me to follow. I stand on the landing. NO WAY I am going into any of those bedrooms.
Thankfully, at this point, he starts saying, "This is the police," with an authoritative voice, as he enters each bedroom. I don't move, til he has done all 4 rooms.
I check each room, wondering if anyone has been sleeping in our beds. If they have, I can't tell.
I look in the bathroom. If someone has been pooping in our toilets, they've been flushing afterwards.
We go back to the kitchen, and I check the fridge. Nothing is missing.
Other than the lights being on, there is no evidence that anyone has broken in. I'm feeling embarrassed. I've bothered this kid for no good reason.
Then we walk into the laundry room and I see the door.
The door casing is leaning neatly against the coat hooks, but the door jam and lock have been broken:
Scott radios it in right away, advising dispatch that there's evidence of forced entry.
He pulls out his notebook and we do another walk-about.
Nothing has been stolen, broken, eaten, messed or disturbed. The furnace has not been turned on. It is the strangest B & E ever. He asks me a bunch of questions, and we go outside and around to the back to look at the basement. I told him I thought someone had been in there over the weekend because the bathroom light was on when I arrived on Saturday. Sure enough, they had broken in down there too. Panels had been removed, doors were open, lights were on. BUT NOTHING WAS TAKEN.
So he and I went back upstairs and he says, "So, you were here on Saturday. And you left on Sunday. What time?"
"Around 3, I think."
"And why did you come back tonight, by yourself?"
"I forgot something, and I came to pick it up."
"What was it?"
"Do I have to tell you? Now I'm just embarrassed."
"These." And I hold up some DVD's. "I started watching Robin Hood, and I'm only part way through the second season's extras. I'm kinda hooked..."
"THE BBC Robin Hood series? Aren't those great? I love them. Although season 3 wasn't as good..."
And then we talk about the story line and characters and season 3 and British shows and whatnot. And he didn't judge me at all.
And that's mostly the end of the story.
Except I have to go back up there tomorrow morning, with a carpenter, and get the door fixed. I had to leave it unlocked and open tonight. THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS STAYING THERE BY MYSELF WITH AN UNLOCKED DOOR.
God will be on guard tonight.
As stuff was happening last year, I thought I was dealing with each crisis as it happened by pushing through it with prayer and common sense. It was suggested to me that the reason I 'crashed' in November was because I HADN'T dealt with it.
So it has occured to me this evening... this weird break-in is another violation.
I've prayed. I've filed a police report. I will get someone out there tomorrow to fix it. And I will stay there again, someday, and reclaim it as my happy place, just like I had to reclaim my house.
My God is bigger than the boogie man.
What would 'dealing' with this look like?
Have I started 2013 accumulating crisis's that will inevitably cause me to crash come November?
What should I do differently?
I was recently told by a friend that she saw my break-down coming- she could've predicted it, because of the way I handled it all.
It's all so confusing.
Regardless, there are things I'm thankful for:
1. They didn't steal the DVD's. I can still watch the extras from Season 2.
2. I didn't run out of gas. Although my phone did die.
3. None of my teeth fell out.
4. No one was injured in the making of this blog post.