Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home is...

On Friday, our home was broken into.

It was before noon, I was picking up my kids from their last day of orientation, and my husband was home, sleeping off his jet lag.  The doorbell rang and he didn't answer it.  Next thing he new, a stranger was opening the bedroom door.  Dave chased him off.  Called the police.  Called me to tell me not to bring the kids home, to bring them to my parents instead.  Cleaned up the broken glass from the back door.  We don't know what he used to break the glass.  We've been lying to our kids, making up crazy scenarios about how the door might have been broken.  We do not want them to feel unsafe in their own home.

We live in a good neighborhood, but this is not the first incident.  When we first pulled the grill out of the garage in the spring, it was stolen from our driveway.  Next, Dave's bike was stolen from the garage.  (It was later found stashed behind the neighbor's garage, where they apparently stole a better bike).  The grill didn't shock me: our driveway is on an alley and hidden from our view by a privacy fence.  We had been warned that people steal unattended items from alleys.  I wasn't shocked, but I was saddened.  While we didn't leave Brooklyn for the Midwest because of safety issues, it does seem ironic that we are having these issues here in Minneapolis.  The garage incident was a little harder to shake.  The idea that someone would be so bold as to come in through the privacy fence, walk on in to the garage and help themselves is a little more disturbing than the image of someone seeing the grill and simply rolling it away down the alley.

But the idea of someone walking right in to my house when purportedly no one is home?


The night of the break in, when we came home late from my parents, we ran into the neighbors, who said no one ever bothered them, that it was because our house is nicer (we live in a new house in an old neighborhood.)  I know that's true.  When we bought this house, we considered many of the implications of living in one of the nicer homes on the block, but it never occurred to me that it would make us targets.

Sherry and John, pretty famous bloggers over at Young House Love, are always careful to blur out their house number when they show pictures of the mailbox or the front of the house.  This seemed paranoid to me, but now, even though this break in had not one thing to do with this blog, I kind of get it.

As bloggers, we let people in to our homes every single day.  We share our homes, our lives, our projects, our secrets, our thoughts and words and a whole lot of energy.  Yesterday, when I didn't get a post up, I thought it was just because of lost momentum.  It has happened before.  Posting 6 days a week is a ton of work, but you kind of get into a rhythm and stop noticing.  It makes me think of canoeing, where you only feel the pain in your arms if you stop rowing.  Last night, talking to my friend Sara, I started to see the connection between the blog and the break in in my mind.

I have a list of posts a mile long, but looking at it, I just don't have the stomach to talk about trim today.  Or The Problem With Pillows.  While I love home design and blogging, to be honest, it feels a little silly today.  We're working on getting glass replaced and installing a home security system and wondering if we can stay here.  I can't help wonder what this stranger touched as he walked through the living room, through the dining room, ans over to the bedroom.  I hate the thought that someone was so careless, did such violence, to the house that we have so carefully been building, piece by piece, into a home.

Or maybe I'm wrong.  The throw pillows don't make a home.  The people do, and what happens here, and the memories we build, and, dare I say, security and peace of mind.

I'm thinking of these things today.  But I think I'll be easing back in to regular content tomorrow.


  1. I'm so sorry...the violation you must feel is devastating. It will be very difficult to be at peace again in your home, but I hope it will happen swiftly for you!!

  2. Sorry to hear this happened Heather. Our neighborhood had a bunch of break ins last winter. It's not a great feeling. Maybe banding your neighbors together, doing a neighborhood watch?

  3. Oh, Heather, I am so sorry for this terrible incident. A violation of your home is so scary, and I really feel for you and your husband.

    It is a strange thing that we bloggers do, inviting a world of strangers "into" our homes every time we blog, but just know that the vast majority of people on the planet are good and don't take advantage of your sharing details of your life and home. I hope that your security and peace of mind is back to normal quickly!

  4. Oh that is AWFUL! I am so sorry this happened. And I am so thankful your husband is safe after the confrontation.

    Hang in there. We like our security company if you need a reference.

  5. Heather, I'm so sorry to hear about the situation. Glad to hear everyone is okay.

    Yesterday, we could have had a similar incident. Two men were arrested in our alley. The police said that they were not from our neighborhood. I was home with every window in the house wide open! It's definitely got me on edge today.

    Take the time you need!

  6. I'm so sorry to hear this. What an awful feeling. Glad everyone is physically ok and I hope you recover emotionally as well. You are such a nice family!

  7. So sorry girl! My parents came home recently and scared off thieves who had packed tons of stuff into my parents car and were going to drive off with it. They had taken shoes out of the closets! Everything had been touched and violated. So scary...all we can do is be so happy he ran off and did no violence to your hubby, get a better security system, and maybe get a trained German Shepherd!
    Thinking of you!
    -e (

  8. How awful. Im so sorry this happened to you. Getting a dog might not be a bad idea if you're open to that. I love your neighborhood and always felt safe when we lived there but unfortunately this crap happens everywhere

    Hang in there!


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