Sensory Overload

In Scotland, there’s no room for complacency when it comes to the security of your doors; and maybe I’ll even go as far as to say the windows. It’s better to be safe than sorry as they always say. (Who are these people anyway?) Although there may be exceptions to the rule when it comes to some places, like the Highlands, on the Isle of Skye for instance, where my older brother and his family live. You can leave your car doors unlocked, and last time I checked, it was safe to assume you could probably leave your front door unlocked too. Why bother? If anyone cases the joint and actually has the ‘meat and two veg’ to take anything, chances are, someone’s seen you and they’re already on the phone to your wee Mum giving her what for.

Although the doors in Scotland can’t be opened from the outside, it’s always best to deadbolt it too. When you grow up with the lock-the-door-or-you’ll-verbally-hear-it-from-me mindset (and I did. I was 23 at the time too. I was just back from a lengthy stay in the U.S., shut the door behind me, realised it was ‘locked’ and walked off. For a few hours.) you tend not to veer from it. Too much.

Living in California and then Utah, I applied that same ground-in mentality–even when I was home. In fact, I still do. If I’m home with the boys you can safely assume all doors are locked.


Earlier today, after we all laughed and pleasantly guffawed at how Mauricio flew and landed on Cameron’s car seat while the rest of us were grabbing a few last-minute things, we left for Missoula for our periodic shopping trip and adventure extravaganza. Sometimes we go twice a month, sometimes once a month, it just really depends on our needs at the time (and thanks to this, I have had to become much more organised and disciplined, otherwise you pay full-nasty-whack at the local stores; although the fresh veg is better). Going there is a good 45 miles north from where we are. (And don’t ever say you’re going up to Missoula. Locals will know right off the bat you’re an out-of-towner. And it’s not because you’re not wearing skinny Wranglers, have long, grey, straggly hair or that you don’t walk bow-legged. And that’s just the women. Up here in the mighty middle of nowhere we’re on the other side of the Continental Divide. The river runs the opposite way. And it’s a pretty freaky sight too. So, for reasons unknown to me, you are travelling in the direction of the river, even if you’re driving. You are going down to Missoula. Yes, I know, I hear ya.)

A hefty six hours later, we pulled into our street and stopped at the community mailboxes to grab our junk mail ration of the day and head to the third house. My head was bent down casting my eyes over the loot when I heard Bryan’s voice take a much different tone than usual.

“The garage door j-u-s-t  w-e-n-t  a-l-l  t-h-e  w-a-y  d-o-w-n!”

“It couldn’t have”, I offered “I watched it go down when we–” and then I corrected myself. “We were backing up out of the drive and it got 3/4 of the way down when I stopped watching as we turned.”

“EXACTLY. I swear it just went down. There must be something in the way right at the bottom, stopping it from closing.”

He then demonstrated. My gut fell to my knees. And let me tell you, after having two kids, I realise that’s probably not much of a jump these days, but it jumped nevertheless!

It was true. The wide broom for the driveway was blocking the way, just low enough under the sensor to not trip it. We were all gone from 1:30 p.m. to 7:32 p.m. with absolutely no home security whatsoever; just our second car for a possible deterrent. Our new riding lawn tractor sits in there, and we have many, many other valuables placed precariously around the house, some of which are of a far more sentimental value than a hefty price tag. But not excluding a two-year-old tripped out PC and a sweet Mac laptop. And all the cool new stuff we got over two winter (adult) birthdays and Christmas.

I will be bold enough to assume that if we had still been in Utah, our luck would have been unanimous in the unfavourable. We would have been done over in a blink of an eye, especially considering the events which transpired before the sale of our home. Thank heavens for huge mercies. Thank God for rural Montana.

So, what’s on the agenda for tomorrow? Tomorrow I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.

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