Once home, I still didn’t want to be in the house just DD and me. I invited a good friend to bring her sons and spend the night. Two other women dropped in and we were talking about the events while the kids played. All of a sudden, there was a knocking on the front of the house. I went into the greenhouse and looked out. An officer was tapping on the boards. When I went out and asked him what on earth he was doing, he said he was checking for hidden spaces. I guess they thought DH was small enough to hide in the wall? At least they didn’t start taking the house apart, board by board.
DD was having a difficult time with nightmares. She’d sit bolt upright in bed and scream as loudly as she could. I’d go to her and try to calm her down but I had to let it run its course before she’d get settled. Then came the sleep-walking. One night, she was over by the curtains in the bedroom. She was mumbling something and touching the drapes. I had the doorway open into the greenhouse and there was a three foot drop to the floor below. In a low voice, I asked her to come to me as I was getting out of bed to go to her. Before I could get there, she’d stepped through the opening and was in a heap on the floor. That woke her up. She was crying hysterically when I brought her back inside. Mercy of mercies, her only physical injury was a bloody toe. I cleaned it up and bandaged it and we went back to bed.
After a hard rain, I missed Kat. She’d go out and roam and by that time, she’d been spayed so there was no danger of any more unplanned pregnancies. It got dark and I went outside calling her with no luck. I was nervous without her there. By and by, I heard her whining at the front door. I let her in and was shocked by the way she looked. I couldn’t figure out what made her look so strange until I realized her head was caked with dried mud back to her ears. She acted like she’d been drugged. I took her into the living room and cleaned her up. She was lethargic to the point of not responding. I called the vet who had, by that time, become a good friend. He told me to watch her and if she got any worse, he’d meet me at the office. Eventually, she perked up and ate a little. She was going to be okay.
A few days later I was talking to one of my friends. She said a private investigator she knew was talking about “staking out” the house. Kat had been such a pest he’d shoved her head into the mud. He laughed and said he’d almost killed her. My friend was furious. She told him Kat was our pet and we loved her and it was a good thing she’d lived or he’d have her to deal with.
The driveway became a gluey mess after all that rain. I was able to navigate the car down the hill but I didn’t have the nerve to try to drive back up. I left it at the bottom, locked it up and hoped for the best. DD and I hoofed it through the woods. The next day, we went to the mailbox and I noticed there was something odd about the way the car looked. I could see the reflection of the trees in all the windows but one—the one in the back door on the right side. I had a sinking feeling. Sure enough, it had been broken out. The sound system was gone and the ignition had been pulled out. The car had started using oil and the case I had in the trunk was missing. They had taken the jack, the battery and even the windshield wipers. I felt like sitting down in the mud and crying.
After we checked for mail, DD and I went back to the house. I called the police and reported the theft. They came out, looked it over and one of the officers pounded the ignition back into place with his flashlight. I filled out all the paperwork. They wished me luck but said it would be next to impossible to apprehend the people who did it. The opinion was I was fortunate they’d left the tires. They figured the thieves had been surprised by a passing car and abandoned it before they could have truly stripped it.
I dipped into my dwindling store of cash and had the window replaced. We’d driven around with plastic over it for a week or two but it wouldn’t do for traveling more than short distances. A good friend had brought a battery out and put new windshield wipers on it. I prayed my way up the driveway whenever we’d go anywhere and God sent the angels to guard the ditches.
One thing DH had asked was for me to try to keep the house. I started selling things. The canoe was one of the first things to go. That was hard. We’d spent many a Sabbath afternoon paddling over a nearby lake after a picnic lunch. The people he’d bought the Jeep from refunded all the money he’d paid for it. At $400 a month, it wouldn’t be easy but I was determined to hang on as long as I could.
There was a blessing tucked into the syllabus for DD’s Bible class. Songs were sprinkled throughout, complete with music. One was a scripture song based on Deuteronomy 31:6:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
We learned it and would sing it at the top of our lungs whenever we had a challenge to face. The way our lives were going, there were plenty of occasions to break into song. It was militant to begin with but our rendition made it even more so. My voice isn’t what it used to be but you can click here to listen to my feeble efforts.
We loaded the car, left a clean cat box and plenty of food for our big black cat, took Kat with us (two dogs were too many for us to manage so Samantha went to live with the vet and his family) and left to go see my in-laws. We’d spoken on the phone and found out they’d been visited by both the media and the authorities. The news had been splashed over the newspapers and was on the radio. Since we didn’t have TV, I didn’t know how it was being treated there. Our lives had changed in an instant.