Carolyn Browne Tamler

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    12-9-13 OUR HOME WAS BURGLARIZED - some musings on bad things that can happen and what’s truly important

    My husband and I were away for a few days recently.  Our flight home was delayed, and we caught the last ferry to Whidbey on a Monday night.  We entered our home at 1:45 am and realized as we walked into our bedroom that something wasn’t right.  A large jewelry box on top of my dresser was gone, as was a smaller box containing two pearl necklaces.  When Rich opened his top dresser drawer, he discovered that four watches were missing, including a couple of heirlooms.

    The next morning, we called the Sheriff’s office to report the thefts, and in less than 15 minutes, Lieutenant Evan Tingstad, from the Freeland office, was at our home to get the information and file a report.  The man who had been housesitting for us responded to our phone call and was at our house 10 minutes after we called him.

    The house sitter told the Sheriff he had noticed the open dresser drawers when he came through the bedroom on his last visit before we came home, but didn’t realize what had happened.   When he learned what had taken place in the time he was away, he was devastated (I felt more anguish looking at the expression on his face than I did from the pain of the theft).

    There was no sign of forced entry.  Sadly, even Whidbey Island isn’t free from crime.  Lieutenant Tingstad explained there have been several similar daytime burglaries on the island.  The thief knocks on the door.  If someone is home, he gives some reason for his visit.  If no one is home, the thief looks around the house for a door left open, or some easy lock that can be opened with a minimum of effort.

    So, sad as the situation was, I was relieved that no damage was done to our home, that we had a very efficient and helpful visit from our local Sheriff and that our house sitter was so upset he didn’t want to be paid (we insisted we would).  And, amazingly, my laptop computer, in plain site on the second floor, had not been taken.

    The next morning, this story took an interesting turn …..

    We got a call from someone who said he had been walking on Goss Lake Road (a rural road about a mile from our house) when he noticed some things at the side of the road that included a small purse containing my business cards, so he knew how to reach us.  He had thumbed a ride to a bus stop in Freeland, where we met him.  He led us to a place that could only have been seen by someone walking by; it wouldn’t be visible to someone driving by.  In addition to the jewelry, the burglars had grabbed some items from my second dresser drawer that they realized had no value and tossed them out a window of the car. 

    The items included the only photos of our wedding.... in an envelope that had been snatched and then tossed.

    So, as I put together our losses I realized:

    • I really didn’t wear most of the jewelry in my jewelry box;
    • Rich only rarely wore a couple of the watches in the drawer and had been contemplating selling the Rolex;
    • We have insurance that will cover the replacement of some of the items;
    • The items that are irreplaceable – the wedding photos – were saved (and if another day had gone by they would have probably been destroyed by the wet grass where they had been tossed);
    • My computer and my husband’s computer were not taken; and
    • Even though there are, sadly, some people who are burglarizing homes on Whidbey, MOST people here are exceptionally kind, thoughtful and friendly.

    So, I will miss those pearls a little bit, but I miss my sweet cat who disappeared a month ago far more; and I would have been heartbroken when I discovered the wedding photos were missing.

    Life is interesting, although sad at times.  And, something like this is a good lesson in knowing what is really important in your life.

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    « 12-17-13 More musings on bad things that can happen, and good things that can follow | Main | 12-4-13 Now that the Studio Art Hop is over, check out Inspired Arts in Freeland »