A few months ago, I lamented how much stuff I’ve accumulated during our 6.5-year housesit in Norfolk, CT. I didn’t name any of the items in that post, but they included my sunrise alarm clock, weighted blanket, shakti mat, and various art supplies. I now find this concern kick-you-in-the-pants ironic because most of the items were stolen from our car last week.
Yeah, it totally sucks.
We stayed at The Lighthouse Inn in Crescent City, CA, after the most wonderful day of marveling at the redwoods in Jebediah Smith State Park and then watching the sunset from the top of Whaler Island. A perfect road trip day!
When we headed to the inn parking lot the next morning, we noticed that one of the storage totes in our car was oddly out of place. “What happened there?” I asked Heath who had popped down to the car the night before to get something.
That’s when we saw the smashed window.
At first, I was in shock. I went into the hotel to report the break-in (they were NOT helpful) and by the time I got back, Heath told me the news: they had taken our party boxes (amongst other things).
Our party boxes aren’t as celebratory as they sound – they’re just banker boxes filled with books, etc. to entertain us at our housesits. In my party box, I stored multiple books such as Big Magic and Doodling for Writers, our Woobles crochet-kits that we’ve been working on since Christmas, juggling balls, colored pencils, gel pens, and the stamping supplies needed for when I send Halloween cards this year. Oh, and my five-year journal. When I realized the journal was gone, I thought I might vomit.
I’ve been writing in this journal since May 19, 2021. That’s almost 1,000 memories recorded across 2021, 2022, and 2023. I recorded anecdotes about Annie, Fergus, Dodger, and my other canine buddies. There are even a few cats mentioned. There are memories of my community work and my time at the library. Favorite books I read. Hikes in Barbour Woods. Special moments with Heath. Mundane moments with Heath. Silly moments with Heath. All important enough that I didn’t want to forget them. This journal only gives you five lines per day each year, so I had to be judicious in what I recorded.
I’ve been carrying that journal in my backpack since we left Norfolk on May 15. I always bring my backpack into hotels with me because it holds my computer. On July 19, I made the decision to move it out of my backpack and into my party box to make my backpack a little lighter. So thoughtless. It never occurred to me that someone would break into our car because I knew all our valuables were with us inside. A thief wouldn’t know that. They looked into our car and saw potential.
I feel so stupid, I could cry. Again. I’ve been crying on and off since the morning of July 21.
At this point, we’ve done all the things we’re supposed to do. We filed a police report. We’re waiting to hear back from the insurance company. We found someone who could provide a temporary fix to the windshield so we could make it to our Seattle-area housesit on time (which we did). We’re working on replacing the stolen items that we need going forward, like our sunhats or underwear for Heath.
Poor Heath. He just bought five new pairs of Duluth Armachillo underwear and the thieves stole them all, from our dirty laundry bag no less.
Now the only thing left for me to do is continue to grieve. I’ve been wallowing in the misery of loss. Of the pain of knowing I made a foolish decision. Of the indignation that someone would steal from us. Of the cruelty of their actions. Of the disappointment that we didn’t drive up the Oregon Pacific Coast highway so we could get to our next housesit earlier rather than later.
So I will wallow. The grief is real and ongoing. It also lessens day by day. The only way out is through.