"Do Unto Others"
Two days ago, I found three cans of peanuts and a $20 gift certificate from McDonald's in the snow behind my back door. Phone service here is erratic and mine had been out. When it was restored, I found a voicemail from a former neighbor.
"Jane, I'm on your street. I want to give you something before we leave."
My former neighbors are in their seventies. "Dad" had surgery on his back last summer, that left him with permanent nerve damage. He now wears a brace on his leg and walks with a cane. When I returned the call, he told me he was upset because his snowblower had been stolen from his backyard. He said the police officer had been "nice," had suggested Dad contact his insurance company and told him, "sometimes we get lucky." He put "Mom" on the phone.
She told me the day earlier, someone had come to their door. When she answered, the man walked in, commented on what a nice house they had and said it "looked like a warehouse." He continued to the back of the house where Dad was standing in the kitchen. He wanted $5 for cigarettes. Dad refused, but the man persisted. Mom got her purse and handed the man $5. He left.
I asked if they'd reported the incident to the police. They had.
Two weeks ago, a local medical professional's bookkeeper was arrested for embezzling over $100,000. It was the second time in two years he'd been victimized. I overheard someone comment the man had brought the crime on himself, since he hadn't "put checks and balances in place."
"Once, shame on them; twice, shame on you," she said.
My friends are, by now, safely in Florida. How do you tell someone you care about, you're happy they're gone?