Another great welcome home
Lightning DOES strike twice, and so do burglars
This weekend wasn’t a regatta weekend, but we and Zorro both wanted to do some important boat work. We had a bunch of little things that we wanted to fix on Black Magic, and the bow of Constellation had suffered some damage the previous weekend, when we were docking after attempting to race Sunday. The idea was to put Black Magic into the water and leave her in Constellation’s slip, put Constellation on our trailer, and then tow her to El Paso so Zorro could work on her.
Winds were light Saturday, so we didn’t have trouble with the boat launching and retrieval routines, although it was slow for Pat taking Black Magic north to the Rock Canyon Marina. Zorro, Cornhusker, and I got in a bit of sailing on Constellation while we were waiting.
Once we had Constellation out of the water and de-rigged, Pat and I hauled her south to Zorro’s house in El Paso. There, we had a meet-and-greet with the menagerie – a very large number of cats, headed by Oscar, a large Maine Coon sort, and two dogs – Connor, who’s been among the cats so long they think he’s one of them, and Sugar Bear, an Australian Shepherd who is new to the household but who does get along very well with cats.
So today, Pat was doing a lot of miscellaneous tasks on Black Magic, such as replacing the shock cords on the mast blocks, removing the motor mount (it’s been at least two years since we last used a motor), and trying to remove the old bilge pump to make room for a mast-butt moving system (he estimates he’s about 40 percent done with that task; there are a bunch of corroded bolts, and he’s had to dismantle the thing to remove it). Meanwhile, I worked on my National Novel Writing Month project; my total today (so far) has been more than 4000 words. We didn’t miss any sailing; there was very close to no wind.
This evening, we returned home to an unpleasant surprise, a nearly exact repeat of two years ago when we returned from the Dillon Regatta to a burglarized house. First, we found the door between the house and the garage standing open. Then we realized that the house was very cold. Then we saw that the back door was wide open. Then we saw drawers open in the bedroom, office, and elsewhere. Books had been pulled from the top shelf of a small bookcase next to the bed. A duffel bag full of sailing gear in the living room had been opened and dumped out. Lights had been turned on and left on in the back bedrooms and their closets. The hall closet was standing open, its contents strewn about. In the guest bedroom, the screen had been torn off the window, and the window had been jimmied open.
A flat screen television that had been purchased to replace the one that had been stolen the last time we had been hit by burglars (but whose tuner didn’t work) was missing. So was a seriously out-of-date VCR that we had packaged up with its remote and instruction manual to give to charity. So were nearly all of our DVD movies (all but Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Return of the J’s, and U.S. Coast Guard License Boating Training). If you’re in a flea market in Albuquerque and see somebody selling a big collection of Clint Eastwood flicks, you’re probably looking at ours.
At least this time, we didn’t lose things of great sentimental value – the previous burglars took care of that. This weekend’s burglars also didn’t turn on the computer the way the previous burglars had, so we don’t have the same worries about possible identity theft. There were some other valuable things that were out in plain sight but that the burglars missed; there is a definite advantage to having a messy house! On the downside, the previous burglary had been during August, but now that it’s November, the open doors and window meant that we were paying heating bills to heat the great outdoors from whenever the burglary took place until we got home.