I live in this very quiet community made up of mostly retired people, aside from one young family two houses down and an older family, who thinks they are young, two houses the opposite way. After 8pm each night, the neighborhood is pretty much deathly quiet, aside from the occasional summer get-together.
The house directly next to me had an old grumpy man living there when we moved in. Sadly for his family, he passed away last year. The house sold in about six months and some woman and her big dog moved in during late January. And then the woman and her big dog moved completely out of the house in early March.
VERY strange, no?
Every few weeks, 1-3 cars will pull up at the house and stay for a day, maybe overnight. And then they disappear and the house is deserted again for a few more weeks.
Also very strange, no?
Last night, I was up late watching some TV and trying to get a head start on this work project that I will be working on all day today and headed to bed about 12:15am. But I couldn't get right to sleep, so I played a few rounds of bejeweled on my phone. About 12:45, just as I was starting to feel too tired to match any more jewels, I heard a really loud noise, like someone splitting wood, coming from the back of my house. I usually look to the cats to see how scared they are to determine if I should be scared or not, but they were failing me. The noise happened about four times in a row. I made my way back to the other side of the house and could tell right away that it wasn't coming from my backyard, unless someone broke the security lights, because my yard was dark, aside from the glow of a light from the suspicious house next door. I can't see anything in their backyard from inside my house-I sure tried though- and I cracked a window open and couldn't hear anything. But it just didn't make sense on where the loud noise was coming from.
It could have been a tree limb cracking and breaking, but it wasn't windy or stormy...and the light didn't make sense.
So I waited about five minutes, listening intently, and then decided someone more qualified than me should ensure everything was okay.
I haven't called 911 in probably 6 years (last time was when we lived in an apt complex and some drunk driver smashed his truck into five cars in our parking lot). I don't know if this is how it is on all carriers, or on all phones - but this is how it went:
My phone screen turned a solid red color and it flashed a message that said: CONNECTING TO EMERGENCY DISPATCH.
After a few seconds, it rang and then a recording came on saying that I was calling dispatch and to please push a number or say "help" to be connected. I said help but it didn't do anything but then started the same recording in Spanish so I pushed a number. Then the recording asked if I wanted fire, police or ambulance. I requested police.
This seemed like a REALLY long process. If someone was breaking into my house while this was happening, I'm not sure I would have the patience to deal with a recording. It probably only took about ten seconds total, but when you are under attack or need medical help, those ten seconds are going to be ridiculously long.
I don't have a conclusion to my story, other than to share what I learned about dialing 9-1-1. Lesson learned-if you THINK you need to call, get a head start on calling because you need a tiny cushion of time to actually be connected.
The police came to the neighbors house about three-five minutes later (I should have timed it), and I heard them walking around and then rapping on the door (you would have to be really rapping hard for me to hear it inside with my windows closed). And then very shortly after, they drove away. I think more info will be on the police blogger at the end of the week and I can see what came of it. Or if I really cared, I could call the office tomorrow probably.
I'm not sure I do though....currently, I'm busy fighting off other intruders - the ANTS!!!! They are no longer in the kitchen in droves-just a random one here and there (gross). I have ant traps all about, and I sprinkled some kind of ant killer outside the back side of the house, yet I just discovered a new trail of them in the sun room. I rarely ever even have food in the sun room so I'm not sure what they are doing. I'm currently spraying the trail with 409, which works great as a temporary fix. Once I finish the project I'm working on, I should do a full scrubdown of all the rooms and make suer there isn't some secret ant paradise they are trying to reach.
Cat Advice Wanted - STAT!
6 hours ago