Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Untrusting Sort

I grew up in a pretty safe area, out in the country where there was little traffic and no real reason for people to go there (unless the highway was closed and then they would detour past my house).  And, still, our house was broken into several times.  The first time was in 1976.  They ransacked the place.  And then the police came through and covered everything in fingerprinting dust. 

Then we got a dog and it didn't happen again until after that dog had passed away. 

I guess what I'm headed toward with that story is it's probably why I'm not exactly a trusting sort, even out here in the back of beyond. 

A couple years ago, a young man I didn't recognize in a car that had seen better days drove past the house.  It happened, at that time, that Hubs was out in the yard.  The young man stopped, and I could see them talking from my spot by the big picture window.  Something didn't seem right, so I grabbed my camera and snapped photos of the man, his car, his license plate...

Turns out he was WAY lost, but he couldn't also been scouting out locations to rob.  So, I filed it away for future reference if any of the neighbors should suddenly arrive at their weekend homes to find themselves short of their belongings.

A similar thing happened a couple days ago.  A beat up car, with two young people who I'd never seen before and who probably weren't here visiting, drove slowly past the house, then turned around in the neighbor's driveway and sped back out of the neighborhood.  Something about them tickled my sensors.  I didn't have time to grab the camera, but I did write down a complete description of them and the car and as much of the license plate as I saw.  Just in case. 

I've always done this.  Over the years, I've had probably hundreds of little scraps of paper with license plates numbers and descriptions written on them.  Most of the time my suspicions turn out to be nothing, but occasionally they turn out to be something.

When I lived in Utah, I began to notice a lot of late-night activity outside the apartment whose garage was directly beneath my bedroom.  So, I started taking down license plates and descriptions of cars.  I thought the two women who lived in that apartment were hooking.  (And I don't mean making rugs.)  I took my info to the complex office.  They followed up and took the information to the police.  Who then set up cameras.  Those women weren't prostitutes.  They were drug dealers.  Oh, yay.  The night they raided the place was scary and exciting and I sat on my bed watching the drama - because they woke me up and no way could I sleep through all that noise.

I guess this all helps with my writing.  The untrusting brain thinks of all sorts of bad things that COULD happen and weaves it into stories. 

What about you?  Trusting or untrusting?  Have you ever made note of things just in case they turned into something important later?


  1. I'm one of the trusting ones, although I think living in dangerous places have given me a bit of an edge. I still see the best in people and am horrified when I find out I'm wrong. I'm incredibly lucky that the only bad thing that happened to me crime wise was when my handbag was stolen out of my car when I stopped to pick up my kids from school about 15 years ago. At 56, I have to count my blessings for that.

  2. You know my background so definitely untrusting. I hated when my office was at the back of the house. I had a great view of the bird and squirrel feeders but no sense of what was going on beyond the backyard. Plus it was cold in the winter and hot in the summer. When Only moved out, I appropriated her room. The window looks out on the corner upon which our house sits. I can check out the cars and pedestrians--we get a lot of foot traffic, though most is neighborhood folks walking dogs. I don't write down stuff but I make mental note of times, vehicles, and descriptions. The cops know me from previous work with them so if I get really suspicious and call it in, they come to talk about. :)

    I do remember the drug dealer days--and the domestics. The house we bought when we first came home from the Army was in a transition neighborhood. I kept track of the house up the way with lots of traffic. There was also a women's "secret" shelter a block the other direction (and across a major boulevard) but they'd come to our corner to wait for their their SO's to show up and then the fights would start. Don't get me started on that soapbox.

    Happy Hump Day.