Christmas was fast approaching and we were counting days. The night of December 23rd we headed for bed knowing full well when we woke up it would be Christmas Eve! That meant a big family celebration that night. Little did we know that we would be having a little more excitement than we had hoped for.
We lived in a 2-story house with all the bedrooms upstairs. Sometime in the wee, early hours of the morning, Dad had gotten up and went downstairs to get a drink or something. He was on the couch and thought he heard the screen door open. Our storm door had a big window in it with a curtain that we would shut at night. Dad decided to go take a peek out the door window. As he did, he noticed that the door handle began to turn. When he peeked out - he saw him. There was a masked man trying to get into our house! So, Dad did what any reasonable, rational thinking man would do - he flung the door open and surprised the guy!
The would-be burglar turned and ran. My dad took off after him. I don't know what he was planning on doing with him when he caught him, but I don't think he was thinking that far ahead. He running on pure instinct and adrenaline. The burglar hopped our fence into the back yard, dropping a bag full of goodies he had already lifted from other people's homes. He stopped to gather them up - well, until he saw my dad hopping the fence after him, that is. So, he got up and hopped the fence into the neighbor's yard. Dad hopped the fence into the neighbor's yard right behind him. Then it struck. Reason. It finally dawned on my dad that; a) he was in his pajamas, b) he was not armed, c) the thief he was chasing could possibly have a knife or something that he could turn on my dad with at any moment.
Some of the details are slightly sketchy since I was just a kid and that was many moons ago and all. But, Dad did head back to the house and called the police. I don't know if he woke my mom up or if she woke up from all of the commotion. I'm sure there was some yelling and &*@#^% going on. At some point I woke up and came downstairs to find the law in our living room. Yet, our dog was no where to be found. Can I take a bunny trail for a moment? Thank you. They say that having a dog, even a small dog, is a great deterrent against burglaries. In theory, even a small dog will bark and make noise - so a thief will pick a house without a dog so as to not attract attention during a break-in. Our Lhasa Apso was found cowering underneath my parents bed, shaking like a leaf, in full refusal to leave her perceived place of safety. I think it took 2 hours to get her out from underneath that bed. Now I have a doberman. :0) OK. Back to the story. My little sister slept through the whole thing.
The police officer (Or was that officers? I don't remember.) took the report and there were cops looking for the man, but nothing more than that could be done at that hour since it was still dark. So, they left - promising to come back and take a look around in the daylight. When they did return, they found several items that the attempted burglar had dropped and not retrieved since he was being hotly pursued by his victim. They were all items intended to be given as Christmas presents. The police also discovered another strange finding. This one was right on our porch in front of the door. It was a big puddle of pee. When my dad flung the door open on the masked bandit - he peed all over himself! I still think that's kind of funny!
They never did find the guy. My dad swears to this day that it was one of our strange neighbors that lived a few doors down. We'll never know for sure. But one thing that is for sure - that was a Christmas we'll never forget!
My mom had a dream that someone broke into our house on Christmas Eve and stole all of the presents from under our tree. Then, on the morning of Christmas Eve, someone tried to do just that. But, thank God for his providence. The attack came. The attack failed. And we all lived another day to tell the story - and not one of us had to have therapy through it all! Can I hear a hallelujah?
Here's hoping your upcoming holiday season is much less eventful than that one was.