Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Highs and Lows

This last weekend was ArmadilloCon 32 up in Austin. This weekend was my first vacation in 2 years, and I had a great time seeing friends, visiting some favorite haunts, and petting all of the pretty, pretty books in the dealer's room. But as fun as all that was, this isn't a blog post about ArmadilloCon.

You see, when I got home Sunday afternoon, my key wouldn't work in my door. I called the 2 people who have keys to the house to see if they had been in and they had not. So I called the police and headed around to the front door to check things out there. Although you couldn't really tell at first because the screen door was closed, the front door was standing wide open--kicked in.

I waited for the officer to arrive and went through the house, which had been ransacked: boxes opened and dumped, closets gone through, drawers pulled and dropped on the floor. Apparently there's been a rash of similar robberies around town (not that you'd know that from reading either of the small papers that report on this area), and it was just my turn.

The list of missing things is random: knick-knacks, some liquor, a new TV that was a gift from my brother & his family, and some paintings.

It's the paintings that really get me.

They took a portrait of my great grandmother (she's the fiercely impressive lady pictured above). They took a picture that was painted by my mother. They took 2 pictures that I painted (2 of the 3 I ever painted). How do you replace something like that?

All in all, I'm grateful that the thieves weren't wantonly destructive. I know that no one is going to steal my books (unless they belong to my book group, and rest assured, I'm watching all of you), but they could easily have damaged them and they didn't. I'm also meanly pleased that they had to work really hard going through closets and boxes and drawers for very little payoff, given that most thieves aren't interested in matching tablecloths for parties, old sheet music, and embroidery accouterments unused in at least 30 years.

But I'm also left wondering: how do you make your house yours again?