Waiting for the Burglar

by Jean Kepler Ross

The more time goes by, the more I become like my mother, for instance: waiting for the burglar. My neighbors have been ripped off five times in two years and I find myself trying to out-think the would-be burglar when I travel.

Mom showed me the way in this behavior by turning on her radio when she left the house, doing a pre-departure round to check door and window locks and hiding valuables when she took trips. One time, after she returned from a trip, Mom couldn’t find her silverware and was convinced the burglar had shown up and stolen it. Dad refused to submit an insurance claim, as he was positive Mom had hidden it and forgotten the hiding place. Sure enough, years later, the “stolen” silverware was discovered in a picnic basket in the attic.

The highlight of this long wait for the burglar happened when Mom, Dad and my sister were home one night, watching TV in the living room. My sister went out to the kitchen to get a soda and found the kitchen door not only open, but propped open. The burglar had finally shown up and they hadn’t heard a thing. Nothing was actually missing…my sister had aborted the heist by showing up at an opportune moment. In a way, we were all relieved that the years of expectation weren’t in vain, but we laughed pretty hard at the irony that we were home when it happened. Meanwhile, I still put my lights on timers and hide my valuables when I leave on trips. I seem to be programmed to wait for my own burglar!

Jean Kepler Ross is an award winning freelance writer/photographer based in Santa Fe, NM. She was editor of GuestLife New Mexico for four years and her work has appeared in New Mexico Magazine, Glamour, Home & Away, Los Angeles Times, Santa Fe Visitors Guide, San Francisco Examiner, ASU Travel Guide, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications.

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