Monthly Archives: October 2008

Just Like Heaven…

Some people say they can’t imagine what heaven will be like, but I can. I have a vivid imagination, and therefore a very clear picture of heaven. In heaven, when I want to go to the park, I will make the decision and then just GO. I won’t have to tidy the entire house to find the dog’s collar. I won’t have to clean out the front closet to find her leash, either. I won’t have to do three loads of laundry to insure that my children have clean playclothes to wear. I won’t have to weed the back yard to find missing shoes, and I won’t have to employ the skills I learned in Psychology 101 to calm the angst of the children who are missing the clothes and the shoes. I won’t have to run to the store to buy a new hairbrush. I won’t have to pack lunch, snacks, drinks, sunscreen or first aid kits. I will just look out the window, appreciate the weather, grab a blanket and go to the park.

I don’t know, though, maybe that’s retirement I’m seeing. Maybe heaven’s even better than that.

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Categories: Family | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

More Neighborhood Watching… NOTHING escapes our notice!

So, I’ve stopped calling the police on people eating McDonalds breakfast sandwiches, but I haven’t forgotten my duty as a member of the Neighborhood Watch. Neither has my neighbor, Cathy.

She arrived the other day for our English co-op and asked for the number of the police. She had seen two muscular, shaved-headed young men on bicycles about an hour before, and as she was leaving her house, saw them AGAIN. They were obviously cruising the neighborhood looking for something and not just out for a quiet Thursday morning bike ride.

I proudly showed her the number displayed prominently on my fridge (once you moved a couple of hand-drawn pictures of Spiderman and Obi Wan Kenobi) and handed her the phone. After she did her civic duty, we agreed that I would keep an eye out for bicyclists while I was teaching my part of the English class, since I was in the front room with a good view of the street.

I didn’t actually see them, although we had a brief moment of excitement when I did spot a bicycle. It turned out to be an overweight 11-year-old boy who was having trouble steering, but he had a helmet on, so I let it go. For the remainder of the class, my students dissolved into laughter every time he wobbled past, but I took the opportunity to instruct them on the importance of a Neighborhood Watch program and explained that this was just a good reminder that we should all keep an eye out. I’m sure they appreciated the tip.

After everyone had gone home, my almost-15 year old son asked me what exactly I had been looking for. I described to him the suspicious cyclists as he looked at me with increasing surprise.

“Do you know who those men were?” he asked incredulously.

“No!” I exclaimed breathlessly. “Do you know something about them?”

“Uh, yeah,” he sighed. “Those are the two undercover cops the City just assigned to our neighborhood. Dad heard about it at that Neighborhood Watch meeting, remember?”

Okay, so we called the police on themselves. They must be happy that we’re doing such a good job watching.

Categories: Around Town | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Community Crime Watch

Alan attended our neighborhood watch meeting a couple of weeks ago and came home with all kinds of accounts of good neighbors reporting suspicious activity, resulting in the capture of a number of assorted burglars, robbers and other ne’er-do-wells. The officer in charge of our district encouraged everyone to report any activity that seemed suspicious and reassured them not to think anything was too small.

Armed with this knowledge and confident that as a homeschooling Mom, I stand a good chance of noticing suspicious persons, seeing as how I stare out the window a lot while dictating spelling words, I began my own personal neighborhood watch. The very next morning I noticed a suspicious young man parked across the street, sitting in his car. After about five minutes, I was sure he was up to no good. He was just sitting there eating something, and I had never seen him before. I waited another five minutes while he steadily munched away, took a deep breath and called the appropriate number, feeling like a cross between a journalist finding a hot scoop and Supermom, who was saving the day and making the neighborhood Safe For Children Everywhere.

The lady who answered the phone seemed a little less taken with the information than I was, and asked me if it was possible that the man was simply eating his breakfast. Oh, but I was sure, I said, because I’d never seen him here, and I know there was a gang of men burglarizing homes in our neighborhood that did exactly that – one sat in the car while the others knocked on doors. Was there anyone knocking on my door? Well, no, but maybe they just hadn’t gotten to me yet. She sighed and said she would send someone out.

A few minutes later the man reclined his seat and apparently took a nap. I almost called her back, because, well, people don’t just Take Naps for no reason, now, do they?

After another 20 minutes, I watched breathlessly as the man emerged, opened the back door of his car….. and took out a backpack. He adjusted his glasses, slung the backpack on his back and walked down the street… in the direction of El Camino College. A quick check at the clock confirmed that he would probably arrive there just in time for a 10 a.m. class.

Oh, but if he HAD been up to something, boy howdy, I woulda caught him!

Categories: Around Town | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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