New Year’s Eve. A time for revelry. A time for parties. Laughter, fun, merriment.
This New Year’s Eve, I went to a party and actually stayed up until midnight, toasting 2011 with 60 friends and a glass of champagne. I arrived home shortly after the New Year and decided to check e-mail before crawling into bed.
At 12:50 am, my iPhone pinged letting me know I had a text message. It was from Steven, my painting buddy. I had texted him earlier to wish him a Happy New Year.
New Year’s Eve. A time for revelry. A time for parties. Laughter, fun, merriment. Not for Steven. Not this year.
He texted to say he’d been burgled. I called him at 12:51 AM to see if he was OK; to see if there was anything I could do. Steven was shaken and upset as he told me what had happened.
Two men in black came through the back door. Flashlights. Face masks. The alarm went off. He locked himself in the bathroom & called 911. Within three minutes, policemen had surrounded the house with guns drawn, checking the perimeter.
Perimeter secured, the police told Steven to go out the front door. He was escorted to a squad car. The police went in to check the house for intruders. Evidentially, the intruders were warned off by the alarm and fled before the police arrived. Fortunately, nothing was stolen; no one was harmed. No damage done. Almost.
I offered to come keep him company through the night. “Yes, please.” I packed an overnight kit and a bottle of wine and drove to his house. I called when I arrived so he’d know it was I and not the burglars.
Steven and I sat up talking and drinking wine until well after 3 AM. It takes time to calm down after such an event. I know. I’ve been there: 24 years ago, our house was ransacked. No one hurt and nothing of “real” value stolen. Still, it shakes you up and makes you realize how vulnerable you really are.
Finally settling down for the night (morning, actually) we slept little, jumping at every little sound. We were awake at first light bleary eyed and tired. But neither of us could sleep anyway so we got up to begin the new day: the New Year. What an auspicious beginning. It can only go up from here.
New Year Resolution #1: Pay attention to home security. Lock the doors at night and set the alarm when leaving the house.
Be careful out there!
Thank you for listening,
Jerry L. Hanson